Thursday, 26 April 2012

85 Olives

About 8 months ago we planted a small straggly olive tree.  For a tiny tree it has excelled itself, covered in blossom with tiny fruit slowly developing.
Harvest time came last week, da dum - 85 olives with a grand weight of 180 grams!
I did some googling about pickling olives and finally settled upon a method whereby the olives sit in brine for a couple of weeks, changing the brine every day.  You have to either slit or prick the olives first, this helps the salt draw the bitterness out of the olives.  I did some of each, seeing that this is the inaugural, experimental batch, to see if there is any difference.  Its important to keep the olives submerged so there is a glass saucer sitting on top of them.  It is all terribly exciting!  :-)
 Pepper, still in her pjs, is almost better thank goodness.  She was a very sick old girl with, to quote the vet, "the worst ear infection swab results I have ever seen".  Four types of hideous bacteria in her very sore ear.  We went home with an enormous bag of drugs and lotions, a lot poorer than before we walked in the door, but the change is quite remarkable.  She is a much happier little dog.
Grass is exploding out of the ground now we have had some decent rain, I am excited about the prospect of doing some mowing soon, because it is fun on Helga the ride-on mower, but also because I need some cut grass for my next compost heap.
I'm about to transplant these seedlings, they are called 'lettuce leaf basil', apparently because they have enormous leaves.  I hope they grow, basil is so yummy and to have plants where the leaves are enormous is exciting indeed!
This is the progress of my little raised box vegie bed.  Everything has grown like crazy, and I have had to thin everything out a number of times.
 I transplanted a heap of lettuce into the ground where my compost bin used to be, I moved it a couple of metres away, its the black thing in the background.  These lettuce have grown like the clappers.  I've had a couple of green salads.  Nothing gives me more pleasure than doodling through a garden, filling a bowl with bits and pieces for a salad.  I had green lettuce, red lettuce, baby spinach, beetroot leaves, rocket, dill leaves, coriander leaves, basil leaves, mint leaves, a titch of rosemary, garlic chives, pineapple sage flowers and marigold petals, all mixed up and sprinkled with a yummy mango vinaigrette I bought in Perth.  Heaven!
 A random final photograph.  We have many flies here, blah, but lately there have been some new types.  Enormous, fat things they are, I guess they are blue bottle blowflies?  But although I despise flies, I couldn't help being impressed with the beautiful colours on this one.

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