Friday, 1 August 2014

Elephant Garlic / 2013-2014

I was given some cloves of elephant garlic, which I planted out in a lazy spot.

Day X+0: At this point, all have come up.

Garlic, Elephant - 2013-11-14 - Growing

Day X+63: There appears to have been some attrition at this point. I suspect some fell over.

Garlic, Elephant - 2014-01-16

Day X+93: Nearing the point of harvest. I needed them to yellow up a bit more, I think to the second leaf.

Garlic, Elephant - 2014-02-15 - Ripening

Day X+100: Here's the bulbs harvested. They were hung up in the shed.

Garlic, Elephant - 2014-02-22 - 01 - Harvested

There were some mini-bulbs. They weren't bulbils from the flower heads, as I cut those off and ate them. I think they were hanging off the big bulbs. In any case, they were planted out in the paddock, where I think they rotted away. I should have potted them up and grown them to be transplanted when more sturdy.

Garlic, Elephant - 2014-02-22 - 02 - Buds planted out

Day X+228: The year's harvest of Elephant garlic was still hanging in the shed. I've not eaten any, and decided to just plant it out. Someone else mentioned that they use it as a leek, rather than eating the bland standard leeks. So, that sounds like a plan. The heads are broken up, and weighed. At 380 grams.. I don't know. It'd mean more if I knew how much last year's planting weighed. There's definitely more cloves though, because a clove turns into a head, which contains more cloves than it started as.. obviously.

Garlic, Elephant - 2014-06-30 - 01 - Last years harvest

Where the cloves are located for future reference.

Garlic, Elephant - 2014-06-30 - 02 - Planting

The cloves are now covered over with the potting mix.

Garden Bed, House North - 2014-06-30 - Elephant Garlic, Kale, Cauliflower

The remaining five elephant garlic bulbs are planted in the bed by the back door, near the lemongrass. I've recently read that the red leafed lemongrass isn't good for much. The other type is the one which gives the thick stems for cooking. This one at best can be used for a tea with it's dud red leaves. If this is true, then I think that avoiding buying any more Little Fruity branded products is probably a wise idea.

Garlic, Elephant - 2014-06-30 - 03 - Planting

Day X+236: And finally, here's one bulb of normal garlic I left in the ground last summer. Each of the cloves has sprouted. I'm just going to leave this here indefinitely, and see how wide it can grow and divide over the future years to come. This is supposed to result in smaller cloves as it divides and is crowded out. To the right of the unharvested garlic, I planted out some mustard I grew. This was sprouted from seeds bought at a bulk food store. They're the kind of seeds you use for pickling. It seems to be surviving the frosts pretty well.

Garlic - 01 - 2014-07-08 - Resprouting

This unharvested garlic, and the second planting of elephant garlic, are actually in the same continuous bed. In this last photo you could see the cheap fencing I put in to stop the chickens getting in and scratching up everything.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

A better Summer in Winter, than the actual Summer

It's winter, but the temperature yesterday reached 25C, and today reached 29C. I doubt we had hotter temperatures than that in Summer, which was plagued by overcast misty days. I had to go out and water the plants, the passionfruit and broccoli were looking wilted.

I'm seriously hoping we get some hard winter before spring comes.  On one hand I do have things like the figs which don't like it so much, but then on the other hand I have maples which would like a frost and other various standard trees that like a given number of hours below 8C during winter.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Kernel Seasons / White Cheddar Seasoning

One of the supermarkets I drive past, has a new shelf full of noxious American crap. Red vines, or whatever those poor excuses for raspberry liquorice the Americans eat, is called. Peanut butter Reeses cups. Rufus McTeague barbeque sauce. And so forth. But they also have popcorn seasoning. This is something we don't really have here. You might just shake the popcorn in icing sugar. Or you might make some caramel and use that in combination with nuts, to make caramel corn. But that's about it.

I remember going to the cinema in the states with Baddi to see Postal, which was awesomely bad, and they'd have help yourself popcorn seasoning. It was disgusting, in the sense that it wasn't in any way hygienic. So I've been buying this.

The bottle.

Popcorn Seasoning - Kernel Seasons - White Cheddar Seasoning - 01

The generous helping of seasoning, as sold.

Popcorn Seasoning - Kernel Seasons - White Cheddar Seasoning - 02

They say there's enough there for 100 servings. I think that's true, but out of that 100 servings, there'd be exactly 0 you could taste.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Coal Range Pizza

I got a shock with last month's power bill of something like $120. Part was that the meter reader had visited and the bill included the extra amount over and above the past two or three estimations. Power prices are something people complain about a lot here. And in other areas of the country they pay twice as much per kilowatt, than I do. I pay something like 27 cents per kilowatt. Of course there's a per-kilowatt-used tax by some 'electricity authority' parasite, in addition to the goods and services tax by the 'government' parasite. And the daily charge of 33.33 cents. This bill was around $115.

I have a coal range, which has a wet back. So I've put that into use. I only need to get it going for 3-4 hours a day, and it prevents the hot water from being heated with electricity. Here I've cooked a pizza in it. I'm fairly certain that it was well cooked and made me want to cook in the coal range again. But every pizza since then has had a soggy bottom. So maybe not.

Coal Range - 2014-07-02 - Pizza

I've since received the next bill, and it estimated I'd used 314 units of normal electricity, and 138 units of night boost electricity. The reality was 71 units of normal electricity, and 33 units of night boost electricity. So that's a reduction from a bill of $145 to around $40. Which would also be my lowest power bill of the year. Let's ignore the additional $95 over and above that I had to call them about and ask them to remove, which was related to my power meters being faulty, and having to get them replaced.