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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

Easter, food and family

Had a lovely time catching up with Michael and Maddi at Easter. The weather was beautiful and perfect for a wander around to visit the sheep and have a cook up on the fire pit. Beau, my little black sheep, enjoyed his neck rub provided by Maddi and I particularly loved sitting back and watching someone else cook for a while - now that was an Easter treat!!

I didn't escape the cooking for long. Pre easter I had been busy making special treats for my family and some buns for myself. Homemade, almost healthy marshmallows, made from gelatin, honey, a little salt and vanilla ( beetroot colouring for the pink one) was combined with organic nuts and homegrown dehydrated raspberries for a burst of tartness to make the most delicious rocky road. Being unable to enjoy commercial hot cross buns I always make my own, which are a little more solid I must admit, but the flavour makes up for that - mmm - yum!

I had a joyful moment of harvesting my first ripe cantaloupe which I shared with my guests. Not often you get to enjoy a melon whose juices run down your face . Part of the reason I attempt to grow my own food is so you can experience these added pleasures that store bought don't always provide.

Once the family had left I got stuck into the corn patch in the front garden. I needed to clear it to plant my garlic. I'm just chopping off the stalks which then head up to the compost while leaving the roots in the ground and the soil intact. I grabbed some aged compost to lay down on top of the soil to complete my bed preparation. Really quick and simple and created a fantastic growing space. I dragged out my best garlic heads from last years harvest and separated out the cloves. Laying them down on either side of the corn stalks I began planting making sure to give each adequate space then pushed them down and covered them over with compost. The biggest challenge will be keeping my escapee chicken from digging them up!

Later I removed all the husks from the harvested corn cobs to reveal quite an array of beautiful coloured corn. I'll leave these to dry then sometime in winter, when I have nothing to do (haha), I'll get the kernels off and make popcorn or investigate how to turn them all into flour!

The final day of Easter saw me busy once again in the kitchen. Matt had gifted me a box of organic red capsicums (my garden doesn't seem to turn my green peppers to red) for Easter which I have preserved in a couple of Italian recipes and I also roasted and froze strips which I love to throw into recipes throughout the year. Tomato pasta sauce, tomato paste and tomato chutneys were also on the list of preserves to make. Exhausting but rewarding work!

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