All posts filed under: Green

Georgina Baker’s Family Silver

I had a lovely leisurely lunch with my sister on Sunday. The bacon hash at ThirtyNine is an absolute favourite and it didn’t fail to impress this time. Newspapers, crosswords, coffee. After that, we hit Ponsonby for some serious browsing. Photo taken by my sister. Jewels for Foodies Texan Art Schools stocks Georgina Baker’s work and I was blown away by how something so simple and “every day” could be so beautiful. My favourite were the ornate teaspoon handle earrings and also the spoon pendants. If I didn’t have stretched lobes, I would have snaffled the earrings up in a heartbeat. Buy for youself or your foodie friend. Geogina Baker’s website: www.georginabaker.co.nz Texan Art Schools: http://www.texanartschools.co.nz

Lyttelton lives on

For Easter we visited Kelvin’s family in Lyttelton, Christchurch. We weren’t prepared for the sights of post-quake Lyttelton. We thought there would be a few shops closed. TV coverage had shown Christchurch CBD cordoned off, but nothing about Lyttelton, so we thought it was ok. Lyttelton fared just as bad. You can’t drive through the main street. It is cordoned off and instead of a few shops closed, it’s a few shops open. 2 shops. The dairy and a restaurant called Fisherman’s Wharf. But Lyttelton lives on and Lyttelton will be rebuilt. As will Christchurch. We went for a walk around Lyttelton on Sunday morning. The community gardens lives on. I spotted some toadstools I spotted under a birch tree by the police station. Some people have mushrooms growing in their damp earthquake damaged homes. These were not that kind. A yellow digger sits on the remains of The Empire Tavern in the heart of Lyttelton. A few of our friend stayed here during our wedding in 2009. The backpackers where the rest of our friends …

Unbelievably Easy Feijoa, Chocolate & Custard Pastries

Tofu the bunny has been eating feijoas (pronounced fee-jo-ahs) and I have to check the lawns every day so that he doesn’t over eat. I toss any half eaten feijoas into the worm bin. The uneaten feijoas get turned into all sorts of yummy things. I made these babies for Natahma’s baby shower last week. It was the first baby shower I’ve ever been to and it was mostly just eating yummy food, talking about girl stuff and drinking champagne and feijoa wine. We didn’t play any silly games and the experience didn’t put me off having babies for life. These pastries are really easy to make and if you have a heavy feijoa tree in your yard, this is a good way to get rid of some. If you don’t have feijoas, I’m sure you could experiment with other fruit. I considered using plums and maybe still will at a later stage. I made something similar over a week ago but the latest ones are much, much better because they have chocolate in them. …

We don’t have feijoas coming out our ears.

Really we don’t. Our tree is giving us a respectable 3 to 6 fruit a day. Totally manageable. This week, I learned that feijoas (pronounced fee-jo-ahs) thrive in our sub tropical climate and also don’t have any natural pests here. Every day, I check the lawn under and gather up any fallen fruit. Although Tofu doesn’t seem to be interested in feijoa this autumn, he could just be trying to trick me into nonchalance. I’ve caught him hoeing into them in other years so I’m not so easily fooled. I’m still squirreling away all the macadamia nuts that are dropping onto our lawn. I haven’t bought a macadamia nut cracker yet so I’m just collecting and collecting. The only way I can get them open right now is using a brick and smashing the nuts on concrete. But it’s not pretty and kind of caveman like to be honest. I hope my neighbours don’t see me smashing bricks and nuts in the backyard…and eating the results. The nuts have a great flavour, but aren’t crunchy. I’ve already …

Fungus invasion

These cream coloured mushrooms are popping up all over our backyard. We have never had mushrooms in our backyard before, but I guess this warm, wet weather is doing all sorts of things out there. Anyone know what they are? Are they edible? Are they toxic? Are safe for rabbits? Should we be getting rid of them?

I have worms

No, not the itchy bum kind. Not the metres long kind growing in my belly so that I can eat the world without the increasing waistline. I’ve got Tiger worms and Blue worms. They are composting worms. I’m going to tend these worms to in return for their “liquid gold” poo juice (or some call it worm wee). From the Wormsrus Worm Bin ad: Great starter worm bin complete with worms , bedding and instructions. Collector base with tap for worm tea. 2 food trays. Bedding. 250gms compost worms including Tiger worms and Blue Worms. Easy set up. Great price. Full after sales service for life with the worm experts , 15 years in the industry. I received the package on Thursday, but didn’t have time to set it up. I hoped that the worms would be ok in their box for another day. Wouldn’t it be awful if I killed our new friends before they even got here? Well, after a Friday afternoon beer, I set this the bin up and I must say, …

Scallopini in the house

I planted a zucchini seed from the packet on the right before we left New Zealand and our friend Lum had been tending to it while we were away. The tiny seedling I left two months ago is now a huge beast that takes up most of the planter. Turns out it wasn’t the sausage shaped zucchini I thought it would be. These flower petal shaped things baffled me. The frog and buddha didn’t know either so I had to ask The Googe what they might be. The Googe said they were Scallopini Squash. What do you cook when you haven’t really cooked in 2 months? We never ate salmon while traveling. Something about eating NZ salmon in a foreign country just doesn’t sit right with me. So salmon was definitely on the cards. I roasted the larger of the scallopini squash in a bit of oil, garlic and fresh rosemary. Paired with some potato mash and the salmon that I’d been missing, made for a simple but slightly fancy first dinner for some jetlagged …

Love Your Mountain Day – Pics

I made it to Love Your Mountain Day a couple of weekends ago. It was a sweltering summer day, not really idea for a mountain ascent. I wanted to go, but I didn’t fancy being a sweaty mess so I left it a little later in the day hoping it would cool down in the afternoon. It didn’t. It took about 2 hours to visit Government House, Eden Garden and the mountain itself including the walk to/from my house. All were free entry and there were guided tours for those that were interested. Government House The tour at Government House was led by a gardener. It was quite cool to listen to someone so knowledgeable and passionate about plants. When someone asked what species of grass it was, I thought it was a joke, but the gardener knew the answer in a heartbeat. This is the secondary residence of our Governor General. A big old Redwood Sequoia and 2 Nikau Palms. The lawns were really beautiful and I thought about our brown, sad looking lawn …

Given the chop

A few weeks ago, a massive pine branch fell in our backyard and obliterated our washing line. It had been really windy and the branch fell overnight. That branch was chopped up and removed. Then a week later, a second, larger branch fell. It was a perfectly still, summer afternoon and witnessed by us and our neighbours. It made a hell of a noise and the creaking branch just before the fall warned our neighbours who came over to warn us. It was kinda cool and weird to see it fall without a breeze in the air. The broken stump at the top right was the first break. The new break is on the left. The poor washing line was hit a second time, so lucky it hadn’t been replaced after the first branch. Tofu found the fallen branch fascinating. Can you find him in this photo? The tree gave privacy from the housing block on the other side of the fence. But they couldn’t risk another branch or the entire tree falling so the decision was made …

Love Your Mountain

I have my very own volcano on my doorstep. It is called Mt Eden or Maungawhau and it takes me 40 minutes return to walk from my house, to the base of the mountain, up to the top of the mountain and back. Not long at all. Yep, my little life would be over in a heartbeat if it were to erupt. Having a volcano in the ‘hood means that our soil is rich and the area really flourishes with green goodness. So let’s celebrate this sleeping giant! This Sunday is Love Your Mountain Day 2010. There will be guided walks and free entry into Eden Garden and Government House grounds. Sunday, December 12, from 10am to 4pm. In past years there have been origami cranes and wishes strung up to a big tree. I think they might be able to use my origami crane skills. After folding 1000 cranes for our wedding, I like to think I’m somewhat an expert at folding. More info here. p.s. I love you.

Community Supported Fishery

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is when people from the community provide financial support to their local growers in return for a weekly bounty of seasonal produce. Maybe this has come out of the locavore movement: people preferring to eat locally grown and produced food. Well, now there is the next step for seafood lovers out there. CSF stands for Community Supported Fishery and for a fee or a share a supporter receives a weekly portion of the catch during a season. It means that fishermen can have cash in advance of the season. With CSF, fishermen are paid a flat rate per season instead of being paid for the fish they catch. The usual model means that fishermen are forced to chase whatever fish fetches the highest price. Instead, this model discourages fishermen from overfishing the most popular more lucrative fish as there is no bonus for doing so. It means the supporter can get to try all sorts of bounty from the sea rather than the limited range supermarkets sell these …

Clucky.

One day, I want to be a chicken keeper. Chickens can lay 5 eggs a week. The poultry keeping limit in Auckland city is 6 hens which would more than enough for me and The Koala. 4 chickens would probably be a good number. We would have enough for us and some to give away and to trade with. We eat a lot of eggs at our place and we always run out of eggs before the next big shopping trip. A tray of 30 eggs generally lasts 2-3 weeks. There are only 2 of us at home. Luckily, roosters are outlawed in Auckland urban areas. I remember when we were holidaying in Niue and hearing the rooster choir begin at 4am. I started counting them and I could count over 70 rooster crows per minute. Chickens are great for eating weeds and chicken scraps (on top of their chicken feed). Chickens will also dig up soil so you can place a chicken coop on top of your planned vegetable garden. Once the soil is …

A very hungry caterpillar

A very hungry caterpillar slaughtered my cauliflower. Bones. I am furious that they just left bones. With that out of my system, on to better gardening news. You might remember that I planted some basil seeds a while back. Well, here they are. I think they’re just about old enough to leave their shell. The advice I’ve read always suggests sowing 2 or more seeds in seedling trays and then culling back the weakest seedlings to make way for the strongest one. I can’t bear to destroy on any of these basil seedlings so I separated the roots out very carefully. Fingers crossed they all make it and I haven’t damaged them all. That’s right, 10 basil seedlings. If I get a bumper crop, I plan on making pesto with my own basil and with macadamias from our backyard nut tree. Wouldn’t that be freakin’ awesome?! This sage plant was grown from a cutting. I’ve now taken 3 cuttings from this plant and I’m hoping that they will grow into more plants. I love sage. There’s …