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Monday, December 22, 2014


I recently published my latest posting, a tome on making red wine. After a 5 month break the main reason for writing the post was to refresh my mind on winemaking as we approach the 2015 vintage.

I enjoyed writing the postings that made up a full year in the life of HHF. Some days I got so excited that it amounted to 2 postings in a day. My writing skills improved and the style changed. We now have a record in writing to which we can refer should we choose.

Writing daily journals comes at a cost. Compiling photographs, writing and editing are time consuming. To get everything done at the farm and maintain the writing meant getting up much earlier. Checking and rechecking the language, grammar and whether the post made sense resulted in reading the post up to 4 or 5 times.

So now I still get up early but the energy goes into the farm. There is still cheese making, wine, beer and cider making, More effort is going into improving the way we grow vegetables and fruits.

And if that wasn't enough there was a chance podcast that mentioned bread making by Josie Baker with just one little hint. That resulted in a huge leap in the quality of bread making at HHF and now after years of failure we produce fabulous pure sourdough with wholemeal stone ground Wheat and a pure 100% Rye with seeds. Gone are the bricks.

Then the coup de grace. Accidently came across a patisserie "Icky Sticky" in Lorn which made those traditional French pastries with Crème d'amande,  Frangipane etc and topped with fresh fruit. Richard Bertinet's  book Dough solved all the recipe problems and I'm having a ball turning out all sorts of great real cakes, tarts and biscuits. What is lovely about these traditional recipes and methods is that they get back to the basics of flour, eggs and butter. Honey has replaced sugar successfully. Once you get a feel for the techniques it is a simple matter to experiment with ingredients.

Can't say there won't be any more posts but at the moment living the lifestyle is consuming a lot of time. Writing was a great mental activity which can't be avoided forever.

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