Salami Making, Bees and Potatoes in Bags

Yay for some sunshine today - thankfully! I don't know about you but this weather is getting to me, I suppose we are just not used to the winter weather I know I remembered braving as a child happily.. the past few years though winter hasn't been quite as cold, perhaps I have just become used to a couple more degrees but this winter... brrrr icy.

Despite the cold we had quite the productive weekend. We got to join in on a family tradition of Italian Salami making with some friends.  I was super excited to see the generations of one family get together to process 85kgs of pork.  What I can tell you is that you combine 30g of salt per 1kg of pork, the pork used is from the shoulder and the leg... mixed with some wine, herbs including fennel and pepper and chili. They used a combination of sheep intestine and when that ran out some synthetic skins were used.  The intestines were soaked and cleaned the day prior in water with lemons and oranges. A machine which minces the chopped meat was used to make the sausages, though I was happy to see an old school hand mincer as well.  Now we have 5kg of salami hanging in our shed - 2 weeks and they should be ready - cross fingers.  Thanks to Gino and all the family of Nicola and Leo for having us!.

 Home made Salami, now being cured.

We met a lovely man Bob, from Bob's Beekeeping in Eltham who kindly showed us his bee hive and gave us a run through on what you need to do to keep them- really fascinating, well the bees certainly are and I loved seeing Bob get excited about his bees .  It was nice to hear that all that I had read was pretty much true, which gave me some confidence in dealing with looking after them.  To my surprise they were more active than what I thought for winter but I suppose active will be when you have 30,000 workers coming and going over spring and summer.. Off to join a club and register to get a swarm will be our next step.  I can't wait to get one of those suits too...!
The patch and greenhouse are kicking along.  Broccoli a plenty in the greenhouse and the patch has been fruitful too, with loads less pests due to the lucky combination I have managed to plant this time.

 Broccoli in the patch

Broccoli we ate last night

My girlfriend Sandy and I potted out our  potatoes in bags today.  I got these from the Diggers club, I didn't want to put these in the ground as they are heavy leachers of nutrients from the soil.  3 years will have to pass before it is good for anything to grow in.  So I brought some potato bags (12) and a gourmet mix of potatoes - King Edward, Lustre, Nicola, Kipfler, Pink Eye and Cranberry Red.  We put some pea straw in the bottom and then compost to approx 10cm from the bottom and placed 4 potatoes in each bag. We'll see how I go with these. 

A gourmet mix of potatoes - King Edward, Lustre, Nicola, Kipfler, Pink Eye and Cranberry Red

Bag with pea straw and compost


River said...

Found your blog a while ago, but didn't get around to reading until today.
I'm curious about the potato bags. Did they come from the Digger's Club too? I've bought seeds from them, but not potatoes.
What about drainage? Do the bags have drainage holes or are they an open weave type? Would they work for other veg such as carrots?

V's Fork to Fork said...

Hey there, thanks for reading - yes they did come from the Digger's club too. Yep they sure do have drainage holes as well. Hmmm not sure about carrots in them - could do I suppose they would work - perhaps an experiment is in order? :)

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