Yesterday, 21 March, was Human’s Right Day but also the official start of autumn. And it feels like a real autumn day, grey, humid and with a chill in the air. The beautiful swallows have started congregating for their long trip to Europe and the cosmos are in full bloom.
We had yet another extremely wet season with the Groot Spruit breaking its bank numerous times. At one stage we thought of organising a raft race on the farm as there was water everywhere! We have been able to make hay bales, but not enough yet to carry us through winter and sadly our lucern is now completely dead after being under water too many times. We will have to find another place on the farm to replant it in the spring. Luckily we still have a few weeks to plant the winter pasture and if the weather allows it, we should be able to do it before the frost.
The first calves from our new bull MJ were born a couple of weeks ago, and they have the floppy ears of their father! MJ has girlfriends both in the dairy and beef cattle herds, and he seems happy with it.
Chicken Liver mousse
We don’t only make cheese and dairy products on the farm, and summer is time to make our wide range of preserves and pickles, using fruits from the farm or grown locally. We have also started making Pâtes de Fruits or Membrillo as well as a delicious Chicken Liver Mousse (which I also call the poor man’s foie gras!). Look out for them at our Fouriesburg shop or at the different markets we attend. All these go so well on any cheese or charcuterie platter.
With the constant mix of rain and sunshine, we went on the hunt for mushrooms, and were delighted to find Pine Boletus. Unfortunately no Porcini yet, but we are still looking. It is a real treat to eat freshly picked wild mushrooms (but please be careful as there are many poisonous mushrooms, so make sure you always check with someone knowledgeable before eating anything you have foraged).
Its time to plant garlic
This year, for the first time, we have also planted garlic – both Egyptian pink and Elephant garlic. With the use of organic fertilizer, hopefully our crop will be a success and we should have beautiful heads of garlic to sell early summer.
We also have a couple of new cheeses – the Caledon Cendre (bloomy rind with ash) and the Maluti Moon (a mild and salty semi-hard cheese). If you haven’t tasted them yet, make sure to visit our shop, our stalls or some of our retailers.
Who doesn’t like a good cheesecake? But with our busy lives we don’t always have the time to bake. So have a look at our No-bake Fridge Cheesecake recipe.
Look out for our stall at the Banting Market @ Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria or at Field Market in Parkmore, Sandton – or why not take a drive to the beautiful Eastern Free State and visit our shop in Fouriesburg?
Until next time…