Saturday, September 28, 2013

FIG AND ALMOND CAKE (Gluten-free and GAPS-friendly)

I have had this Black Mission Fig Tree for five years. It has never had any fruit and hubby was already wanting to pull the plug but I kept insisting, "It is still a young tree. Give it some time."

And TA-DAAAAA.... this year it has fruit on it. Quite a bit actually for such a young tree and needless to say: It is DELICIOUS!!!

We have been eating fig with goat cheese for weeks and today I am baking a cake (yes, gluten free and GAPS friendly); took me about an hour, including baking time, so totally do-able.

Here is my recipe:


4 tablespoons of butter, melted plus some for greasing the pan
1 1/4 cups of almond flour (blanched)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use pink Hymalayan salt)
1 tablespoon of bourbon vanilla paste
4 tablespoons of honey
12 ripe figs

CAKE - before I put it in oven

Heat oven to 375F. Butter a 9 inch pan; I used a pyrex dish. Set aside.

In mixing bow #1, mix the dry stuff: almond flour, baking soda, salt.

In mixing bowl #2, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, vinegar, honey and vanilla.

Add mixing bowl #1 into #2 and beat for about one minyte. Then pour batter into pan.

Now, remove stems from figs, cut into halves and arrange cut-side-up over the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes or until done doing the center probe test.
Cool before serving.

Bon appetite! I like them best with creme fraiche, of course.

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

Sunday, June 2, 2013


We love Kombucha. We love it plain but with our new peach abundance, we were figuring, we should try flavouring it with.... PEACHES!!!

Here is what I learnt about adding flavors

Once the initial fermentation period is complete and the scoby removed, you can consume the kombucha as is or choose to add additional flavorings.
Common options for additional flavorings include fruits, juices, herbs, and spices. Flavor extracts such as vanilla, almond, coconut, etc. can also be used. Flavoring agents can be added to the kombucha either just prior to drinking or they can be added to the kombucha and then the mixture can be stored in an airtight bottle for a second round of fermentation (see below). As a general rule of thumb:
  • If flavoring with fresh, frozen, or dried fruit, we recommend starting with 10% to 30% fruit and 70% to 90% Kombucha.  Keep in mind that dried fruit often yields less flavor than fresh or frozen fruit.
  • If flavoring with juice, we recommend starting with 10-20% juice and 80-90% Kombucha. 
  • If flavoring with herbs, the variety and strength of herbs varies so greatly we recommend just experimenting to come up with the best ratios and combinations for your taste preferences. 
  • For flavor extracts such as almond extract or vanilla extract, start with 1/4 teaspoon extract per cup of kombucha and adjust to taste. Remember the flavor will develop during the second fermentation period.
Flavoring Ideas
  • Blueberries and raspberries
  • Blueberries and cinnamon
  • Blueberries and fresh or candied ginger
  • Strawberries and fresh or candied ginger
  • Strawberries and raspberries
  • Cherries and almond extract
  • Fresh peaches
  • Fresh pears
  • Pears and almond extract
  • Goji berries
  • Pineapple
  • Cranberry juice
  • Pear juice
  • Pomegranate-blueberry juice
  • Apple juice and cinnamon
  • Grape juice
  • Lemon juice and fresh or candied ginger
  • Lime juice and fresh or candied ginger
  • Pineapple juice, coconut water, and coconut extract
  • Vanilla beans (split open) or vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Fresh or candied ginger
  • Coconut extract

Second Fermentation and Bottling

There are advantages to taking the time to allow the now-flavored Kombucha a second round of fermentation. A second fermentation period allows the flavors to meld and achieve a deeper and more complex flavor profile. Further, if bottled in an airtight container (see below), the live yeast and bacteria in the kombucha will continue to consume the tea and sugar that remained after the primary fermentation process was completed and the scoby was removed, along with any sugar from juice or fruit added for flavor. A byproduct of fermentation is that the sugar is turned into carbon dioxide giving the kombucha the fizzy texture it is often known for. 

Instructions for a Second Fermentation

  • Remove the scoby from the finished kombucha
  • Add the desired flavoring and mix to combine
  • Bottle the flavored kombucha in airtight bottles (see below)
  • Allow the kombucha to remain bottled for 2 to 14 days at room temperature. 
  • Once the secondary fermentation process is complete, the kombucha can be strained of the fruit or herbs if desired. The liquid can then be rebottled and stored on the counter or in the refrigerator. We recommend storing kombucha at room temperature for no longer than 14 days, as carbonation can build up. The more sugar that is in the flavoring, the faster the carbonation will build.
  • The kombucha may need to be strained again prior to consumption as the active yeast and bacteria in the kombucha will continue to ferment the beverage (even in the refrigerator) at a slower rate and can produce small immature scobys (looks like small blobs of gel) or stringy brown yeast particles. While neither is harmful if consumed, both have an unpleasant texture.

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis


We have three peach trees: One yellow peach, one donut peach and a white peach.

They are all ripening at a different time, so we get to enjoy the peach abundance all summer long. The first one to ripen is my favourite tree. This year, this baby has put out about 3,000 peaches; even though we picked off hundreds and hundreds to ease the load. Its branches were bending.

It was heart breaking to see and every time I walked past my tree, while extremely grateful for her producing soo much fruit for us, I whispered encouraging words to her, kind of what you would tell a twin mom-to-be during the last weeks of pregnancy.

Now they are ripe, the peaches that is.

And  I am sure, my tree is happy and grateful that every day, we pick several pounds off of her. So far, we have already harvested over 30 pounds but if you take a look at my peach tree, you would say, we have hardly made a dent. 

What to do with all of this peach abundance?

Well, we gave away numerous pounds, ate them right off the tree, I made peach cobbler and peach ice cream and TODAY, I am going to dehydrate several pounds of them.

I will also share some of our reciped, in case you have too many peaches, too.

Peppery Dried Peach
Makes 2 cups


6 peaches1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


-Slice the peaches into 1/2 inch wedges. Toss gently in a bowl with the pepper and salt.
-Dry until only slightly flexible ~8-10 hours at 135 degrees F in a food dehydrator.
-Store in an airtight container or they will absorb moisture from the air.

Sweet Dried Peaches

2 lbs (1kg) fresh peaches
3 cups (750 mL) water
1/3 cup (75 mL) lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL)


  • In large bowl combine water, lemon juice and salt.
  • Pit peaches and cut them into thin slices. Add peaches to water mixture and let soak for 10 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches to paper towel-lined baking sheet and pat dry. Arrange peach slices in a single layer on cheesecloth lined cooling racks.
  • Place racks in 170 F (85 C) oven and let peaches dry for about 4 hours or until no water comes out when peaches are pinched (leathery and pliable). Let cool completely. Place peach slices in glass jars or parchment or waxed paper lined cookie tins.
  • Apple or Pear Variation: Use apples or pears for the peaches.
  • Spice Variation: If you would like a little bit more flavour in your dried fruit, Add 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon, ground cardamom or nutmeg to the lemon water when soaking fruit.
Or enoy just the peaches...
Wth lemon juice and lemon verbena leaves

Roasted Peaches with Mascarpone Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cups mascarpone, 7 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 cup, ripe but firm peaches, peeled (optional), halved and pitted
  • 1. Make the ice cream: In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the milk with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the sugar and bring to a simmer. Slowly beat the warm milk into the egg yolks at low speed. Scrape the custard into the saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes; dont let the custard boil.
  • 2. Pour the custard into a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water and whisk in the mascarpone, lemon juice and salt. Let stand until chilled, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
  • 3. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the mascarpone ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
  • 4. Meanwhile, prepare the peaches: In a large saucepan, combine the white wine, honey, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Add the rosemary sprig and let stand for 10 minutes; discard the rosemary.
    Peach Pie with Joghurt
1/2 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup ice water, plus more as needed
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (6 ounces) we prefer our homemade one as it actually is loaded with cultures as opposed to anything you can find in a store.
2  eggs (ducks, of course as it is for baking!)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
2 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen, peeled if desired
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
     To prepare crust:
    1. Pulse pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Combine with whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. Add oil and stir with a fork to blend. Mix 1/4 cup water, egg yolk and lemon juice (or vinegar) in a measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add enough of the wet ingredients, stirring with a fork, until the dough clumps together. (Add a little water if it seems too dry.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times. Form into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
3. To prepare filling & assemble pie: Combine sugar, milk, yogurt, eggs, flour, cornstarch, vanilla (or almond) extract and salt in a medium bowl; whisk until smooth.
4. Roll out the dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into the prepared pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Trim the dough so it overhangs evenly by about 1 inch. Fold the edges under to make a plump edge; flute or crimp the edge with your fingers (see Tip) or a fork. Place on a baking sheet.
5. Arrange peaches in the crust and pour the filling on top (some peaches will float but this won’t affect the final results). Bake for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle chopped pecans over the top. Cover the edges with heavy-duty foil (or a double layer of regular foil) to help prevent overbrowning. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Return the pie to the oven and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 minutes to 1 hour more. Let cool for 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold.

Melon & Peach Salad with Prosciutto & Mozzarella
  • 1 1 1/2-pound honeydew melon, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 peach, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoon chopped marjoram
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • 8 thin slices of prosciutto, 2 ounces
 In a bowl, toss the melon and peach with the oil and vinegre ; season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and cheese. Transfer the salad to a platter, top with the prosciutto and serve.

Gluten-free waffles with homemade Creme fraiche and Peaches

To make the waffles (makes 4 heart-waffles):
6 tablespoons of butter
3 eggs (of course, I use our duck eggs for baking. They are richer and yummier for baking.)
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of honey
3 teaspoons of baking powder
2 cups of almond meal, we use organic and blanched
butter for waffle iron
creme fraiche (as much as you like, I like about 1 tablespoon per waffle)
8 peaches
syrup (again, as much as you like.... I use honey instead, btw)

Melt the butter in a small pan on low heat.
In a mediuim sized bowl, while the butter melts, separated the egg whites from the yolks, set yolks (in a smaller bowl) aside.
Start beating the whites; I do it by hand for about 3 minutes until they are fluffy and show little heaps.
Then add vinegar, honey and melted butter to the yolks, stir until smooth.
After that, I slowly add the yolk-mix to the egg whites, making sure that the fluffness is retained.
Finally, I add the almond meal, a tablespoon at a time, folding it in.

Then everything goes to the waffle iron.

After the waffles come out, we heap the creme fraiche and the cut up peaches and top it off with syrup or honey. THE BESTEST BREAKFAST YOU CAN IMAGINE!

Peach Chutney
  • 4 pound firm, ripe peaches
  • 1 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 small red onion, slivered
  • 12 cardamom pods, lightly cracked
  • 2 to 4 dried hot red chiles, such as cayenne stemmed seeded and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a paring knife, score the bottom of each peach with a small X. Add the peaches to the boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer them to the ice water with a slotted spoon. Peel the peaches, then halve them and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into 3/4-inch dice.
  • 2. In a medium, enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the brown sugar with the vinegar, ginger, onion and cardamom; stir to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over moderately low heat until the onion is slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add the peaches, chiles and a pinch of salt and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are very soft and translucent, about 1 hour.
  • 3. Ladle the chutney into five 1/2-pint canning jars, tapping lightly on a flat surface to release any air bubbles. Seal the jars and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Ben & Jerry's Fresh Georgia Peach Ice Cream - improved by me

2 cups of pitted and pureed fresh peaches
1 1/4 cup of sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 duck eggs
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of milk

Combine the peaches with 1/2 cup of sugar and the lemon juice and let it refridgerate for an hour.

After the hour, in a separate bowl, whisk eggs until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Whisk in the remaining sugar until blended and then add cream and milk. Blend well.

Transfer to ice cream machine and after it is frozen, enjoy!

My Peach Salad with Goat Cheese

Ingredients (for 2 person)
1 Romaine lettuce heart
4 peaches
1 chicken breast
1 small log of goat cheese
sprig of Lemon Verbena
White Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Heat up the grill.
Wash and chop lettuce, herb and peaches.
Grill chicken and peaches.
Add goat cheese to the lettuce and make a vinegrette (general rule is 2 parts oil, 1 part vinegar but I prefer a strong vinegar taste, so I add about 4 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of vinegar)

Heap the roasted fruit and meat onto the salad and enjoy the salad with the melting goat cheese. Ahhh!

Peach Streusel Cake


1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 lb. peeled, pitted and sliced 1 inch thick peaches

Preheat an oven to 350°F Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan or square baking pan or baking dish (see Note).
To make the streusel, in a bowl, stir together the flour, brown and granulated sugars and cinnamon. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Set aside.
To make the cake, in a bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wire whisk, beat the egg, melted butter, milk, vanilla and almond extract until creamy, about 1 minute. Add to the flour mixture and beat just until evenly moistened. There should be no lumps or dry spots. Do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. If using a springform pan, arrange the peach slices in concentric circles from the pan sides to the center. If using a square pan, arrange the slices in rows. Gently press the slices into the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the streusel.
Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan, if using. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges or squares. Makes one 9-inch cake.
Note: If using a glass baking dish, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Peach Flavoured Kombucha

Use your regular Kombucha brew.

To make fruit flavored kombucha add to each freshly brewed pint jar of Kombucha: two tablespoons fruit juice, or 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen fruit (whole, sliced, or crushed); or one tablespoon unsulphured, unsweetened dried fruit.

To make ginger-honey flavored kombucha use freshly grated organic ginger root. For each pint combine one tablespoon of the grated ginger with one tablespoon of raw honey and one tablespoon of water. Stir until combined. Strain the mixture into one pint-sized jar.

Fill the jars to the top with kombucha. Place a sheet of wax paper under each lid. (The paper prevents the acidic kombucha from contacting the lid.) Cap tightly. Store in the refrigerator.
To restore effervescence to chilled kombucha remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to serving. Flavored kombucha is especially prone to developing strands of culture in the bottle. Be sure to strain the tea just before serving.

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Powdery Mildew on my Climbing Rose (organic treatment)

Healthy Flowers and Flourishes - I love the scent of this rose
Spring has sprung!

How I do love walking through my garden, now that everything is in bloom and or already grows veggies and fruit.

Smelling the citrus flowers and the roses.

Personally, I have no understanding for people who grow roses that have no scent.

Why would you go out of your way to care for this difficult thorny plant when you don't even get a scent out of it?

Today was rose trimming day as my 'Flowers and Flourishes" were in ueber-bloom.

The temps are already pretty high and they were fading fast.  I decided to extend their amazing scent by cutting and enjoying them inside.

Powdery Mildew on climbing rose
While snipping, I noticed that my climber rose was diseased with powdery mildew.

Of course, one can bring out the guns and kill the ecosystem in ones garden or research a more organic approach.

From the research, I understood that the key was to change the ph to more acidic, making the plant inhabitable for the mildew and 'starve' it.

There were a few recipes floating around on the internet (milk or vinegar) but my abundance of kombucha, made me try to combat the powdery mildew with .... errr... kombucha.

You can use apple cider vinegar or raw milk instead. The ratio is always the same:

1TB of acidic medium to 1.5 l of water.

Who would have thought, I end up spraying my diseased rose bush with a kombucha-water mix?

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making Kombucha - Want a SCOBY?

Have you ever tried Kombucha? Not only is it ueber-yummy, it also is ueber-healthy for you. It tastes a bit like bubbly apple-cider. A German would say, "zischt wie Appelsaft"-Schorle.

It is made from sweetened tea through the fermenting process of a bacteria-yeast symbiosis.

Basically, you take sweetened tea, add the SCOBY (the bacteria-yeast-symbiosis) and let this sit in a dark place for at least one week. Then you harvest, strain, drink and be merry. You can store the finished product in your fridge for two weeks.

A SCOBY is a living thing; I refer to it as a kitchen pet. You need to feed it (put it in sweetened tea) to ensure it stays alive.

Here is my recipe:


1 gallon (4l) container
3 quarts (l) of ideally filtered water
6 bags of black tea or 6 tablespoons of loose tea
4 bags of green tea or 4 tablespoons of loose tea
1 1/2 cups of organic sugar

How to brew Kombucha:

For a one gallon container, I bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Then I add 1 1/2 cups of organic sugar and let it boil covered for another three minutes.

Then I turn the heat off, and add 6 teabags (or 6 tablespoons) of black tea and let it steep uncovered for 5 minutes. After these 5 minutes, I add 4 teabags (or 4 tablespoons) of green tea and let this all steep uncovered for two minutes. After that, I remove all teabags and let the sweetened tea cool down for 6-8 hours with the lid on the pot.

When the tea is cool, I pour the tea into the one gallon vessel, add 2 cups of Kombucha from a previous batch and the SCOBY. Place a towel over the vessel and secure it with a rubberband and store this in a pantry.

Personally, I harvest after 7 days but there are people who wait up to three weeks and enjoy it then.

The longer you wait, the stronger and more vinegary the Kombucha will become, also, it will be more benefitial for you.

There are plenty of uses for Kombucha: from drinking it s it us (which I prefer), mixing it with other beverages (martinis, margaritas, etc..) to further fermenting it with fruit juices or using it in your vinegrette to using Kombucha as facial toner. This stuff is the BOMB!

What happens during fermentation? The SCOBY feeds on the sugar and the caffeine in the tea, while creating the ferment and reducing sugar- and caffeine-levels.

A super healthy Kombucha SCOBY
It works best with black tea.

If you want to use a different tea, you may wanna add black tea to ensure, SCOBY has some nourishment.

Do not place a lid on the fermenting Kombucha, because the liquid expands and might explode the vessel.

Want a SCOBY? Let me know.... we sell them for $10 a piece. And yes, we mail them anywhere in the US.... eMail in case you are interested.

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

Alabama Chanin style kids clothes

Skirt, modelled by our cousin
Did I mention lately that I LOOOVE Alabama Chanin?

Needless to say, that I am copying Natalie Chanin's techniques into my little designs. What she does, is basically hand stitching and over the top embellishments with no-fray fabrics.

And so, as a result, we have iguanas on our placemats, I have a top or two in her unique designs and now the kids have a couple items, too.

I made a dress for Demetra and a skirt and a shrug for Aurelia.

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

Harvest Tally - February 2013 - Easter Egg hunt in February and foamy eyed duck

Freckle's nest
The breed of bird we have is called Ameracaunas amongst other names. Some people also refer to them as Easter Eggers. Recently, with the cold weather, we didnt expect them to lay all too well.

However, one fine day, I am searching for one of the ladies and I find her in the middle of my geranium, clucking up a storm. Typically, they do this, to let everyone know ueber-proudly, "I laid an egg! I laid an egg!". So, I pull the branches aside to pick up Freckles (the chicken) and I couldnt believe my eyes. That silly gal was sitting on THIRTEEN beautiful eggs.  Whow, she really is an EASTER EGGER.

A word about storing eggs: If they are from a trustworthy source, one can leave them un-refridgerated for up to three weeks.

No wonder, we dont get any eggs. It's spring (according to this silly broody birdie's glands) and she wants to have babies.  Of course, this upsets my daughter Aurelia, who declares, we need to find her a boyfriend. Needless to say, hubby doesnt quite agree with this rooster-idea. Although we just learnt that fertile eggs have a way higher protein content.

As it seems, my birds have developped a fancy for laying their eggs in scented bushes as geraniums and lavender. The hen house is not good enough any longer.  So, I snip branches of the nice smelling stuff and make them nest-potpourries. One can easily say, there are no chickens or ducks that are more spoiled than mine.

Speaking of ducks, Biggie - our lame duck - got one of her eyes infected. We saw that one of the chickens was standing over her, pecking at her eye. Initially, we concluded that this is bad behaviour (and that the eye got infected as a result of pecking)  and Aurelia immediately stormed out and chased that chicken around.

Later, Roberto found out that it is a virus that causes the eye to turn foamy and the other birds pecking off the foam is actually helpful. I figured it was a good lesson in false human projection. Of course, we washed the eye with camomille tea and it is slowly recovering. That poor bird. As if her disformed leg wasnt bad enough.

So, what did we harvest in Febuary?

10 lbs of arugula  

5 lbs of swiss chard 

1/2 lbs of parsley

8 gallons of Kombucha

4 lbs of yoghurt

1 lbs of creme fraiche

2 lbs of buttermilk

 34 chicken eggs
 17 duck eggs

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

Harvest Tally - January 2013

Happy (belated) New Year!

With the cold and wet front, the birds are somewhat on strike and not much is growing on the homestead.

Instead, we are pruning the fruit trees, turning the compost and get a rough seeding and planting schedule ready for the coming months.

One thing that we picked up new is brewing our own Kombucha as well as culturing our own yoghurt, buttermilk and creme fraiche. You may wanna say the culturing bug got the best of me. Little microbes are all over my kitchen. I have to say, these cultures sure opened up a whole new realm of cooking possibilities. Just think creme fraiche and butternut squash soup... 

On a more happy gardening note, the peach is in full bloom and we are super excited about it. Hundreds of busy bees assisting in the fruit making. Ahh!

So, what did we harvest in January?

4 lbs of arugula  - We have a super spicy heirloom variety that we LOOVE that by now has seeded itself all over the yard - yay for wild gardening! Only issue with this heirloom is its shelf life. You have to eat it immediately or keep it in a bit of water in the fridge to keep it nice and crisp.

4 lbs of swiss chard - Self-seeded after I was too busy with baby all of last year  to gather any of my seeds. Now I am in love with this kind of wild seeding. Ah, the places the seeds went.

10 lbs of Meyer Lemon - it's lemon juice vinegrette time!!!

2 lbs of figs Black Mission

1/4lb of calendula
4 gallons of Kombucha

1 lbs of yoghurt

1/2 lbs of creme fraiche

1/2 lbs of buttermilk

17 chicken eggs
 30 duck eggs

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis