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Posts posted by sartoric

  1. 18 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:


    I have no idea what I'm liking, but I'm liking.



    I guess you’re referring to hugelkultur, cos I’m pretty sure you’d know the veggies.

    This is a hugelkultur bin, made from scrap corrugated iron and star pickets. Into the bin we piled layers of sticks and twigs, rotted hay, garden soil and compost. We have two of these bins. 
    Here’s the other one, photo taken a while ago. It now has leafy greens, spring onions and radish planted. 


    We have numerous other beds growing food plants. Some are enclosed to keep the critters out, others are planted with stuff the critters don’t eat. There’s a kitchen garden near the house with herbs and spices, plus about a dozen different fruit trees. The aim is to be self sufficient in fresh produce, and it helps that we can trade with neighbours and also sell excess in town. We sold a couple hundred bucks of citrus in the just finished season :)

    • Like 7
  2. Elephant garlic from last years crop, given to us by a neighbour. The largest head weighs 330g. 
    This type of garlic grows best around these parts, we have a 100 plants in, they’ll be ready to harvest in November.



    Yesterday I made garlic chilli pickle with the big guy.





    • Like 10
  3. On 6/18/2021 at 3:31 PM, heidih said:

    Beautiful! I think your freeze plan is what I'd do. Do you use it mostly in cooking or in drinks? The stuff I can buy is much more elderly and not as plump even in Asian markets.

    I’ve never grown it before, so haven’t had fresh turmeric to play with until now.
    I’m going to try some drinks/teas tomorrow. 
    Here’s the colour difference between the freshly dried and ground, vs store bought on the right.



    • Like 6
  4. 1 minute ago, KennethT said:

    That's fantastic.  Once I get my current plants into their permanent home, I'm going to either plant some ginger, or more likely some galangal.  Ginger is pretty cheap and easily available, but galangal is a lot more expensive and I have to get a ton of it so I wind up freezing a bunch, but I've never been happy using it once frozen.  Also, once we're completely settled (that'll be a few months) I'm planning on building an ornamental plant wall, and either plant some heliconia psittacorum (they're in the ginger family but not edible but I love the look of their flowers) or some torch ginger which are pretty and edible.

    I have turmeric ready to harvest too. 
    When it gets light I’ll take some photos of our ornamental ginger and maybe you can tell me what it is :)

    • Like 3
  5. 4 minutes ago, KennethT said:

    I just finished repotting my lemongrass plant.  1 small plant wound up completely filling a 1 gallon fabric pot - it was completely root bound.  I separated the plant into 3 plants - which was like wrestling a tiger made out of razors - I've got small paper cuts all over my arms!  Now, the 3 plants are in a 3 gallon pot - I really need to get back into cooking just to use some of this - it's growing faster than I can use it!

     The leaves make a refreshing tea too. 

    • Like 1
  6. 16 hours ago, KennethT said:

    I've never used the fruit - from what I am to understand, there's very little juice in a kaffir lime, and what juice there is is very bitter.  But the zest and sometimes even the rind are a common ingredient in curry pastes.  I am growing my tree for the leaves, but it started flowering a while ago (the flowers smell amazing) and while I pinched 99% of the flowers to stimulate more leaf growth, I let one flower stay on just out of curiosity.  I've seen kaffir limes sold in the Thai store, but they're always pretty old so I had no idea what a really fresh one was like.

    Ah, yes. I thought of Thai curry paste after I asked the question. I also just remembered I tried making lime pickle (the Indian style) with some once. It was very bitter and ended up in the compost.

    • Like 1
  7. 9 hours ago, KennethT said:

    For those with kaffir lime growing experience, how do you know when the limes are ready to pick?  Also, once ripe, for how long will they stay good on the tree?

    I’m curious as to what you use kaffir limes for. 
    I have a tree but only use the leaves. The fruit falls off eventually :)

  8. On 7/12/2020 at 9:45 AM, FauxPas said:


    What types of citrus do you have, @sartoric?

     Late to respond! 
    We have two types of oranges, navels and something else. Two types of mandarins (I don’t know the variety, but one is sweeter than the other), cumquats, bush lemons and kaffir lime. 

    It’s the best mandarins that we’ve sold.


    I’ve made orange marmalade, oranges in brandy, oranges in sherry and  pickled cumquats.
    Todays task is supposed to be cumquat marmalade, but it’s raining and they’re still on the tree :)

    • Like 5
    • Thanks 1
  9. On 7/11/2020 at 4:44 PM, rotuts said:

    A long time ago , my mother used to make a Finish drink called






    I thought it was called Simi , but that didn't come up


    we had it in Finland  and its easy to make


    she used Safeway's brand BrowbDerby beer bottles , w a screw top


    that's what my father drank.


    its  a lightly fermented ted lemonade  , w a hint of raisins


    to make ke it , you needed a tight container so  the COgenerated by the yeast


    made it slightly bubbly .   


    she made a case full at a time   ( Brown Derby 1 qt bottles )


    it fermented in the pantry for s certain period at room temp


    you chilled it in the refrigerator , the drank it


    it was nice


    then one day a bottle , in the evening , exploded in the pantry


    no more Simi or Sima was made


    fermentation releases CO2


    thus champagne 


    you want bubbles , get a sturdy container 


    that's shy champaign bottle are thicker than regular wine


    if you dont want bubbles , vent the container







    Thanks for the info @rotuts.

    Anyways, it went in the fridge with lid ajar. Tonight I felt brave enough to try it. Slightly sour, but also sweet from the sugar and brandy.  We ate the oranges with a little pouring cream from the local dairy farmer.
    Sorry I didn’t take a photo, but imagine a few orange segments with thin cream and there it is.

    Hoping we don’t get sick and die tonight xx.

  10. 35 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:


    If you've got something in a glass bottle with a wire bale closure and think the contents may have begun to ferment, I'd recommend leaving the wire bale closure open or at least place the bottle into a secondary container large enough to contain the contents in case the bottle fails.

    I almost put this over in the "I will never...." thread but forgot.  I recently had a liter of elderflower cordial distribute itself all over the inside of my fridge.  It was on the top shelf, in the back and ended up all over everything on every shelf, including all the door bins.  You don't want to clean up a sticky mess like that!


    Ran to fridge and undid the clasp. Thank you !

    • Like 2
  11. 33 minutes ago, MokaPot said:

    I think you're correct in that fermentation has begun. I would place the bottle in the refrigerator right away, maybe even swap out the container. Yes, I'd drink / eat it. I have kind of an iron stomach, though, knock on wood.


    For future projects, I'd pour more brandy or liquid in there, i.e., no oranges or cinnamon bark exposed to the air (everything submerged).

    Thank you ! 

    I suspect the problem started when we, err, sampled a bit on Monday evening, thus leaving fruit and bark exposed. It’s now in the fridge, will see how we go. Fellow cast ironers here. 

    • Haha 1
  12. About two weeks ago I made a jar of oranges in brandy.  I think the seal is bad and the fruit has started fermenting. There’s a few bubbles and a slightly sour smell, the taste is still sweet.

    The oranges were off our tree (no spray) and it’s a simple no cook recipe that calls for sugar, brandy and spices. The jar was sterilised. 

    What would you do ? Is there a way to rescue them, are they still safe to eat ?

    Any advice will be much appreciated.


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