Tag Archives: jams

Autumn garlic planting at the Almond café…

Autumn has arrived in Australia, and here in Canberra we’ve had some lovely soaking rain and then crisp sunny days…

 

….the perfect combination to bring the cockatoos to our almond tree for the falling almonds, the kernels now soften by the rain.

The cockatoos are early risers, and so it is party time on our carport roof, where many of the almonds fall…

They pace about, checking on almonds, letting the rejects drop to the ground with a soft thud (just in case we are not up yet)

…..while they’re eating the almonds there is a lot of socialising, and sometimes even sharing…

Meanwhile Paul has added compost to one of our vegetable beds, ready to plant our garlic for the year.

We’ve always tried to avoid using garlic with pesticides, much of which is imported. Garlic is quite expensive to buy, and easy to grow, so we plant the garlic in early autumn …..at a time when we can leave it in the ground for 7-8 months.

Garlic likes good drainage, and some water and fertilizer occasionally, and it is the perfect low maintenance crop to have during winter and spring.

…this is our garlic harvested and drying in November last year. It is our best crop yet, and should be enough garlic to last us until the end of this year.

We have been growing garlic for three years, and every year we try out some new, organic garlic from local farmers. Last year we had a some cloves from Windellama Organics which we bought at the Farmer’s Markets in Canberra.

 

This year we are adding some garlic we bought from a farm near Lake Crackenback called Paddock Perfect

…we stopped off to buy some eggs on our way home from a weekend in the Snowy mountains..

This cute little stall was by the side of the highway…..you can pick your own herbs, or buy jam, eggs and garlic….

The sign says ”Please leave your payment in the honesty box provided below”

…and we did.

In a paddock nearby we could see the happy chooks.

They’ve got everything they need; shade, water, food and most importantly, space to move about. Needless to say, the eggs were delicious!

In the background there are some goats, perhaps used for goats milk or cheese.

Here is a flashback to our summer vegetable garden….this  young Crimson Rosella (changing colour from green to crimson) is caught red-handed sampling our tomatoes!

And all this time we thought a passing possum was the culprit!

By late summer…these lovely Crimson Rosellas have grown into their brilliant red and blue feathers….

…and I hope you have noticed that I’m doing my best to give equal opportunity to all local birds on this blog…

Autumn is a lovely season in Canberra, and I hope you are enjoying your season, wherever you may be in the world.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canberra’s markets build a community

Canberra is  surrounded by productive farming land. For many years these farmers and producers were beholden to big supermarket chains to buy their produce.

IMG_6216 (1024x890)However, in recent years a few really good markets have started up in Canberra, giving farmers and producers a chance to sell directly to the public.

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We go to the Southside markets most Sundays. We don’t go to get a bargain, (although we often do get one).. we go because we like to know where our food is coming from, and to support local growers and producers.

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The stallholders themselves not only meet customers, but develop links and friendships with each other.

Two farmers who come from  the Tilba area (near the South Coast) have stalls next to each other. One grows strawberries and the other is a dairy farmer, he sells cream, milk and yoghurt, and cheese ….

…now the strawberry grower sell strawberry ice-cream ….

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We went to the markets before breakfast today…but I’m definitely going back to try the strawberry ice-cream…and all that fresh dairy produce….the farmers tell me it does not  affect cholesterol at all!!

We buy regularly from Russell who owns Windellama Organics. He is a methodical and painstaking grower and producer and today he has the first of his spring produce, radishes, kale, rhubarb, free-range eggs and lots of wonderful jams…and pickles.

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Canberra is a great market for South Coast fishermen, it is easy enough to get to Canberra for the weekend, and wonderful for Canberrans to have such a choice of fresh fish.

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This Narooma sign says ” We only sell sustainably caught fish from two family boats. We do not sell imported or farmed fish. We are happy to answer your questions…..

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The girl who is filleting our Flathead remembers her grandfather’s fishing days and is also telling us some stories about surfing near the headlands at Narooma….sounds very brave, having seen the waves last week.

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Another favourite stall we visit is Burnbar Fruit. These farmers come all the way from Alstonville. Their farm, in northern New South Wales, is far enough away to produce avocados long after we can get fresh ones here in Canberra. They drive to Canberra every fortnight for quite a few months of the year….just over 1 000 Km…

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We love their avocados, their bananas and their sense of humour. They are unfailingly cheerful even in winter months….and what an adjustment from their mild climate to ours….

Once spring arrives everyone stays to have coffee, pancakes, bagettes, and whatever is on offer.. my favourite musician is playing classical guitar…I don’t think you can’t put a price on the happiness music brings to a place..

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On our way out we notice another star of the markets, Clover the piglet. She is owned by Wisher Woods Sanctuary who fund-raise for abandoned animals…I suspect Clover is quite safe in that department, but she is a wonderful drawcard. However this morning she is a little over the paparazzi and after this photo was taken she retired under her sack.

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There are so many more markets to talk about…we’ll be back..