Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Pantry Progress.

We headed west again to the farm, armed with a list a mile long of all the jobs we intended to do, knowing full well we probably wouldn't get half of them done.
We passed by many beautiful paddocks that were  a sea of glorious yellow canola, such a stunning sight at this time of the year.
When we were about 25 miles from our property we noticed a thick column of smoke rising into the air.
As we traveled along we were trying to work out where the fire would be, but as we got nearer home the smoke looked closer and closer to our area.
turned out to be about 3 klms from our place, a farmer was burning off stubble and it got away. It burnt a fair area of their property, but luckily no property or people were affected.
The sheep greeted us  with enthusiasm as always, knowing that Brian will give them some hay, this  time we were greeted by four tiny  new  faces.
The next morning  another ewe had a beautiful baby lamb, she was a new mum, an another ewe was trying to bully her and take the lamb off her  for herself(even though she had no milk to feed it)

We separated the mum and bub to give them some bonding but unfortunately she rejected the lamb and we lost it overnight. We learnt a valuable lesson, in not leaving the lamb so long without taking it and  bottle feeding.
We had brought up with us 5 sets of metal shelving to eventually build  and put into my  soon to be walk in pantry after the laundry fixtures are moved up to the shed into the new laundry room that is in progress.We decided to  empty the old cupboard and erect  the first  shelf unit.
We were extremely pleased with how easy they were to build and how great  all my canning jars looked on them. e decided to build a second set, so I emptied another cupboard and moved our small freezer to make room for them.
We very quickly filled up the second set as well. This makes an excellent storage area for all my canning jars, equipment and other  things that I use in the kitchen.
We have decided that we will put four sets of these shelves in the pantry, and instead of the fifth set we will put our larger chest freezer that we have on the coast. That way everything  will be close at hand when I need it. The fifth set we broke up and added an extra shelf to the untits and will do the same top the remaining  units.
We decided  that we would add a watering system to our orchard that we  started last visit. Brian buried black poly irrigation tubing and added a spray at each tree, and then hooked this all up to a  battery operated timer to water the fruit trees at regular intervals   even when we are   back on the coast.
We plan to add another 6 trees to the orchard soon, and will expand the watering system al
ong with that.
Our neighbours had given us a bag of oranges, they said they were not good  eating oranges and would only be fit for juicing or marmalade, and  as I already had made enough marmalade for our use, I decided to juice them and can it.
All citrus juice must be heat treated by heating it to 197 deg F (or 88 deg c)  and maintaining that temperature for 5 minutes, before pouring into hot jars and water bathing for 15 minutes.
I only had 7 pints of juice, so I water bathed it in a  stock pot on the stove instead of using my big electric water bath preserver. We will just drink this juice or use it to make fruit punch, I hope to do many more juices and cordials and syrups in the future, this  area is all new  to me.
We have had a really busy time, and I will show  more of it in another post. The satellite  internet service doesn't always want to co-operate   here at the farm, and what would take me 20 minutes to post on the coast has taken me  nearly 90 minutes tonight,so I will leave it there.
So until we meet again,  which will be soon I hope !
Take care,


  1. You new shelves look amazing especially with all that good food!
    Where do you get your ball mason jars from?
    I'm just about to start putting dripper irrigation in my other veggie garden soon. It saves so much time!
    Take care

    1. Thanks mel, sorry i took so long to reply, life has just been super busy.
      I am really happy with my shelving, something I have wanted for ages. I used to get my jars from a company called Ozfarmer in Kempsey in NSW, but postage has become so prohibitive , that now that they are available from Most Big W stores, I get them there if needed. Between the masons I already have and the old Fowlers vacola jars that I have had for years, I rarely need to buy any more.
      Good luck with your drip irrigation system too.

  2. Sounds like a plan and an adventure. So organized.

    1. Thanks Christy, we are having to be organized for storage as our place is only fairly small and it didn't have any good storage areas, so hopefully this will sort it out ( the scary part is going to be when we merge the two places into one, when both are already full to overflowing).Cheers :-) :-)

  3. Wow preserving orange juice, that is a fantastic idea!

    I love the new pantry shelving Your preserves look great presented that way. Mine sit in a cupboard where nobody sees :)

    1. I had never thought of juice either Tania, it separates while sitting in the jars, but a good shake and it's fine.
      I really love my shelving too, I just walking in there and looking at them in disbelief... still find it hard to believe it's mine.