This morning I finished digging and "gypsuming" the patch in the aviary where the grain is to grow. It's quite small, and rather experimental.
I am trying a few different things... wheat, barley and some lentils. Barley is supposed to be the easiest grain to grow even if there is less rain or varying weather conditions.
I have also weeded the onions and the coriander that is growing way down the back yard. I dropped a lot of the little weeds on top of the potatoes down there, but I have been putting most of the weeds into the bucket of fertiliser. I put them in "head first" and stir them under... the mixture is very nearly ready to use.
And here is some of the produce in the freezer. From the right... frozen vegetables, apple pudding (in foil) and squid from the market; tomatoes and beans; a box of eggs (frozen six at a time) wiwth some free range beef and a container of soup on top and then the roosters (they're sitting on the coldest spot so far.)
Soup recipe: I had some bacon bones from a man at the market who raises free-range berkshire pigs. I boiled those with an onion, carrot, turnips, potatoes (all cut into smallish pieces), tomatoes from the freezer, and some lentils and barley until is was thick and "soupy". Flavourings include salt, peppercorns, bayleaves, and sometimes I add a chilli from the bush outside the kitchen window. Put it all into a big saucepan with plenty of water and simmer for a couple of hours... stir it occasionally to prevent it sticking on the bottom of the saucepan. Once it is soupy, I add some leafy things from the garden, depending upon what is there... silver beet, kale, even broccoli leaves or stinging nettles (all high in calcium.)
Serve with toast or fresh bread.
You can freeze and/or reheat this, add water, add other vegetables... it can go on for days if you really need it to... and I imagine that this would have been peasant food all over the world, and it reminds me of this book...
... called "Wild Herb Soup," a book that I love, and re-read occasionally. It is translated from French, but it conveys the personality of the woman whose life it describes. I think that it has also been published as "A life of her own"... I think that this might be the same book. I preferred the old name!