Lifeboat Farm

Green Tomatoes and Corn
May 30, 2008, 9:58 am
Filed under: Food, Garden

No it’s not a recipe (although I’ll see what I can find) it’s the last of our corn from the garden and the first (and only) tomatoes this year. I planted both around Xmas when we arrived and I was surprised the corn ripened but not surprised the tomatoes didn’t. I’ve got some green tomato pickle recipes floating around somewhere but the corn is just fantastic microwaved. We were picking ears fresh from the garden and eating them within minutes but now the plants have started to die back I’ve grabbed all the remaining corn. We’ll definitely have lots more corn next season.


New Look Lifeboat Blog
May 25, 2008, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Technology

It wasn’t really my intention to spend a Saturday night (and much of Sunday) rebuilding the blog on a new platform, but stuff happens sometimes. What was supposed to be a simple upgrade of the Joomla platform turned into a nightmare. The new version didn’t support the older plugins (despite documentation saying it did) and the back-out option didn’t actually go back to square one so I was left with a very broken blog.

With no prospect of getting up to date plugins I decided to ditch Joomla and go back to my trusty WordPress…so here it is.

Stables Fit-Out
May 25, 2008, 5:22 pm
Filed under: Building

With Winter rapidly approaching I’ve been fitting our our 3 bay shed with stalls for the older ponies.

As you can see, the biggest challenge is clearing out all the accumulated stuff – the wood, horse gear, wood, junk, and did I mention wood?

The shed is mostly clear and I’ve put up some of the framing.

Here’s the end bay lined, and horse cover racks up. I’ve still managed to sneak in some firewood but that will be in it’s own shed eventually.

One bay lined, just waiting on a front.

One finished, one to go…More in part II

Happy 300th Chicken Rescuer!
May 24, 2008, 2:59 pm
Filed under: Food, Menagerie

The Chicken Rescue Network is a wee project I set up about 18 months ago after we had re-homed some ex battery hens from the SPCA. It’s just clicked over the 300 member mark and we have re-homed more than 400 chickens, roosters (and the odd duck).

It’s a very small drop in the ocean compared to the millions of chickens raised and kept in terrible conditions in NZ but it’s a start.

I would love to see battery hens as an election issue this year, but with food prices going up, I don’t fancy our chances of getting more people to pay more for ethically produced eggs.

Friday Night Pizza Frenzy
May 23, 2008, 5:07 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

Friday nights have become our “bad food” nights but with the nearest takeaway a 30 minute round trip we’ve adapted to making our own (not a bad thing really). One of the few things we really miss about Auckland is our beloved Dante’s Pizza. While my humble efforts don’t measure up to Kev and Tanya’s mastery of pizza making, it’s still the best pizza I’ve tasted since we’ve been here.

Margherita: just tomato suace, mozzarella and fresh basil – fantastico!

Chilli Chicken: tomato sauce, parmesan, smoked chicken and cayenne pepper.

It all starts with the dough – just flour water and yeast. Mix, rest, knead, rest, hand flatten and add toppings.

Perfect Autumn Day
May 21, 2008, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Weather

After a light frost last night we’ve got this outlook this morning. Just beautiful, if still a little crisp.

Jerualsem Artichoke Soup
May 10, 2008, 3:37 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

We found some Jerusalem artichokes at the farmers market this week and Karen had fond memories of them in soup. We found this recipe in the Cook’s Companion and it’s now one of my new favourites. Jerusalem artichokes are actually part of the sunflower family, not artichokes and they grow from tubers, like potatoes. August is the time to plant them and I’ll be stashing a few more from the market to plant later. Pick nice round ones to grow as some of the knobby ones are a pain to prepare.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

60g butter

500g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into even chunks

1 onion, sliced

1 clove of garlic, lightly crushed

1 stick of celery, finely sliced

1 potato or sweet potato, diced

1 litre of chicken stock


freshly ground black pepper

freshly snipped chives

freshly grated nutmeg

thick cream (optional, but you know it will be worth it)

Melt the butter in a heavy pan and sweat the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the liquid and simmer until the artichoke is tender. Puree with a wand blender (or food processor). Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as required. Serve with nutmeg and chives sprinkled on top. We have ours with soda bread – it’s the perfect accompaniment for any soup.