Archive for December, 2010

A year in food

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Some of the things we grew or that grew themselves and some of the things we made with them …

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Chilli jam

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

We planted our piri-piris quite late in the year – July – and in a location where, in retrospect, it was too shaded for them later in the year so it’s taken some time for them to ripen fully. In fact it’s been a race with the frost to see who would get to them first.

There were enough red ones several weeks back to make our first small batch of chilli jam, along with a bigger batch of green chilli relish, with the last of our peppers and tomatoes: red ones for the chilli jam, green ones for the chilli relish. The chilli jam was such a success it quickly disappeared, so I was really looking forward to the opportunity to make some more. A couple of weeks ago, I got it.

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Olives

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Although we harvested our olives about 3 weeks ago, it’s taken me a bit of a while to get around to writing about them. We only have 9 trees, 2 of which are so overshadowed by a neighbouring chestnut they barely merit a mention. We gave 6 of them a drastic pruning last Spring, then a hail storm during olive blossom time carried off much of the remaining potential crop, so we were anticipating little more than a kilo or two for eating. Perhaps subliminally I’d got to the point of thinking our harvest barely merited a mention, but that would be a mistake.

Pruning olive trees in early February

Pruning olive trees in early February

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Powered!

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

It was almost time enough to have a baby in, and in many ways it’s felt a bit like a pregnancy, but finally we have hydro power!

Today the sprockets arrived for the water wheel’s gearing. They have been waiting for the last couple of weeks to have US threads machined into them to fit on the spindle of the new permanent magnet alternator from Presto Wind in the USA. So it was just a matter of fitting the M-24 plus framework to the existing framework housing the water wheel’s gear wheel, chain and chain tensioner, adjusting the chain to the correct length, connecting up the M-24 to the junction box and switching on the generator and its charge controller. It only took about half an hour.

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Why Julian Assange is so important

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Political comment isn’t usually found on this blog. But some things are just too pivotal to pass over. ‘Cablegate’ in conceptual terms mirrors the practical processes necessary to ensure survival in the increasing likelihood of food crises and civil unrest as the inevitable train wreck that is the western economic model ploughs into the buffers of unsustainability at the end of the line. It’s time to wake up, think for ourselves and stop waiting around in expectation that the ‘right’ solution will come twinkling down like fairy dust from somewhere higher up the pecking order.

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