Thursday, 26 March 2015

Planned obsolescence - or sheep to the slaughter...?

RMan and I watched the first episode of "The men who make us spend" on TV last night.
We were horrified at what seriously low depths manufacturers have stooped to to get us to buy their products so that they, and their shareholders, can make a profit.

We have literally become a willing race of lambs being led to the slaughter - all because mankind has been programmed to "must have" the latest version of whatever...

... and it has a name: "Planned obsolescence"

Talk about manipulation.

And, this first episode deals with how manufacturers of electronic items signed a mutual agreement to pre-programme their products to stop working after a specific time period so that you have to purchase another item, and if the product lasts longer than the programmed time, how they were / are fined for breaching the agreement - and this was specifically with the original light globes - Osram, GEC, etc.

The show also reveals what happens to all those perfectly repairable unwanted "old" models.

The good news is that there is a company in the US of A that repairs those supposedly unfixable gadgets - they can be found here: and for locals in this country :

Please - support and look for alternatives before you rush out to buy new because your phone / printer / electric toothbrush, etc have stopped working...

I can't wait to see what the other episodes reveal...

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Yin and yang of gardening

Strange as it may seem, both of these pineapple sage plants, positioned at the entrance to our shadecloth veggie tunnel, were potted at the same time, using exactly the same soil mixture.  And both receive water on exactly the same day / at the same time.
One pineapple sage bush is in bloom, the other
plant - nada
As you can see, the one on the right is in full bloom, whilst the one on the left shows nary a sign.
Pineapple sage flowers
The flowers are exquisite, and, given their tubular design, attract the sunbirds with their long beaks.  The flowers themselves do not appear to have a scent, but the leaves - on being gently crushed - exude a distinct smell of pineapple :)

kymber - there may be a very small parcel arriving - shortly...

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Piquanté Pepper winner

RMan did the deed.

On Sunday morning, whilst we were sitting at the dining room table I held my hat towards him and said, "Shake the contents."
I wrote all the name on a piece of paper
and then cut out identically sized scraps
before placing all of them in my hat
Closing his eyes - I have no idea why because every scrap of paper was folded identically, he put his hand in the hat, gave it, and the contents a twirl round, and pulled out one of the pieces.

Wafting it in the air, dramatically he said, "And the winner is..." before handing it to me to open lol

Chickpea - you're the recipient of the piquanté pepper seeds :)
Chickpea's name was pulled form the hat.
All the seed packets are ready to post off.
You'll notice that the name of the seed packet
is written upside down on the envelope.
That's because when you plant the seeds
you can hang the little envelope on a stick
near the seedlings (right way up) in order to

help you identify what you've planted there :)
Chickpea - please send me an e-mail with your address.  The next time we go through to town I'll post them off to you.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Still harvesting

Although my garden is slowly winding down towards winter, I am still managing to harvest some veggies here and there.

albeit late in the season, I spied some different squash seeds at our local co-op, and they appealed to me.  So, I shoved a couple of them into some neat alpaca poo and waited to see what happened.
An unusual shaped marrow, with a slightly
denser texture.
They are butternut shaped marrows.  Inside the flesh is slightly orange - like a butternut - but the consistency is more or less that of a marrow, with a hint of butternut density.  Quite interesting, and the single plant that handled the heat we've experienced this summer, is quite prolific.
I'm not too sure what message this carrot
 is giving me lol
The piquanté peppers are still cramming the bushes, so I decided to try and dehydrate some.
Sitting in the sun towards the end of the day
It has been so hot that I merely shoved them into black baking trays and placed them in the sun on our front patio.
Piquanté peppers dry beautifully, retaining their
 colour perfectly.
Two trays dehydrated down to one.  Those I'm going to put into a clean jhar and use them in casseroles / roast chicken / savoury rice, etc this winter.

Then on a trip to our local supermarket a couple of weeks ago I spied some kale.  That is the first time I have seen it available in this country.  Naturally, I grabbed a bunch - and then didn't know what to do with it.  I finally decided to make it the way I make my creamed spinach.  RMan loved it :)

So, off I toddled to the local garden centre / nursery and ask the owner to try and get me a 6 pack seedling tray.  That he did - and now they're planted in my veggie patch ;)

Now, all I need is for everyone to share their kales recipes with me ;)
The importers web page is circled
in the pic above.  They do have a
list of retail outlets which stock
their Ball preserving jars on their
Finally, on the second to last page of the latest issue of "go! Platteland" I spotted this ad.  Whoopee!!  Consol have apparently stopped making preserving jars, and that had me in a tither.  Now I can invest in some Ball jars instead :)

Short-sightedly, after finally getting a response to my e-mails, I have established that the importers / distributors do not have an on-line store, and will not supply the public directly, so, if, and when, I manage to get to Worcestor, or Somerset West, I'll have to try and purchase some.

Who doesn't have an on-line store these days...?

Ah, well.

Please - don't forget the piquanté pepper seed giveaway.  Closing time is midnight tonight so you still have time to enter.. The giveaway can be found here :