Thursday, 7 February 2008
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Finally managed to get a copy from the library. Enjoyed the read, very similar to 'Living the Good Life' in a lot of ways. The biggest impact for us is we now make mozzerella cheese using the recipe in Barbara Kingsolver's book (one of my favourite all time reads was The Poisonwood Bible)and I am finally convinced that a deep freeze is a good investment. Trev's been bothering me about getting one for years, but I keep voting against it. He wants to fill it with dead animals, I want to fill it with tomatoes. Barbara freezes her tomatoes on a tray in the freezer, and then throws them in a bag so they rattle around 'like croquette balls', rather than merge into one frozen lump. She grates zuchini and freezes it in bags. There are no end of things you can put in a freezer.
I had to laugh at her discussion about zucchini's, and when in season everyone suddenly locks their car doors in case someone leaves you a bag ofthem. We're at that stage where we can no longer give them away, you mention the Z word and eyes glaze and people back away uneasily. One neighbour recently surprised me with a, 'No bloody way, thank you very much!' I've been growing golden zuch's, a neighbour green, and we aim to have an exchange of zuchini colour. We've eaten them curried, fried, in the ubequitious zucchini slice, I've given them away to the local librarian, and I'm just starting to think about hanging them in bags over peoples door handles while they're asleep when Barbara cut me back to size.
Instead we're coming on for tomatoes on mass. Siberian Cherry, Apollo, sweet bite, and lots of others I've forgotten the names of already. There are at least 30 plants and all rearing for bearing masses of fruit fly free super berries. Man are we estatic about it. Hopefully we can find enough jars to do enough things to them, we're going to dry them, freeze them, cook 'em up and pour them into jars (that are all currently occupied with honey).
I'm watching my tiny, only just fertilised watermelons in the greenhouse, hovering over them, occasionally drawn in for what I call a 'bit of watermelon sex', rubbing the depetalled male flowers over the female. Add a bit of water, more decomposed animal poo and a bit more hovering. It would be fantastic if I can grow even a few to maturity before the first frost.
We don't buy watermelon in the supermarket, it's the locavore thing for us too. If the fruit comes from another state/country, it's out of the trolley. But if I can get it happening here and in a greenhouse it will make it a more sustainable and ethical choice. I've perused the Digger's Seed Club and discovered varieties that grow in cooler climes. I'll be giving those a go next year.