Day 5 – Otamatea

Much to Sabine’s distress we ended up having another slow start to the morning, it’s a public holiday after all, but eventually she got us all out and working. Now, when I say a slow start to the day, I’m not including the fact that Wolf and I were up at 7am milking Molly, but really talking more about when we all got around to sitting down at the table for breakfast (which is increasingly including a short black coffee for me, normal for everyone else, strange and newly enjoyable for me). The chooks got fed and then onto the real work. Sabine and I harvested the last of the Kale, stripping the good remaining leaves of all half dozen plants. Many of the leaves had mites which required me to clean them carefully before we cut a huge sink full of them up to make sourkraut, a small handful made it’s way into the pressure cooker with tamari, lemon juice and salt for lunch (delicious – and another new vegetable for me). I’m enjoying this new experience of vegetable discovery. Looking at the range of things growing the the garden here and plans of other things, I’m astounded at how little modern supermarkets really provide. If something can’t be grown on a large commercially viable scale it basically disappears from our diets, this is really, really sad. Where once I was worried about planting a variety of beans I’d never heard of or leafy greens with strange names, I’m now looking forward to putting them in the ground and experimenting with cooking them. Anyone who has known me for a long time will now how strange it is to hear these words coming from me. I grew up eating only peas and potatoes voluntarily and anything else from corn and carrots to pumpkin and brusselsproughts had to forced down my throat on pain of death (I took death of BS). I ate only the whitest most refined bread and found ways to have meat 3 meals a day. I am less interested in what I can do with meat now and more interested in meals based around fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses and grains. In less then a week I have been introduced to some really delicious food and very little of it has actually included meat and yet Craig and I feel like we are being spoilt with what we are being given, I mean who doesn’t feel spoilt when every day you are presented with a platter of new and exciting home made cheeses, fresh yogurt and a multitude of truly fresh fruit and vegetables.

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I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but Sabine and Wolf have no mains power, no mains water, no mains sewerage. They have one litte wind turbine, solar panels and solar heated hot water, with a wet back on their wood stove (no instant oven here folks). They also don’t have an electric washing machine but a very cool hand operated one which I just love.

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