Thursday, 8 October 2015

Tomato Sauce

It's that time of the year again and the tomatoes are coming in left, right and center. As far as I am concerned you can never have enough tomato plants ;)

So far I have made salsa and tomato soup but I have not canned any tomato sauce so far. That was something I have rectified this week. A combination of herbs, quartered and pureed tomatoes , as well as some red onion and my tomato sauce was ready to be canned. That will make a great dinner sometimes during the winter.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Chestnuts - laundry detergent

The other day I read an article about making laundry detergent out of chestnuts. As I always look for alternatives and am open to try new things, I thought about giving it a try. On Friday I walked past a chestnut tree in our street and collected a few chestnuts to give this a try.

It's actually quite simple to make: 

- use 5-8 fresh & dry chestnuts and cut them in quarters
- add 300ml (10oz) of water to a jar
- add the quartered chestnuts and leave for about 8 hours

This will make a soapy water that you then filter to put in the washing machine. It does not store for long, so you need to create it new each time you do laundry. The other option would be to create a powder out of the chestnuts, which will store longer, which I am planning to do next.

I used this detergent to wash the baby cloth and they turned out clean and with a neutral smell, so I was really happy. This is nothing for very dirty cloth but it's a nice alternative for cloth that are not overly dirty.

Monday, 5 October 2015


Practice makes perfect. It took Jacob ages before he was comfortable to lay on is stomach and lift his head. This picture is about two weeks old, from one day to the next he got it. Now he enjoys lifting his head up and looking around.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Garden Update October 2nd

tomato plants

tomato plants
newly planted and mulched strawberries

mulched strawberries

weeds in the garden

my sunflower

raised beds

I guess this will be my last garden update for this year. October has arrived and the nights and early mornings have that fall chill in the air. The afternoons are still gorgeous though. I am working toward getting the garden winter ready. I decided against a fall garden this year. I have been barely able to keep on top of the garden this year and have enough work to do to prepare the garden for winter.

The first half of the garden is already done. I have been digging the soil on that side already, took the old strawberry plants out and planted the new ones. Right next to it I will plant about 50 onions for an early harvest next year (think June/July harvest). The second half of the garden still needs digging though and all the berry bushes need trimming back. 

Right now all I have left for harvesting are peppers and tomatoes (and apples). Depending on the weather I will be able to enjoy the tomatoes until late October. So far I have made salsa and tomato soup and stored them for winter. Tomorrow I plan to process another 5-10 kilos and make pasta sauce, to store for the winter.

All in all, I am more or less satisfied with the harvest this year. I mean between the twins, the weeds, no time and several root voles, I did harvest quite a bit, not as much as in previous years but enough to last us through the winter