Saturday, 4 July 2009

The loo and the bees and the market...

This morning I went to the market in Angaston.  I have been getting there every second week to top up on those vegetables that I need to.  Today it was carrots and potatoes.  I have a few carrots growing, but not enough, and they are still quite small.  The "potato man" gets to the market every second week, and I try to be there on the right Saturday if I need potatoes.  He also has the best carrots.  I paid him an extra $2.50 when I bought the potatoes and took them from the front passenger's seat of his truck on the way back to my car.  The big bunch of carrots...
...and a bag of potatoes...
When I got home and checked my email,  I found two comments, one from Devon with a request for a picture of his installation....  I began to answer it with another comment but decided that it was too complicated and, besides, I needed pictures...
This (below) is the view when you're sitting there,  though to take this I had to balance precariously behind the toilet!  
The log on the right (serving as a hand towel holder) was carved by Devon on site, using a chain saw.  It used to hold the bowl that catches the water,  but then I found this little white "table" (free, in someone's shed)  or whatever it is, and it is lovely in this spot...   the unfinished mural is behind the whole installation....  
The "piece de resistance"... Devon's plumbing...    (thankyou Dev!)
This works incredibly well.  Like the rest of the house it now has rainwater, and is perfect for handwashing... water collects in the copper bowl and can be emptied into the toilet or carried out to the garden in the summer.  Here is how it looks from the inside...
... and outside...  quite a story there too!

As for the preserving of fruit in honey, I have thought about it and I will have  a go next summer.  I'd love to see a recipe for the syrup... just quantities/proportions.  Are there any difficulties with ph?  Honey has a very low ph and I know that there can be concerns with acid fruits... just a thought.
However,  I do get honey locally....  this is the "agro" hive.  (Named this because the bees in this hive can behave like attack bees.)  We have two hives, and the other one is known as the "pepper tree hive"  as the swarm prefers to live inside a hollow part of the trunk of the tree.
Here are the agro workers...  at work.
We haven't been able to raid the hives for the past season, as it was so dry that the bees didn't have any extra at all!  Bees don't do well in a drought.  
I still have a little bit of honey left,  though not a lot.  September/October is when we will see how much they have next.  Perhaps we'll be just that much more local from then on.  Otherwise I can buy some from another local producer.
The other advantage in having bees is that I get really good pollination of fruits and vegetables (and I'm sure that the neighbours do too.)  

After the market,  I came home via Tanunda.   
I saw this unpruned winter vinyard in Basedow Street.  I'm not usually a fan of autumn leaves and all of that.  I find the end of summer a bit sad, and I don't look forward to the winter... too long in Canada?  But these red leaves were so brilliant that I stopped to take a picture.  There is a narrow crop planted between the rows of vines.

In the same street were these pruned vines...  very different.
All the way home across the western side of the valley,  I was watching for pruners at work. This is the main work available in the vinyards now.  Sure enough,  a row of cars parked along the road directed me to several heads bobbing above the vines.  Pruners at work...  this work can be cold and wet,  and hard on one's hands working with secateurs all day.
Nearly home....  the sun was shining on Mt Light (below, the rh bump in the distance... mountains are small on an old continent!)   Light on Mt Light!   
The varying fields with crops at different stages look good at this time of the year and the rain has really made everything look very green.  

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