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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

Another day in the kitchen

Although summer has decided not to turn up this year, my garden, with the exception of the tomatoes, has defiantly decided to grow regardless. My beetroot, as I mentioned yesterday, has been fantastic. I’ve had lots of green beans and other beans that I’m harvesting as a dried variety. The zucchini’s, well I think you know about those, and my cucumbers, for my first time are really abundant. I’ve been having lots in salads, as just a side, juicing them and so many that I’m trying out pickling them. It’s kind of lucky that the tomatoes have been slow as it’s giving me time to show some love to these other crops.

As I was busy in the kitchen I put on a podcast. One was an interview with a regenerative farmer who had been a nutritionist in her former life. Listening to people like this reminds me of why I’m here doing all this hard work to put extraordinary food on my plate. A lot of the ill health in the world today stems from the quality of the food eaten. The industrial food system uses a lot of chemical inputs that kills the soil that is supposed to grow us healthy food but instead produces foods, often coated in chemicals, that has less than optimal nutritional value. If you can’t grow your your own food, sourcing it from farmers growing regeneratively at the local farmers market and preserving that, is a way to say no to the industrial food industry and yes to your health!

Anyway back to the kitchen and my efforts at food preserving! So I got to it, podcast playing, and prepared grated and sliced zucchini for freezing. I love to drag out handfuls of frozen veg to put in a roasting tin in winter for a warming meal and zucchini slice in the cold months - yum. I found a recipe for pickling cucumbers so gave this a try. It takes awhile for the flavours to develop so will have to wait to see if it’s any good! Made beetroot chips in the dehydrator, a colourful veggie juice and the most delicious carrot and beetroot slaw to go with bbq zucchini and my homegrown lamb chops for lunch.

In the afternoon I went to visit a local goat farm. Lill and Roger have been breeding angora goats for 12 years and were happy to show me around. Sorry I didn’t get any photos but I did learn heaps about keeping goats. I’m hoping to get some goats to help manage the growth along the creek and various other areas taken over by blackberry brambles. A better way to manage rather than the chemical approach. Following my visit I have a much better idea of shelter and fencing required to keep these animals happy and, most importantly, contained!

Back at home it was time to get some borlotti beans podded and I also removed the celery seeds from the dried celery stalks. I will make some celery salt from these and keep the rest of the seeds for flavouring various dishes in the future. My borlotti beans will keep nicely in the pantry and make a great addition to minestrone soups. Some of the beans were not quite dry enough so I’ll leave them on trays to dry completely so as not to go mouldy in storage.

It’s a great feeling getting this food tucked away for wholesome winter nourishment !

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