This year we seem to be experiencing many more frosts than usual and as my new veggie plot is totally exposed to the elements I recently had to make some quick frost covers as the reported overnight temperature was LOW........
Most of the crops I grow over the winter period are pretty frost hardy but a few crops including lettuce, spinach, coriander and broccoli I felt needed some added protection.
I found some old black irrigation pipe, cut it into lengths and then pushed it straight into the soil on either side of the row of plants to make hoops.
Over the hoops i placed lengths of frost fabric (20 meter roll $10, Bargain!) and secured them with clothes pegs, making sure the fabric didn't touch the plants.
Thank Goodness i got them made in time as we had 3 mornings in a row of -6C
Our Dam even had a complete layer of ice over it.................
After the row of cold nights we experienced heavy rain and drizzle on and off for a week, freezing cold, muddy underfoot and 2 dirty dogs hanging around the back door looking at me with their big eyes saying let us in, let us in......
Just all a bit depressing, funny I never really noticed last winter being like this but maybe that's because i was busy training for my walking trip in Italy and had something exciting to look forward too.
Ok so i headed off to our local nursery for some cheering up (after much reading up) and choose some fruit trees for our new orchard. 2 apple, 2 pear, 2 plum and a quince and a cherry.
The nursery has a great selection of bare- rooted trees, I'm sure I could fit in a few more..... and then next door is a fab Cafe(full of vintage wares and organic produce) which serves great coffee and the best ever jam drop biscuits...........perfect for a Winter's Day.
We already have quite a selection of fruit and nut trees at our Farmhouse which we crop and also for our guests to enjoy, these new trees have been chosen mainly for future cooking and preserving...............
Last weekend we hosted a family get-together on my husband's side, he is one of seven children so there were 14 plus 3 cousins and their partner's. All up we had 12 stay for the weekend and on Saturday night we cooked for 19 ...........very loud, lots of laughs and it rained most of the time !
Come Monday when all was quiet and clean I looked through my cookery books for recipes to use lemons, which Sister in law Kathleen (now favourite) brought along with her.
I made Moroccan preserved Lemons, a first for me so will be interesting to see how they taste in about 4 weeks time.
1kg Lemons 75grams sea salt 2 large bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick 2 small fresh chilies juice of 8 lemons
Wash lemons in hot water,rinse and dry,
Cut each lemon in quarters,length ways. Place 1tb salt in bottom of large jar.
Dip each piece of lemon in salt and carefully pack into jar, add bay leaves, cinnamon stick and chilies.
Pour in enough lemon juice to cover lemons.
Top with a little olive oil, then seal.
Leave in a warm sunny spot for 4-8 weeks before opening.
I still have some lemons left so this weekend I'm going to make lemon curd and marmalade.........................
Hope you all have a great weekend !!