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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spring Continues

We collected milk on Sunday night then things got a bit busy on Monday and it didn't get bottled until today. The stock of blue cheese was running low and so it seemed a good time to make another. Having recently tried a Stilton it became the nominated form. The recipe in the Cheeselinks book is a bit different than the process observed in Will Studd's Cheese Slices series. At the time of watching we scrawled some notes in our book. The difference is really minor but it may help us achieve the coarser texture desired. Rather than pressing the cheese it is allowed to settle under its own weight.

Stilton draining

In a bit of a clean up in the garden there were 3 small cabbages harvested. While in the kitchen with the cheese they were converted to Sauerkraut. The Caraway seed version is our favourite and the quickest to make.

We had a bit of a disaster with the incubator. After 21 days (and a half) no chicks emerged. Of the 6 eggs 4 were infertile and two had fully formed deceased chicks. The problem occurred on day 18/19. Needing to raise the humidity from 60% to 70 % hot water was put into the water trays. Not a good idea as the trays are just below the eggs and too close to the eggs. The temperature went up briefly to 39 degrees C. Not long but it seems long enough.  We will try again with a modification being added to the incubator. Two brackets have been inserted just above the lights where we can put in an extra tray on day 18/19. The heat from the globes should be enough to warm the water and increase evaporation. The deceased chicks were buried in our compost heap.


We have 4 concrete rain water storage tanks. 2 x 5000 gallons and 2 x 6000 gallons. As a precaution against losing the lot to a burst pipe two of these tanks have the gate valve turned off and are not supplying water to the pressure pump. To ensure a freshening of the water occurs the catchment system feeds water into these two disconnected tanks and the overflow pipes from these then feed into the two tanks servicing the pressure pump.

Sometimes it's not a good idea to have the rainwater washing over the roof and into the tanks. The two occasions in mind are when the chimney has been cleaned and debris has been left on the roof and when there have been some serious bushfires nearby which have left a heavy fall of ash.

All our down pipes have a gap. In the gap is a leaf filter. This gap also allows us to place plastic bags over the down pipe forcing the water onto the ground. 30 minutes after the rain has commenced the bags are removed.  This is our rough and ready first flush system. We have used it a few times and found it quick and effective.

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