Monday, May 2, 2011


We have been blessed with some lovely autumn days (as well as lots of rain), but despite nice weather winter is just around the corner.  In our part of the world the sun sits very low in the sky and the shadows get longer.  We are now in 'power saving' mode here, with a very modest off-grid solar power system (with trees to our north!!! Probably THE worst situation - but its only temporary).  We have to be more and more careful about how much power we use, particularly the stuff that is left on over night (as in appliances on standby mode etc). 

halloween in the southern hemisphere! At the RIGHT time of year!
Autumn here has been a busy season with garden harvests, roadside harvests and lots of preserving.  I've tried to expand my collection of preserves this year, with green tomatoe relish and pickles, pickled zuchinni, tomatoe sauce and bottled apples (cooking apple variety Belle de Boskoop from a nearby organic apple orchard).  I also made the usual chutneys and jams.  I still have Apple butter and chestnut jam on my list to do before I can rest in the kitchen!

bottled apples

We have made 2 batches of wine this year - cherry plum (from the roadside trees) and apple and blackberry.  We finally got to taste our blackberry wine that we made last year and it was a sucess!

I have been doing lots of work in the garden pulling out the summer crops and preparing the soil for the winter crops and new perrenials like asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries.  I'm also planning on planting a good number of fruit trees this winter so there is plenty of preparation to do before the fruit trees become available in July (mostly fencing to keep out our free range goats!).

some action on the house too!

On a wanna be self-sufficient farm there is no 'quiet' time it seems, as there is always plenty to do (hence there has been very little activity on the blog!)


  1. Love your blog! do u use a vacola for ur preserving?

  2. Yes just the standard fowlers vacola unit (although this year I'm using the stove top version as we run on solar and it would use up alot of our power). I have used the electric model in the past. They are great!

  3. Your bottled apples look so delicious! I am curious about the recipe! Do you pack them in syrup?