This is an attempt to document my efforts to grow and eat locally around Melbourne, Derbyshire. My family own a nine acre smallholding on which we grow fruit and vegetables and keep bees, and chickens, but that won't feed us alone, so the idea is to get to know our local produce and to see how easy/hard it is to follow a diet that is local to within 30 miles. The fun part is also trying some new (easy) recipes that use home-grown and local produce. Feel free to comment, send in recipes, and share your experiences of buying and eating locally.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Making cheese

I has some milk that has turned so I made it into paneer. It was a very simple process and the resulting cheese is mild and creamy. I did use real full-fat milk.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Making cider

I hired the Melbourne Area Transition apple press tonight to make a demijohn of cider. I added a tsp of yeast and the first couple of days will start the fermentation off without the airlock and just with a bit of tissue in the hole. The apple press was so easy to use and I did not get hoardes of family members offering to help but managed quite ok on my own.

Melbourne Food Festival 2013

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Redcurrant wine

Last year, with a glut of redcurrants, I made redcurrant cordial which nobody really liked, so about 3 months ago I decided to make it into wine. It was really simple - I put two bottles of cordial in a Demi-John and topped up with water, added a tsp of yeast, and that was it. It's the most beautiful, jewel-coloured rosé wine and tastes good too (better than the cordial!). I've racked off today as there was a lot of sediment. I think I might make some more now.


Figs from our tree. The two year old fig bush in a pot outside the back door has produced about 10 delicious figs this year.

Racking off rhubarb wine

I made this wine back in the Spring. I think rhubarb makes the best home-made white which is very drinkable. I find some garden wines too heavy. I'm racking it off to another container but actually there is surprisingly little sediment so it won't be long until it goes into bottles. You have to taste it when racking off as you get a mouthful anyway, and it looks like it's going to be good.