Friday, September 9, 2011

Hat's off to Australia Post and Phoenix seeds

So on Wednesday, at about 1.30 pm I (and the traveling frog) went into the post office in Whitemark and got the postal order and sent off my seed order to Phoenix seeds - in Snug, Tasmania (yes, there really is a place called Snug). Today - Friday lunch time... the seeds are here.

Wow! Most internet orders can't top that!

I have already planted the buckwheat. (not sure quite what I'll do if it comes up and produces. I want buckwheat flour, buckwheat noodles and buckwheat beer. But that may be optimistic out of one packet of seeds... and no idea how to do any of the above!

I also saw my first snake of the season. Large. Near my chickens and dogs. Unfortunately by the time I got back there with the nearest implement it had left. Yes, I know. But I can't afford to treat the dogs. And they have lots of the rest of the Island


  1. I hear you can eat snake, although it's one of the few critters I haven't tried. As for the buckwheat, it should sprout in prepared ground and grow fast. Ours has been up and blooming for ages now, but I don't know if it will have a chance to set seed before the first frost, which will kill it. We use it as a green manure, and becuase it's a great bee-plant.

  2. Hum... this looks pretty simple? For Buckwheat flour

    Once you get flour, look for recipes for soba and you'll have buckwheat noodles.

  3. They plant buckwheat here as a late summer crop. It grows quickly but doesn't like exceptionally high heat. Farmers here like it because it actually doesn't like nitrogen fertilizer! Great follow on crop therefore.

    In the slavic ethnic towns north of us (mining at the turn of the 1900's) you will see all sorts of kasha dishes at the fall festivals. Kasha seems to be fairly easy to make from freshly harvested buckwheat as it seems every house in the Little Poland area of SE Kansas has a patch planted in the late summer. (Pulled a few rockets that drifted in them out of them in my time).

    This actually may turn out to be a great cereal for your long time use as you quite possibly could get several plantings in.

    We're a wee bit warmer longer into the fall then Cedar's comes in just before the frost. I wish I knew how to compare the temps of the growing season for it here with your temp ranges.

  4. Cedar :-(We still have a chance of frost for this month. Not a big chance but a chance. How close together should the plants be?

  5. Mike, speaking as an experienced do-it-yourselfer, that article sucks. It didn't explain when you knew to harvest, make clear how you established 'dry' (enough) and left grind to basically 'buy an electric mill' (yes, Mr Grumpy here. A mill is going to need some of that very scanty stuff called 'money'- the cheapest Australian one $450!- in the US they drop to $200, but that's still needs a lot more grain than I am likely to have to justify...

  6. It does sound like a good possible, Quilly. The unimproved soil is not good and we have a very short 'hot' season.

  7. I didn't take a close look at it. Not sure about harvesting -- I think it's when the seeds are out and pretty solid, but that's just an impression. 3 months after seeding is one note I see. There's a lot of stuff on the webs about soba (which is buckwheat).

    Grinding... the traditional grinder here is a stone one, but I've been assured you can use almost any kind of grinder. I think the buckwheat seeds are fairly tough. Let me do some poking around... I wonder if you could use a metate (isn't that the old flat stone on flat stone grinder that the American Indians used for corn?).

  8. I wish buckwheat flour, buckwheat noodles and buckwheat beer. But that may be optimistic out of one packet of seeds and no abstraction how to do any of the above!

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  9. That buckwheat plants here as a late summer harvest. It grows quickly, but do not like the heat exceptionally high. The farmers here, he likes because he dislikes nitrogen fertilizer! Great capture of the culture then.

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  10. It grows rapidly, but the heat is not exceptionally high. The farmers here do not like, because they do not keep the nitrogen fertilizer! Much of the harvest to follow.

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  11. We have had our ups and flourishing for centuries now, but I do not know if it will have a chance to produce seeds before the first frost will kill it. We use it as a green manure, and because it is a large bee-plant.

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