Kitchen Garden Guides

Tuesday, February 23, 2010



"The trouble with eating Italian food is that

five or six days later you’re hungry again."

~ George Miller

There are more and more blogs in Italy and some about Italian food. This quote and photo came from Aglio, Olio & Peperoncini and some ideas for polenta that make me go straight to the cupboard to start cooking lunch, before it is even 8am!

My favourite blog in Italy is Path to Self Sufficiency.... obviously not by an Italian but here is a lovely snippet from a recent post by Heiko ( a Dutchman, who was brought up in Germany and has lived in the UK for a long time and who now lives in Italy on the border between Liguria and Tuscany):


.......To put it quite simply, I really do not understand the concept of money. I mean it, I don't. I can just about follow why they invented it in the first place. Back in the days when humans just roamed the countryside, life maybe wasn't exactly easy, but it was simple. All you needed to sort out was who went foraging for berries and roots and who did the hunting. In the evening they all met up again and shared their spoils.

When they invented culture you could still manage quite easily. You hunted an extra wild boar or deer, picked a few more berries and invited the guy with the interesting metal contraption from the other valley to bring along some pina colada and the other chap who manages to extract those strange sounds out of an old goat skin to join your feast and hey, you had a party!
But once people started settling down people started to specialise. There was the cabbage farmer, the goat herder, the medicine man, the carpenter and the plumber. Once the cabbage farmer got himself yet another acre of land he needed a bit of help. But soon his workmen got bored being paid in cabbages, there's only so much you can do with them. So they needed to come up with some sort of currency, some sort of token with a value they all agreed on.....
read on...

It gets better and better and is a great little story!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


It has been an absolute delight getting to know Erica's girls again. I cannot imagine two more friendly and fun teenagers who have welcomed me into their lives these last weeks. Today I go back to Adelaide and pack up my stuff, ready to move to my new home in a few weeks, so last night Emma cooked me a special farewell and good luck dinner and the day before, Kristy made delicious choc-mint mousse muffins!

Emma has always wanted to make a pie with a lattice top, so I gave her my mother's shortcrust pastry recipe and she knocked up this wonderful egg and bacon pie.

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And then, with the leftover pastry she made this little blueberry pie, which we all ate while sitting on the couch watching The Castle!









Life is good; get there fast and then take it slow!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


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On the 18th of January, I arrived in Hobart, Tasmania to stay with my friend Erica and her family for a couple of weeks, looking after their house and dogs and one lovely daughter for one of the weeks while the rest were away on holidays. Well,they have now returned and I am into the 3rd week, hanging around like a bad smell perhaps.... but I have been so enjoying Hobart and surrounds that I have gone and bought a house here!

When you buy a house you need to have a few things in your mind that are so important to you that if just one of them is not right, then you must not go ahead. To me these were:

  • The main rooms must be filled with light all year round
  • At least 1 acre of land (4,000 m2), already cultivated to some extent, and private
  • Quiet..... no road or other noise
  • Fertile soil
  • Mains water inside and plenty of water for the garden
  • Large kitchen
  • Energy efficient heating /cooling, including a slow combustion heater
  • House in sound condition
  • Broadband internet available
  • Not too far from a city (less than 1 hour's drive)
  • Walking track suitable for taking a dog off the lead
  • A nice setting and outlook.... water or hills views
  • Flattish land

After these, there are some things that are preferable:

  • Farmers Union Iced Coffee
  • Mains sewer, not septic
  • Insulation
  • A house with character and history
  • Established fruit trees
  • No tall trees on the northern side of the house or garden
  • A verandah like Deb's... now I cannot find the photo to show you why!
  • Solar panels / solar hot water heating
  • Down to earth community
  • Doesn't have things I don't want, that make it expensive for all the wrong reasons, like extra bathrooms, fancy kitchen
  • Large building suitable for future Bed and Breakfast maybe

And here are some dreams:

  • A creek
  • A spring
  • An established organic veg garden
  • Cheap
  • Within walking distance to some shops and a cafe
  • By the sea

Built in or before 1910. Weatherboard.
A little dam fed by a winter creek. 1 acre
image Big, light kitchen; big, gas stove.  image
Location, location, location! But cheap!
Sheltered veg garden and fruit trees
Walk to shops and community garden
Excellent condition, sunny verandah like Deb's
Quirky wheel house, creek, winding paths.

This gorgeous little house in Cygnet, Tasmania, has all of the "must have" requirements and most of the rest as well. There are a couple of extras that I am so excited about..... no water meters and mains water from the Huon River area which comes from the rain forests of wild south west Tasmania.... read that word.... RAIN forests! It has a creek and associated easement running diagonally through it which makes it impossible to sub-divide in the future which means it is much cheaper than other, similar properties. The local GP has a permaculture property rather than a fancy city house. There are blueberry and other berry and fruit farms, and even some organic ones. It is 5 minutes walk to the sea and it has never ever been 40 C .....!! And every few years it snows.... oh is this paradise or what?



Like Pattie, I thought I would have a competition  "Who will be the first blog-reader to come and visit me?"

Here is a photo of the future B and B..... but, as you can see, its not ready to use yet so you can sleep inside the house..... or in the quirky, old ship's wheelhouse in the garden !

There are more photos here.

Is anyone else having trouble with photos on Live writer?