Harvesting home grown crops 11/12/14

Hello everyone

It’s time to think about harvesting some of our home grown produce before the blackbirds completely devastate the crops.  This year there seem to have been an army of them ready to pounce.  Ken netted the fruit trees and the berries but the birds always find an opening somewhere not to mention digging up tiny seedlings in search of worms.   We also have to contend with snails, slugs and white fly which are so hard to eradicate.  I remember the advice of a friend who said you have to grow twice as much as you need so that you can share with the wildlife;  how very true.

On Tuesday Ken noticed the cherries were under serious attack and so he decided to harvest them before the message went out to all and sundry,  as it does in the jungle, that  a particular tree was in fruit.  So far I have made two large cherry pies and sampled many in the process.  I still have quite a few bottles of apples in the cupboard from last season so included some of those in one of the pies.  Wasn’t sure what the result would be but it turned out to be a good combination.

Cherry pies

Cherry pies

While on the subject of cooking I would like to share with you a really delicious recipe from The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook by Wendy Polisi.  Wendy has kindly given me permission to reproduce her recipe for which I thank her.  To save time I always cook a batch of quinoa and save it in portions in the freezer then it’s always ready for the next stage.  You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these fritters.


1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chopped onion
Pinch salt and black pepper
1 tbs chopped parsley
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil

Put quinoa in saucepan with the broth or water, bring to simmer, reduce to low and cook for about 20 minutes. Leave covered for 5 mins.
Then combine quinoa with flour, cheese, onion, salt, pepper and parsley. Beat eggs and add to mixture. Form into required portions and shallow fry. I actually coat them
in fine breadcrumbs before frying. They cook quite quickly usually a few minutes.

Homemade Ketchup

1 sachet tomato paste/2 tbs coconut palm sugar/2 cloves garlic minced/pinch cumin and sea salt/1/2 tsp dry mustard/2 tbs apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce to medium low and simmer for about 18 minutes.

Do try this recipe and let me know what you think.

I’ll be back soon








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About Janice Graham

I was born in England in 1938 and migrated to Australia in 1976. During my working years, along with my husband Ken, I managed a goat dairy and distribution business supplying health food products. At the same time I took up the challenge of helping build a mud brick home and lived a somewhat 'alternative' lifestyle. Since retirement I have published three e-books, two on vegetarian cookery and a collection of short stories from my younger years. My pastimes are studying the Spanish language, volunteering as a Crisis Counsellor and Community Visiting. I have been married for 54 years, have a son and a daughter and five grandchildren plus a little terrier called Sophia.

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