Tuesday, 17 April 2012
What I've been up to today...
I've been planning to get up to the allotment for days now in order to put in the rest of my potatoes, sow some seeds and tackle the weeds that keep sneaking in while I'm away. There's been far too much to do at home though so I hope I can make it up tomorrow morning for a few hours. Getting a hive in the last week has really been my main focus but now that they're all settled I can now get on to some of the other things I've been meaning to do.
The first thing on my list today was cutting up the 1.5kg of rhubarb I picked from the allotment yesterday and to mix it with sugar in preparation for my first batch of wine for 2012. It's been quiet on the wine-making front since cold winter weather isn't conducive to wine yeast getting down to business. Now that the days are a bit sunnier and the conservatory warming up I imagine I'll have a few demi-johns on the go fairly soon.
The rhubarb I've mixed with sugar today will sit for a few days before it's mixed with water, grape juice, and yeast to start the fermentation process. The sugar quickly draws the moisture out of the rhubarb and with it all the tangy, fruity flavour that I want to taste in the wine. The more moisture I can pull out of the stalks, the more it will infuse into the final product.
I'm making soap probably about four nights a week now and really jumped at the offer of a larger handmade mould today - my husband is really getting on the ball with all this woodworking business! In any case the soap I made last night was a batch of Spicy Provence and this afternoon I cut it up into individual bars - it smells amazing!
I've also been catching the excess soap from the pan and putting it into small shell shaped moulds. I plan to mix and match these tiny soaps into samplers to sell at my stall at the Tynwald Day Fair. Though they're small I think they'll be a fun way to try all the different types of soap I make without having to invest in the large bars.
My tomato seedlings are growing incredibly fast and I spent a good couple of hours transferring more from modules into larger pots. I have a few crates of them now and I hope to sell some of them at my stall this weekend. You wont find me at the Farmers Market this week or weekend but I do have a stall booked at a charity fundraiser being held on Sunday. If you don't have plans on the 22nd, please stop by the Bridge Inn in Laxey from 2-4.30pm. There will be stalls from local producers with cakes, beauty products, cake-stands, crafts, Girlie Gardening and the chance to have a glass of wine as well. Sounds like a lovely girls day out to me :)
On top of everything else, I also made a couple of loaves of fresh bread and potted on my Celeriac seedlings today. They're such tiny little plants now but by the end of summer they'll have swelled to have a massive bulky root which is one of my current favourite veggies. Celeriac can be chopped and roasted like potatoes or even grated raw and added to salads. It tastes pretty much the same as ordinary celery but in a much bulkier and filling form. If you haven't tried it before, don't be scared of its rough looks - it's a real winner.
It's getting a little later in the afternoon now and I'm having a bit of a break before heading out to show some prospective allotmenteers around our site. There have been quite a few inquiries today and so I'm looking forward to filling up some of our vacant plots. I'm also meeting the rest of the allotment committee tonight to have an official look at our new shed and to chat about upcoming tasks around the site. Thank goodness the rain has let up - otherwise the meeting would have been a very short one indeed!
And since I can't resist showing off our little cuties I thought I'd finish up today with a photo of our Korats fiddling around in one of my bags. Not really home and garden related but I think you'll enjoy it. You can really see how green Cheeber's eyes are getting and I think by the time she turns two they'll have changed completely. They're two little mischievous beauties :)
Have a lovely day!