Sunday volunteers April 21

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We were favoured with yet another fine day on Sunday. For this session the activity was all about planting and getting seeds in to the ground while the warm autumn days can still keep our germination happening. After the very cold and wet Saturday beforehand it was a nice change. The weather has been particularly crazy this year and it’s been really hard to predict and plan what will be happening each Sunday. And flu & cold season has recently hit the mountains and a few regulars have been energy ‘challenged’.

Primarily this session we put in more broad beans, a selection of climbing (Telephone) and bush peas, Silver beets and two types of coriander (for seed and a lemon flavoured variety) which grows surprisingly well in the mountains.

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There was also a bit of the usual clean up weeding and checking on things… as you do…

The garlic crop is progressing well and we added a few more varieties to fill gaps using a nice Red Rocambole and a reliable Purple Stripe.

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It took a while to get the clay oven fired up due to the excessive rain the previous day on our wood supply, but eventually after some significant smoke events it got to a point at the end of the session where we could quickly cook a few test Morrocan style pancakes (yeasted and cooked on one side only and rolled) using a yeasted flour and milk mix and then with cinnamon and raw sugar sprinkled on them or topped with strawberry jam syrup/honey. They were a bit uneven in cooking speed etc but as usual the last one was the best. We are still experimenting with various types of flat breads and such that can be cooked quickly and reliably in the oven using either metal trays or as we did this session a cast iron skillet. To get the oven to full temp and cook larger items it needs more time than we have available on these Sundays to get the heat developed – so placing the items direct on top of the coals and ashes works for a quick cook. Quick snacks like small pita style spiced flatbreads and pancake/pikelets seem the most appropriate so far. We still have some repair work to do on the oven interior and exterior where it was damaged but it functions well still as long as we have some dry wood to burn. And we still are experimenting with the details of the cooking methods to get the least amount of charcoal attached to the food… and also with various non gluten containing flours including rice, chickpea etc.

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The International Permaculture open day, which we are participating in, is coming up on Sunday May 5 and we hope to have something tasty on offer to visitors for complimenting lunch.

Thanks to all who came to the session and see you next time 🙂

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