October 2008

Monthly Archive

Raising Garden Beds: Part 2, Topping up & Planting

Posted by robin on 15 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: gardening, raised beds

So, spring is really here and the layers we added to the raised beds have been rotting down. The two beds that the chickens scratched around in for a few months are really low in bulk so they’ll need to be finished off with some pretty good filler.

We’re trying two different approaches in each pair of beds. In the first pair, we have topped it off with bio-gro certified organic compost from Oldfields in Masterton. There was a bit of stuffing around with weigh-bridges and the cost was a little high, $40 for a medium trailer. This bed has actually been underway for a little while, and has been planted out with brassicas: cavalo nero, tender stems broccoli, golden ball turnip and our favourite purple sprouting broccoli. The bed is mulched with pea straw to keep it moist and give some frost protection.

In the other pair of beds, the ones the chickens were living in, we’ve filled them up with well-rotted mushroom compost from the parkvale mushroom factory just down the road. These guys make a business out of top-notch compost and it’s supposed to be good stuff. It’s cheaper too, $30 for a large trailer and no weighbridges or queueing, we were in and out in 2 minutes. If you don’t live in the Wairarapa, you can buy it in bags from the garden centres. Nothing is planted in these beds yet, but our friends have had great success with this stuff, it seemed very rich so I have a feeling this will be the better environment for our vegetables.

Recipes for the Egg Glut

Posted by robin on 10 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: chickens, recipes, vegetables

This is a wonderful time of year, the chickens are laying more eggs than we can eat and some of the veges are starting to be edible. These recipes are a great way to use the extra eggs and use new spring vegetables.

Individual Bread Puddings

per person:

in a bowl mix:

  • one egg,
  • a splashy tablespoon of milk,
  • a heaped tablespoon of white sugar,
  • a tablespoon of melted butter
  1. in a ramekin, stuff a torn up slice of nice bread (sourdough, vogels toast, or mackenzies white) and arrange
  2. drop about 30 sultanas over the top.
  3. pour egg mix over bread
  4. sprinkle ground nutmeg and brown sugar over the top

Bake at 180 for 20 mins or until they look puffy and delicious

It’s very rich - so eat with a teaspoon.


A 6 egg frittata will feed two hungry adults or four adults for a light lunch. Vegetarians can drop the pork and it still tastes excellent.

onion, potato, chorizo, onion, silverbeet, feta, paprika
(serve with gewurztraminer, sweet riesling or light red)
- Amazing chorizo sausage from the Common Sense Organics meat fridge is best
- Castlepoint Feta is our favourite

  • fry up half small onion chopped, 0.5cm slices of chorizo, and 1cm cubes of potato in a frying pan
  • when all browned and nice, drop sliced silverbeet on top beat some eggs lazily and pour over
  • crumble feta over the top and sprinkle paprika
  • when the bottom is cooked and the top is still raw, stick under the grill - it’s ready when it looks puffy and golden

The same technique can also work for

spring onions or leeks, potato, bacon, caraway seeds, cream cheese, parsley, salt and pepper
(wooded chardonnay)
- bacon from Stoneycreek Farm is best

potato, broadbeans, broad bean tops (if you grow/have them), feta, (allspice, nutmeg or mace)
(sauv b.)

You get the idea. You can do in many versions, the secret is matching cheese / spice / veg and always using potatoes. It naturally happens that we use seasonal vegetables from the garden, this means the tastes always seem to match.