Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Garden Gate

We have a plan to enclose the garden.  The chickens seem to think we are growing the greens just for them!  I bought a four foot high roll of 2 inch chicken wire and we plan to make panels using casuarina trunks.  Turns out I am enclosing about 500 square feet of raised beds and paths!

In the garden right now are 30 square feet of potatoes, 15 sq. ft. of assorted lettuces, 30 sq. ft. of bok choy, kale and spinach, rows and rows of tomatoes, about 8 - 10 sugar cane plants started from a couple of stalks, assorted herbs, 15 sq. ft. of sweet potato vines, corn, celery, radishes, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens and swiss chard.

Our fruit trees include a sappodilla, ju-ju, two Bahamian guavas, an asian guava, cherry, spanish cherry, coconut trees, a spice tree, sugar-apple, noni, neem, a tropical snow peach, pigeon plum and soursop.  

Plans for a chicken coop extension are also underway.  The chicks are growing so fast we had to put them in our larger coop and the three older chickens in the smaller side - they are not impressed.  This evening they went back to their old coop and I had to physically remove all three of them - including the rooster - to the new cage.  Needless to say he was not happy - he has been pretty tough ever since we came back from our vacation.  I also discovered a clutch of eggs Mate had been hiding while free-ranging!  Luckily they were all still good.  I am not ready for more chicks yet!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Perfect Preservation

When we came back from our vacation our guava tree was covered with fruit and had already dropped some overripe guavas.  We picked about a dozen, so today Madison helped me preserve our excess :)  I found a canning recipe online and we got started.  First you peel and de-seed the guavas - we couldn't bring ourselves to dispose of that much fruit so we have one jar with seeds :)  Then you heat it in a light syrup (brown sugar and water) and pour it in the jars.  Then you boil your jars in a large pot of water for twenty minutes and - as they cool - listen for the "ping".  I never heard the magical ping but the tops don't pop anymore so I assume all is good.

Of course now that they are perfectly preserved all we want to do is eat them!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Vermont Vacation

Skiing again after 20 years and watching the children learn so quickly was an amazing experience for me.  The ice-skating, on the other hand, I loved but was not so well received by the rest of the family :)  Madison saw snow for the first time and both kids saw it fall for the first time.  We experienced an evening snowmobile ride and made snow-people - you'll see what I mean :)  A visit to the Ben and Jerry's factory on the way back to Boston was a huge hit!