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Showing posts from June, 2013

Spicing things up for winter

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Principle 12: Creatively use and respond to change

With 5 days in a row of heavy frosts over the solstice period winter has well and truly set in. We've not needed to run the fire during the days though, as it's been sunny most days which has been heating up our solar passive living space beautifully. On occasions the house has remained so warm that we haven't even needed to light the fire at night - though hot water bottles are a must for the kids. With so much sun around we've often been using our electric kettle over the gas alternative, figuring that our solar PV system would be generating an excess. When the fires going that's our first choice.

We bottled the black olives that we harvested at Murrnong after only 18 days of rinsing with water. This was less that what was recommended to us, which was a minimum of 21 days, max of 40. The olives were more ripe, some being quite soft and I did slice each of them which would help leach out the bitterness more quickl…

Olive picking and processing

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Permaculure Principle 8: Integrate rather than segregate
Picking olives can be a great way to hang out with friends, lend a helping hand and get a harvest to last you till next season. While we wait for our olive tree to grow, we have been invited to harvest olives from friends trees. We were invited up to Wuk Wuk, a property in Tallarook, with another family to pick green eating olives and have a BBQ. After an hour or so picking and a great night out we ended up with about 10kg of green olives to preserve.

I've tried a couple of techniques in the past, but wasn't super impressed by the result - although they were pleasant enough to eat. One of the main issues I had was with the amount of salt used. I wanted to try a technique that allowed me to reuse the water that is used for rinsing the olives.

Caro and Mark, who came with us on the Wuk Wuk trip have been preserving olives for many years and experimented with different techniques. They have adapted the kalamata method of pr…