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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

Can you see them?

I was out feeding the chickens this morning and decided to add a little greens to their breakfast. They really need to be moved on to a greener patch but I'm waiting for my pumpkins to be ready for harvest before I can move them. So I take the greens to them. As I was gathering I tripped over something and nearly fell to the ground. Just what had got me? Well, as I investigated I found a watermelon!! I had really given up on the couple of plants that I'd planted out as the summer was just not good enough to support their productive growth - that's what I'd thought anyway. But at least two watermelons have managed to grow. I had to clear quite a bit of surrounding vegetation to unearth the one pictured in the foreground then, when I knew what to look for, spotted the second one with only a little poking around. Not sure how far off ripening they are - I'll cross my fingers that they get there!!

Any one who makes Kombucha knows that sometimes the scoby just gets away from you. It grows bigger and bigger and eventually needs to be pulled and discarded. Don't know about you, but I always feel bad throwing it out as if it's a living thing. I was kind of excited and a little intrigued when I came across a recipe for making scoby sweets out of this otherwise discarded piece of cellulose. You'd think I'd have enough to do already but no, I had to give this a go. You chop up the scoby, boil it a couple of times, then boil in a sugar syrup, dry it out then voila, a yummy treat! Well, while it's sweet and jelly like, it doesn't have a lot of flavour so it's one thing I can tick of my future list of things to do!!

Except maybe I could add rosewater or orange flower water to the syrup - mmm - now that could be good!!

Seemed to be in the kitchen all day working on one thing or another. A couple of tomato chutneys and an easter treat or two. One thing that felt like it took half of my day was the bottling of my apple cider. For the last couple of days I've had the 20 litre demijohn sitting on my kitchen bench so I could listen for signs of life. Slowly, slowly the little bubbly burps have slowed to nearly none, indicating it's time for bottling and the second ferment. Lots of bottle washing and sanitising then working out how to use the siphon was followed by the actual bottling itself. After hitting myself in the face and eye with the cider, I eventually managed to get it going into my bottles! It didn't take too long to get the bottles filled once I'd got the process worked out! Another two weeks and I'll have sparkling, local apple cider!

I think I have another day in the kitchen tomorrow before I can take a break and enjoy Easter with my family - can't wait for that!!

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