For the first few years of HoBB Real, grass cuttings were composted separately from the kitchen waste. We tried to keep some composting seed free and had special composting areas for weeds, seeds, sticks and branches.
In the turning of these and continual shifting about of rotted matter, we soon became exhausted so started to build composting piles where we wanted the compost to stay and left it to breakdown without tuning it. This promoted earthworm action and trickle fed each area chosen.
As so much is piled up on these mixed compost heaps very little ever seeds or takes root. As the vegetation break down and the earthworm count rises, we attract snails and moles. The snails are harvested and the digger moles regulate the earthworm population buy turning over the soil terrifically!
We have about fourteen of these compost heaps spread around the HoBB Gardens saving the initial walks to amalgamate the compost material and the eventual walks to distribute the finished compost.
Enriched waves ~~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant
Each year, the Elder trees produce a rich harvest of Elderberries. I think that since we started scattering a handful into our recipe for Blackberry and Apple pie, usually eaten on ‘Nutcrack Night’ at the end of October, more friends seem to visit the HoBB for Hallowe’en.
One recipe, using Elder Berries, eluded me for ages despite setting up alerts, designing the jar label (above) and searching the internet. It was the recipe for ‘Pontiac or Pontack Sauce’. A sauce that improves, so I’ve read, if you mature it for 7 years.
Happily, I received the recipe in an email from Marlys Coffey and here it is. I hope you enjoy waiting the full seven years – I’m going to be tempted to sample it after six (days).
Recipe for Pontack or Pontiac Sauce
with my thanks to Marlys Coffey
(Makes 1 x 350ml bottle)
> 500g elderberries
> 500ml cider vinegar
> 200g shallots, sliced
> 6 cloves
> 4 allspice berries
> 1 blade of mace
> 1 tbsp black peppercorns
> 15g root ginger bruised
Place elderberries in dish with vinegar put in very low oven for 4-6 hrs or overnight. Remove strain through seive, crush berries to obtain max juice.
Put juice in a pan with sliced shallots, spices and ginger. Bring back to boil and cook for 20-25 mins until slightly reduced. Remove from heat and strain.
Return to pan and bring back to boil then boil for 5 mins. Pour into warm sterilised bottles and seal.
Sterilize in hot water bath
Store in a dark cupboard and enjoy.
Waves ~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant