Freezing zucchini

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We have had many kilos of zucchini this summer and once again I have been experimenting with lots of different recipes. This one is a new family favourite.

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But there is only so much you can do, especially when you miss one and then wham! it’s huge!

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These two beauties weighed in at a combined 1.9 kg! When we have big ones like these I freeze them for use in the winter. It is actually really simple and quick to do. First I wash then top and tail my zucchini before cutting into manageable pieces.

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I shred the zucchini, skin and all, in my food processor. I prefer the food processor as the grate is thicker than a hand grater and therefore the zucchini does not lose so much moisture.

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I find it easiest to store the zucchini in portions that work well for recipes. My preference is in 200 gram lots, this fits easily into a zipper sandwich bag.

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It’s important to squeeze the air out of each sandwich bag and seal tightly – it ensures the zucchini keeps well. I label the bag with the type and date to remember which bags to use first.

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The flat bags fit easily in the freezer.

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Those two giant zucchinis made 8 bags for us to use in the future.

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Today I grated the last of our zucchini to make another 14 bags giving us approximately 4.4 kilos to enjoy over the winter months.

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The frozen zucchini can be used in just about any recipe that calls for grated zucchini.  Simply remove it from the freezer and thaw it in a colander to remove excess moisture before using it in the recipe. I put it in spaghetti, curries, muffins, anything really!

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It’s so simple even 5 year old Ruby helped out today!

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And don’t stress: that’s texta all over her hands not dirt 🙂

 

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Garden Share Adelaide

Today Jamie and I, along with other members of the Facebook group Garden Share Adelaide, met at the home of Glenda and Rob for a garden tour, produce share and chat.

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Glenda and Rob have spent the last twenty months restoring the 3000 square metre garden, as it had been neglected for twelve years by the previous owner and was almost completely overgrown with ivy. What they have done in such a short time is truly remarkable .

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The front garden has many beautiful old trees that provide shade for the lawn area.

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A creek runs through the middle of the front garden and access to the house is over a bridge – I must admit I am very envious of that creek!

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The garden is divided in two by the long driveway, one side is newly being established as a native garden whilst the other will be a berry garden. Cherry trees and blueberry bushes are growing well.

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A number of fruit trees have also been planted. A pear is already giving fruit.

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An enormous willow towers over one side of the creek – it was absolutely magnificent!

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Glenda weaves the fronds into wreathes and lets them dry, they are then used as fire-starters for their wood heater.

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The backyard is very steep and the couple have levelled out a terrace near the top. This will be used as a future chook run. Rob is as proud of his solar panels as Jamie is of ours 🙂

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In the garden leading up to the terrace Glenda has planted many varieties of mint including peppermint, chocolate mint, spearmint, lemon balm, Vietnamese mint and Eau-de-cologne mint. The smell was sensational.

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There were also flowers here and there for the bees.

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To the side was the very prolific vegetable garden.

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Many of the beds were wooden crates bought from an onion farm. Lined with plastic and filled with straw, soil and compost they are working exceptionally well.

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An old Hill’s Hoist is being used as a stake for climbing plants such as cucumbers and beans. At the top of the property was the largest Prickly Pear I have ever seen!

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We were particularly taken with the gorgeous Black Russian tomatoes.

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Jamie had a serious case of cucumber envy – ours have been a sad failure this year.

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After the tour we sat and chatted while feasting on gorgeous scones, cinnamon rolls and other tasty treats. We all bought produce and plants to share, sadly I forgot to ask Jamie to takes photos of this amazing bounty. We took along eggplants and lots of squash and came home with a daikon, capsicums, basil seedlings and a skeleton fern.

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We also picked up a purple verbena which I promptly planted in the lavender bed when we got home.

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We had a lovely morning and will certainly go again to meet-ups in the future. We will be sure to have one at our place soon too which, though much smaller, has been producing lots of great organic produce lately.

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If you live in Adelaide and want to join like minded gardening folk to share produce, stories, advice, or land, check out the Garden Share Adelaide facebook page here.

 

 

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Our Third Blogiversary!

 

It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since we began our blogging adventure with A Kailyard in Adelaide!

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The stats during this time are as follows:

  • 125 posts (not including this one)
  • 13579 views
  • 6998 visitors
  • 619 followers on WordPress
  • 404 followers on Facebook
  • Views from 71 different countries with the top 10 (besides Australia) being USA, Malaysia, Canada, UK, NZ, Bulgaria, Brazil, Croatia, India and Belgium
  • the most popular posts have been on organic gardening and the recipes we use with our organic produce.

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Three years have seen lots of changes in the garden and in our lives.

We have added more beds to the home garden and now have two plots at the Happy Patch Community Garden.

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Plants have infiltrated the house.

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We continue to have a variety of creatures visit the garden.

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Jamie went from working part-time to working two jobs and I have received a promotion – hence the dearth of blogs these past few months. It also means the garden is not as prolific as it has been in past years.

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We joined the organising committee of the amazing Seed Freedom Food Festival in 2015 and 2016.

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We welcomed grand-daughter number two into our lives – little Violet!

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Children grow as fast as gardens! Today Violet is nearly 2!

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And Miss Ruby who has featured in the blog since the beginning…

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…will start school in the new year!

3rd-7And after 20 years together we got married.

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Twice!

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All in all it has been a fantastic three years!

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Let’s hope A Kailyard in Adelaide and all those who follow continue to grow and flourish.

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Thanks for being a part of our adventure 🙂

 

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Seed Freedom Food Festival 2016

The very talented Sam Ryan made a fabulous video of the wonderful Seed Freedom Food Festival 2016. It truly captures the amazing atmosphere this festival creates. So if you were unable to make it this year, take a few minutes to watch and absorb the essence of the festival.

Music used with permission from the amazing
Formidable Vegetable Sound System – http://formidablevegetable.com.au/

It was a truly magical day! More photos later, but for now…

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The beautiful centre of our seed mandala from Seed Freedom Food Festival 2016; a natural work of art and heart! Warm thanks to all who helped co-create it (and the festival!) with so much good intention and gratitude for seed.

Capture by David Cann.

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It’s almost time…

…for this year’s Seed Freedom Food Festival!

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In September last year the second Seed Freedom Food Festival was held here in Adelaide at the Market Shed on Holland. It was a huge success with over 2000 people coming through the doors and indulging in workshops, visiting stalls and listening to guest speakers. You can read about our experience working as part of the co-ordinating committee at this great event last year here.

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I am happy to say this amazing festival is on again at the Market Shed on Holland, Saturday September 24.

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If you are in Adelaide on September 24th make sure you come along. There is going to be an incredible line up of FREE workshops and talks plus kid’s workshops, organic food stalls, a huge food swap and seed swap, another seed mandala creation, seed displays, local musicians, storytelling tent, raffles, organic stalls and lots of community!

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From its conception 3 years ago, to meetings throughout the year, to its fruition on the day the Seed Freedom Food Festival is run entirely by volunteers.

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With no money wasted on flashy meetings we put all of our hearts and energy into creating a Festival that celebrates, informs and inspires people to grow and eat organic food, local food, and to save seed! Our latest core group meeting was very cosy but filled with much laughter and sharing.

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Our volunteer call out is happening right now and we’d be so grateful to have you organic/gardening/seed/earthy passionate people on the team.

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So if you’re a budding seedizen who can offer a couple of voluntary hours on Saturday 24 September and some crafty hours painting, screen-printing, building in mid-September (all our festival deco is upcycled/homemade) do get in touch ASAP by emailing our volunteer coordinators Joni and Atma at sfffvolunteer@gmail.com

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There will be lots of different areas that will require help from our volunteers to run smoothly such as assisting on the stages, helping on the swap tables, and aiding us with the setup and pack down. It only takes a few hours from the day, the rest is for you to enjoy the festival! Though I can safely say that most people have just as much fun in their volunteer role as they do in their off time!

12091312_824257301021351_2785199303597909786_oLet us know asap if you would like volunteer and come along to our first craft night!14100306_1011740268939719_5438922005783270536_nThe Seed Freedom volunteers sprinkling love, friendship and seeds!

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Jamie and I had a wonderful time volunteering last year and 2016 looks set to match it. But if I haven’t quite persuaded you to come to the festival or volunteer then please watch this amazing compilation of the day. Then you will understand what a fabulous event it is!

Not all the photos are mine but I am unsure who to credit as they are saved on my computer with no name, sorry if I have caused offence by using them. The terrific video was put together by the very talented Kevin Chan.

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Bellwether Wines

While in the Coonawarra during the recent school holidays, Jamie and I discovered a gorgeous winery with its own produce garden.

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On the Riddoch Hwy in the Coonawarra, Bellwether Wines is housed in a converted Shearing Shed.

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Built by Chinese labourers en-route to the gold fields in 1868, the Glen Roy Shearing Shed has been beautifully renovated and now houses the boutique winery, cellar door and a community kitchen.

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Filled with lots of quirky and vintage items, the interior is gloriously homey and welcoming.

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Unfortunately, we did not get to meet the founder Sue Bell, but we did meet some of her extended family and we tried her wines – and bought some to cellar too! While Jamie stayed inside and talked wine, I wandered around the property taking photos accompanied by Mabel the winery dog.081

The owner’s eclectic decorating style was also evident outside.

048.jpg0475Behind the shed is a camping ground with powered and unpowered sites and some glamping tents. A really impressive amenities block – that includes a deep bath – is available to campers, as well as the use of the community kitchen and produce from the garden. 049.jpg

 

The Glen Roy produce garden was established in 2011, using the well-composted sheep poo from the interior of the shearing shed.

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The garden was filled with veggies, herbs and edible weeds.

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Though small it contained lots of different styles of vegetable beds.

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With so many ornamental and flowering plants amongst the vegetable and herbs, the garden is a haven for bees.

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The chook shed at the end of the garden; only one occupant popped out to say hello to me.

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I was particularly envious of the lush nettle patch.

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There is fruit as well as veggies.

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And plenty of fun things in the garden too.067059085077079050The property also has a number of Highland cattle.

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It was certainly a pleasant afternoon at Bellwether, a place I am sure we will revisit.

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We are in no way affiliated with the winery and were not paid to write this post, we just know a good thing when we find it!

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Sweet Potato

Way back in December of 2015 we planted a purple sweet potato in one of the galvanised beds. We have never grown them before and did absolutely no research on how to grow them – we just planted  it and left it to its own devices.

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Long after the squash and pumpkin were over the sweet potato kept growing.

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We looked up when to harvest and found that it was either after it flowered or when the vine began to wither. A few weeks ago there was no sign of flowers but the vine was yellowing and starting to wither. We assumed that like when harvesting potatoes we would dig into the soil and find lots of delicious sweet potatoes. So we dug only to find…

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One giant sweet potato!

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What we now know is that as the vine grows you need to bury sections of it. The buried sections will start forming roots within a week and new tubers will form from these roots. If you don’t do that well…you will get a monster like we did 🙂

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As you can see it had grown so large it had started to crack in places and appeared quite wooden, it also had lost most of its purple colour. Undaunted, we were determined to eat it! As we still had a few capsicums and coriander in the garden I turned half of the sweet potato into a Morrocan vegetable bake. I sliced centimetre rounds of the sweet potato, quartered the capsicums, halved some baby carrots and cut two red onions into wedges. I poured 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a big bowl and added 2 tablespoons of Morrocan seasoning, a tablespoon of smoked paprika, and a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes. I then added the veggies and gave them a good toss before putting them in a single layer on a couple of baking trays. While the veggies baked for 25 minutes I finely grated a lemon and then prepared some couscous adding the juice of the lemon and half the rind. I also steamed some spinach and rainbow chard. Once everything was ready I put the couscous into bowls with the veggies, added a good dollop of Greek yoghurt topped with the remainder of the lemon rind, coriander leaves and some toasted pine nuts, and served with the steamed spinach.

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It was delicious! The sweet potato was perfect, the vegetables had slightly caramelised and the seasoning was spot on. A really amazing dinner, try it for yourself and see!

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