Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A real true food forest

K+C have given the green light from Uganda – we’re establishing a food forest! All the elf in Cam is rejoicing…

An edible forest garden follows the pattern of a wild woodland, mimicking what works so well in nature, but in this case is all edible. So the canopy will be peach, apricot and plum trees, the understorey red, white and black currants and other berries, and the groundcovers a fragrant mix of culinary and medicinal herbs – o! the delight!

We’ve already planted in green manure crops to prepare and enrich the soil: 

Wheat, oats and broad beans growing amongst lots of horse poo, and a few weeks later:

.... and Cam’s staked out the spots for the trees and their support species – he’s valiantly holding himself back from blitzing the whole thing right now and waiting instead to do it as a workshop to give our students an opportunity to get their hands dirty beginning a real true food forest themselves. Then they can go home and plant their own… Oooo, imagine – ripe and delicious food forests, alight with birdsong and berries and a little bit of the wild, spreading home to home, jumping fences…

And so, to distract Cam’s attention in the meantime, we’re going to spend next week building a greenhouse attached to the chook house. Watch this space!

Meanwhile, just to mark what it looks like before becoming a food forest, viewed from the terraced vegie beds:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ro sneaking into class

Here’s Ro making a break from cooking lunch in the kitchen with me to join all his friends in class doing their PDC! The sacks of oats and wheat are meant to be a Great Wall but now he can bowl right over the top in his barbarian woolly vest…

What will it be like teaching the courses at the end of the year when he’s even more mobile?! He'll probably be in teaching with Cam...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The good smell of warm bread

We made soda bread the other day, mainly to up our intake of bicarb soda! It binds well with phosphate which then flushes out of our bodies. Apparently with so much of our food grown these days using superphosphate we’ve usually got an overload of phosphate in our systems and it’s not great for you. Another great reason to enjoy home-grown organic food!

The bread came out smelling like scones, mmmmmm. Stayed fresh for the three days it took us to eat it, and was light and moist but dense enough to be filling. We used home-made yoghurt instead of buttermilk (not having a house cow – o! the bliss of having a house cow!):

2 2/3 cups wholemeal flour

2 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp bicarb soda

2 ¾ cups buttermilk

Knead til smooth, roll into a ball 20cm in diameter, then place on a greased tray and cut 1cm deep slashes in the top. Brush with milk, and bake in moderate oven for 50 mins. Enjoy!

Not as wonderfully delicious as sourdough, but quick and easy and avoids commercial yeasts.