Archive for May, 2015

Hunter-gatherer, me

May 25, 2015

Well…gatherer, anyway.



A perfect specimen of Agaricus augustus.

I’ve been piling small sticks and prunings under the fruit trees in the food forest (called ‘chop & drop’ in permaculture) and they’ve rotted down to produce a rich black soil, which is where this was growing. There are others just appearing. I’ll let them develop fully before I pick them. Because they’re appearing intermittently, I’m choosing to dry them and store them for later use. There have been more appearing this year than any other. That’s a good omen. I must be doing something right.

But oh, how I wish I could find them like this. What a meal they would make! :


(image from

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

May 21, 2015

I like ‘mavericks’…people who don’t go along with accepted wisdom, because they’ve done their own homework and educated themselves with facts. Dr Malcolm Kendrick, a Scottish GP, is one of those. I don’t know how I first found his blog, but I’ve since bought his two books…The Great Cholesterol Con and Doctoring Data. I started reading the second one only last evening. His cynical humour makes reading it worthwhile for that alone. Laughter is the best medicine, as they say.

I’m becoming more and more fed up with the medical profession and the way they seem to do only what Big Pharma tells them. I go for a consultation, my GP takes my blood pressure, then spends the rest of my allocated 10 minutes looking at his computer screen. Finally he presses the print button and I am handed a prescription for some drug or other. I have never been asked about my lifestyle…what I eat, how much exercise I get, etc, etc. Holistic medicine went out the door years ago and reductionist medicine took its place. I believe more than ever, ‘you are what you eat’, not what someone tells you you should eat.

So anyway, the US dietary guidelines are about to be revised according to Dr K. Cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium (salt) are no longer ‘nutrients of concern’. Sugar is the killer. Didn’t we already know that?

So prepare yourself a satisfying plate of tasty, fried bacon and sit down and read the good doctor’s blog.

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

I think that the four words ‘I told you so’ should only be thought, and never written down. No-one likes a smart arse. But sometimes it is impossible to resist….just impossible. In this case I have failed. ‘Father forgive me, for I am weak.’ So, here goes…’I told you so.’

Some of you may be aware that the US dietary guidelines are going to be changed. For some reason it is required that the full report is suppressed for about a year. Presumably so that everyone can pile high their defences when the attacks begin. ‘I think you will find that I have always, ahem, supported these ideas.’ Cough, shuffle of papers….cough. ‘Sorry, no time to take questions.’ Exit left.

The entire report, I believe, stretches to about a bazillion pages. However, here are four of the highlights.

  • Cholesterol is to be dropped from the…

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May 17, 2015

Remember that huge (136 gm) egg I wrote about in the last post :


I was expecting at least a triple-yolker. But no…just another 55 gm egg :


Maybe it’s the chicken equivalent of gift-wrapping.

April update

May 12, 2015

Hard to believe it’s May already; I’m wondering where autumn went. We don’t seem to have had many of those lovely warm days I remember from past autumns.

The Sweet Wattle is flowering all through the bush, filling the air with a beautiful scent :


I picked the first mushrooms and Jerusalem artichokes of the season :


The mushrooms actually came from the hugelkultur bed; it’s nice to think that as the underlying wood rots down, it’s providing me with some extra food.

The New Girls have continued to lay well, with at least a dozen eggs a week between them. I thought the they were going off the lay, preparing for their winter rest, when egg production dropped down a bit to 9 a week, but then this appeared, all 136 gm of it. Ouch! I bet that hurt! :


This Japanese seedless mandarin is covered in fruits, the only problem being that they have almost no mandarin flavour and are as sour as lemons! :


I’m thinking the only way to deal with them would be to preserve the segments in a sugar syrup, perhaps with some spices to make up for the absence of mandarin flavour. Ideas anyone?

The blueberry has donned it’s autumn foliage :


The oca is growing well and the tubers will be harvested as soon as the foliage dies down in winter :


The asparagus fern needs to be allowed to die back to return nutrients to the root system, then it can be cut back and the beds fertilised in readiness for the spring crop :


This is an alpine strawberry in a wicking box. I sprinkled some corn salad seed around it. I think I overdid it a bit! :


The pepino in the wicking box is still producing fruit :


The wombok chinese cabbage in the wicking box is growing well, but not looking like producing the expected tight central cluster of leaves. I was hoping to make kimchi with it, but if it doesn’t do its thing the chooks are going to have a ball pulling these massive leaves to bits :