We have been eating Feijoas for some weeks now, & they are just about finished. We scooped several buckets worth & cooked them up to freeze. The simplest way to get the flesh out, is to halve the fruit & then just twist a teaspoon inside the skin to free the flesh. One can get quite fast at this, & it’s even better with a group of you & some distracting conversation. Even so a bucket full yields only a few pots when cooked. I add 2 tblsp of sugar to each saucepan full, & cook until the whole lot is boiling, this stops them discolouring in the freezer.

As a bonus I kept the excess juice from cooking, (no added water) & made Feijoa Champagne, economical, quick,simple & divine!

This recipe was given to us by Malcolm & Amanda in Gisborne, & was originally for Rhubarb, but now I’m thinking it can be used for any fruit that has tasty juice.

FEIJOA CHAMPAGNE:

Into a 2L plastic bottle put:

11/2 -2 cups cooled juice

1 cup sugar

Water to fill within 5cm of top of bottle.

Pinch of wine or cider yeast

Put in a warm place for 3 days or until bottle is tight, than store in fridge.

It is amazingly frothy, like a creaming soda & of course it tastes wonderful.

Feijoa Champagne

 

COMPOST HEAPS:

Geoff has come up with a great system for composting, that only requires one bin. He’s built a square bin, the sides are about 1.5m & it is 50cm tall, although you could make it taller. We set it up in the middle of a garden bed & made compost as usual, when the heap was ready to dig, we lifted the bin up & set it next door. After putting some bigger stalks etc in the bottom for drainage, we put the top of the first bin, & any bits not broken down into the new bin.

We were left with a lovely pile of compost, most of which we spread out where it was, & some got used to feed the Asparagus .

Moveable Compost HeapDelicious Compost!

WEATHERPROOFED DECK:

The other new addition we’ve made recently is to close in our deck with plastic. We were inspired by the Cafes that have covered outdoor areas, but the cost of that thick plastic was daunting.

After searching for some time on the net, Geoff found a company called Redpath, who supply greenhouse plastic etc. The good thing we found was a canny way of putting the plastic up, using runners. These fit firmly but can be removed easily to take down the plastic as needed. For about $200 we have covered in 3 sides of an area 3m by 9m, with the house wall providing the 4th side. The gate to the pool still opens so if it’s really hot we can open that, & we have a doorway at the opposite end of the deck which we can open or close with a big hanging bedspread.

Not only do we have a warm, dry & sunny area to sit in, but the warmth radiates through the house, & offers extra insulation & weatherproofing. Surprisingly too it doesn’t billow noisily in the wind.

We figure if we have the panels up 6 months each year we could get at least 12 years use out of them, the plastic has a 7 year warranty. We’ll need to store the plastic out of the sun when we take it down.

 I can’t believe that such a simple addition has improved our quality of life so much, having a sunny, dry place to eat lunch & hang out is brilliant, plus when the Grandchildren come, it’s perfect for playing Lego!!

Deck

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