We had a beautiful sunny weekend here in Seattle – not something to take for granted in April. It was the perfect opportunity to fire up the oven, bake some crusty bread, and enjoy it with a glass of crisp white wine out in the backyard.
This time I hit the temperature just perfectly – I really like the color and texture of the crust. The bread is a simple kamut sourdough, with a generous addition of toasted hazelnuts and fresh, chopped rosemary.
- 250 g active starter
- 750 g kamut flour
- 20 g sea salt
- 100 g toasted hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
- water as needed
YeastSpotting submission #11
It’s always interesting to look back and see how things have changed in a year. In April 2013 we had just cleared our neighbors’ backyard of blackberries and were getting ready to plant. 12 months and an excellent crop of potatoes later, it’s difficult to imagine that not too long ago this place was entirely covered in a jungle of blackberries. This year we’ve planted garlic, more potatoes, and created a little nursery area to hold our propagated cuttings. Too bad there aren’t any more neighboring yards for us to take over.
I recently came across Steven Edholm’s great homesteading blog. He writes excellent information-packed posts about many of the subjects I also dabble in: gardening, seed-saving, pruning, grafting.
In particular, I was amazed at his efforts – you might also say obsession – to collect, grow, and evaluate hundreds of old apple varieties. And he doesn’t have a big orchard to work with – instead he grafts many varieties onto a single tree. The most extreme example of this he calls his “Frankentree” – it sports well over 100 different grafted varieties.
Each of these grafts yields only a few apples. Enough to assess its qualities and determine whether it’s worth growing more of a particular variety. Reading the tasting notes, I was keen to try some. I emailed Steven and in short order I received a package with a cornucopia of scions:
In another stroke of luck, I have access to graftable trees through my involvement with City Fruit. So this weekend I started creating a couple of Frankentrees of my own, grafting 20 varieties. Now it’s fingers crossed that all the grafts take and result in fruiting branches in a few years.
Pomology is fascinating and can be quite addictive. I don’t plan to take it to the extreme like some folks do – but I’m excited at the prospect of experiencing apple varieties that are hundreds of years old and not available for purchase in any store.
Our corkscrew willow glows with new growth; the fruit trees are blooming everywhere; and next week our bee hive will once again come alive. No doubt we’ll soon be frazzled keeping up with the demands of the garden – but right now we’re savoring this special moment where everything is poised to explode back into life after the dead gray months of winter.
Blog stats are fascinating – it’s fun to see all the different countries from which people find their way to our site to read about our little projects; and it’s really interesting to see which subjects receive the most attention.
At the top of the ranking by a wide margin – in fact receiving more than twice as many views as the second most popular post – is … the gabion bench. Apparently there is a huge interest in building with gabions, because that post is consistently the most popular almost every single day.
It’s been 2 years now since we built that bench and I wrote about it on this blog. Given the interest, I think I owe you an update on how this project has fared. I’m happy to report that it’s been a great success: the structure has held up very well; it still looks great; and, most importantly, we use it all the time.
Here’s what it looks like today (this was on a rainy day):