Friday, 20 July 2012

Frost and Fruit Trees.

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
olive oil

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 !!




  1. Ridiculously cold! I don't think it was as cold last year, my plants seem to be slower this year too which suggests it has been colder. Even if it hasn't been it like it warm up now please...

  2. Hey Andrea, you certainly have been getting some cold mornings. I feel this Winter has been colder than the last couple and I definitely need to buy some frost fabric, BIt sick of remembering to place pots over my seedlings and night and then remove them in the morning!! Nice to expand the variety of fruit trees in your orchard and the cafe next door sounds wonderful. Not Cliffy's is it?
    I love that place.....
    I can imagine the family get together was alot of fun, nice to be able to catch up with everyone......You certainly were busy. Hope the Moroccan preserved lemons turn out well, I've never tried them.

    Beautiful, sunny day here, hope you've got the same over there, enjoy your week,

    Claire :}

    1. Still cold and wet!!! I want/need some of your sunshine.
      Yes its Cliffy's my favorite coffee spot,must admit i go there at least twice a week. Recently the former cook there stayed at our Farmhouse for the weekend and left me a pot of the most beautiful chicken curry for dinner.

  3. Definitely cold this winter, I have chilblains for the first time in a decade or more. I love preserved lemon, great in tagines! You orchard sounds fabulous, how fantastic will it be when all those trees are in full fruit.

  4. We don't have those cold temperatures and I have to say I'm a bit grateful, our timber home is so cold during winter already but we have had a couple of -1 temps overnight this winter, at least the days have been sunny lately. I've got a few lemons still my Mum and Dad gave to me, I like the sound of lemon curd, I might have to try and make some:)


Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment,I love reading them all!!