Lifeboat Farm


Freezing Blackberries
February 28, 2009, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Food

blackberries_frozen

The easy way to preserve your best blackberries when they are fresh and juicy is to freeze them. Spread them out on an aluminium tray covered with baking paper and put in the freezer. Within a few hours they should be frozen solid and will easily go into a plastic bag. Free-flow berries can be easily measured and served later.

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Our BBQ Sauce
February 25, 2009, 5:16 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

This is our own recipe based loosely on the DYC vinegar recipe with some extra (not so) secret ingredients.

Lifeboat Farm BBQ Sauce

1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
2 big tablespoons of caramelised onions
1/4 cup malt vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of tomato puree
1/4 cup of tomato paste
1/4 cup of finely chopped dates
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed saucepan or frypan, cook the onion in the oil until translucent. Add all other ingredients and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes. Pour the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Put into a sauce bottle and store in the fridge.



Shortbread
February 25, 2009, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

The best shortbread recipe I know is in the Edmonds Cookbook.

Shortbread

250g butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup cornflour
2 cups plain flour

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift cornflour an flour together. Mix sufted ingredients into creamed mixture. Knead well. On a lightly floured board roll out to 0.5cm thickness. Shape into a circle or cut into pieces. Place on a greased oven tray. Prick with a fork. Bake at 150 deg C for 30 minutes or until pale golden. Makes about 30.



Post-hay regrowth
February 24, 2009, 4:02 pm
Filed under: Hay, Pasture

We left our grass to get quite long and dry before we cut hay this year. The horses don’t need the lushest feed during winter, just good roughage. As a result, the grass had a plenty of seed and it looks like the hay cutting has dropped a lot of that seed back into the pasture. There is a huge amount of new grass blades growing in every possible bare spot on the pasture which will be great news for the animals as we approach winter.



Garden Diary 23rd February
February 23, 2009, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Garden Diary

Planted today:

Shallots x24
Red Spring Onions x40
Spinach x6
Cavallo Nero x24
Kale x24
Beetroot (Chioggia) x 30
Lettuce x10



Tree lucerne nursery
February 23, 2009, 4:25 pm
Filed under: Garden, Trees

With another burst of planting out seedlings today we are up to over 500 tree lucerne potted up. With the plans we have for native bush re-planting we’ll need a couple of thousand of these little guys as a nursery crop for the natives. I’ll post more on growing tree lucerne soon.



A tale of two mulches
February 23, 2009, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Garden

We’ve found that mulching the garden beds with straw or hay makes a huge difference in the moisture retained in the soil. It also helps control weeds around the desirable plants. While straw is preferable (it takes longer to break down and is less likely to blow away) you can use old hay.

This is what a mulched bed should look like – eggplants and capsicums looking happy.

Unfortunately if the hay you use is full of seeds, this is what you end up with – more of a raised lawn with some chillies hiding in there somewhere. Now we leave the hay out for the chickens to fossick through for a while to remove the seeds as much as possible.