Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hello Autumn!

Well, it'll be Spring if you are a friend in the northern hemisphere... and I am not going to talk about the weather! I hope I have now found out how to paste successfully into the blog, so if you are interested, you can read all about it!


(but that hasn't underlined itself...)

I just hope it works... By the way, I have had a few people request to join on Google+. I've said yes, but haven't an idea about it. I'm definitely a Google minus, so could someone possible enlighten me as to what I should be doing? If I live to an extremely advanced age I will no doubt be conversant with all the buttons and gadgets - but then there will be a heap more. Sorry!

News here is a distinct improvement now that the skies here are relatively clear, The chooks have recommenced laying after their protest when they reckoned it was not daylight in any recognisable form. Solar operated brains like mine.

The goats are also happy again, when not being yapped at by Banjo. He wants to chase them when they come in for their evening hay; hence he is tied up or put in his paddock. Then he yelps, and I'm too far away to throw water at him. He has a way to go. I let him have the chewed cushions back on the lounge on the back verandah, where he now sleeps at night. Now we have no cushions and he sleeps on a very low lounge.

I let Banjo socialise last week, to settle in with the pack and start to be comfortable with the dog routine. Today I started him with his formal training. I had already had him on the lead when I had to but it was a tussling match, so today I took him in his area and did some walking around. He was quite good, but I don't imagine that will last outside with distractions. Practice, practice.

I have also met my surviving plants, for the first time in weeks. It is not pretty - split tomatoes, mildewed cucurbits, drowned seedlings. So, in the age-old way, I start again. Today I weeded the potato patch, which I must dig up as soon as the struggling pumpkin vine (sharing the area) has finished what it can manage in the way of fruits. Tomorrow I shall weed the yacon area. They died back, suffering spider mite during the ferocious heatwave, but have since sprouted up again to a metre or so tall. Elspeth's survived better in her amazing garden and are close to two meters tall by now. For anyone not familiar with this wonderful plant, it is Andean in origin and a great survivor. The tubers, harvested in late autumn, are delicious, nutritious, just God's gift but until recently yacon was largely ignored outside its area of origin. Here are some pictures:
Above are the decorative plants, below the amazing yield of tubers you find when digging up the frosted plant..

This is what the tubers look like when ready to eat. They are crunchy and faintly apple flavoured when raw, as fruit or in salads, make a great substitute for water chestnut in stir-fries or can be steamed and eaten that way. They are versatile and wonderful.

Have a very good night/morning , won't you?

Cheers - Fliss

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