Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spring in the Vege Garden and Sourdough Ciabatta Bread

This time of year there are always lots of things to do in the garden. Digging when the weather has allowed the soil to dry out a bit, sowing seeds in readiness for the warmer weather, planting or sowing direct to the garden for those crops which will tolerate the cold soils, cleaning up the winter veges going to seed, and the list goes on.

Now that my snow peas are starting to grow, I find it is easiest to train them to grow up the mesh by attaching some light cotton to the top of the plant and the mesh. This just holds them upright and they don’t get knocked over by the strong winds that are blowing today. I also need to protect them from the greedy birds that are looking for an easy feed at this time of the year.

My potato crop is starting to pop out of the ground so I have spread mulch around them to try to minimize the weed growth.  Hopefully this summer won’t be quite so wet so that we get a decent crop.

Red Russian Kale
Squire Kale
The kale plants that have been supplying us with leaves over winter are now all starting to go to seed. The Red Russian, Squire and Cavolo Nero are all starting to flower so gradually I am pulling them out and giving them to the chooks to peck at. Yesterday I planted a dozen tiny seedlings, protected by some yoghurt containers so that in a few weeks  we will have some fresh kale to eat. They are pretty hardy although I like to protect them when they are really small just to give them a good start.
Baby Red Russian Kale

Yesterday I also made some Sourdough Ciabatta bread. This is quite a sloppy mix that, after it has risen all day next to the woodheater, you cut into pieces and gently stretch out trying not to lose the big airholes it has developed.

 Then it is into a very hot oven onto the pizza stone (in case you are wondering, they are a curved shape to fit onto the stone ) and voila, a few minutes later, delicious crispy ciabatta …..although it sort of looks more like Turkish bread to me.  Looking forward to some for lunch today!

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