The spoils of summer in Allora
IT'S wonderfully fresh and cool this morning, with good, strong breezes that send our windmill whirling, filling up our tanks so we have plenty of water for animals, gardens and orchards.
We just finished brekky - toasted triple cream brie and strawberry jam sandwiches - and finally got to taste-test the cherry port and peach sherry brews we made last week.
They are delicious - fruity and fragrant, but not too sweet.
We strained and bottled them all and now have the lusciously boozy fruit to spoon over vanilla ice cream in the days to come.
About this time last year, a massive storm knocked our power out for two days, melting the contents of our freezer just enough to soften it into a massive meat ice block.
Since then, whenever I need meat, I grab a hammer and big screwdriver and chisel out a chunk of mystery meat.
Sometimes it's ground beef, sometimes smoked ham, sometimes paprika-spiced sausage.
I've been waiting excitedly to reach the homemade prosciutto I made with my friend, Oma, and today was the day.
I got out the meat slicer, and this afternoon we have been feasting on wafer-thin slices.
It was worth the wait.
Over the weekend, Bear and I got in the car and drove to visit friends and pick up a load of hay.
I swap hay for weeding, which is such a great trade.
I get hay to mulch our gardens and orchards, and then get to spend happy hours chatting with my friend while we yank weeds and chop unruly grasses that try to sneak in.
They never let us go home empty handed, and this time was no different.
They gave us a whole box of pickling onions, massive bulbs of Russian garlic, beetroots, cucumbers and zucchini.
We scoured the tangle of bean vines and emerged with a bucket of tender green beans.
Such wonderful gifts.
My favourite part was heading into their fig orchard and picking one perfectly ripe fig after another.
They're so beautiful and fragrant and I'm excited to make chia seed fig jam, roasted figs with mascarpone and fig clafouti.
Today is a Use Up All The Harvest day, grating zucchini and freezing it to add to soups in autumn, thinly slicing cucumbers for Scandinavian-style pickles, roasting beetroot and sweet potatoes, frying up leeks and freezing them to add to eggs, fried potatoes and salads.
I juiced a small mountain of lemons, using some for homemade lemonade and freezing the rest for more lemonade on these hot summer afternoon.
I'm so thankful for all this bounty, such good things to nourish and fortify us for the work we have to do.