Preserving

Winter is literally on our doorstep and we're working hard to get all our lovely fruits preserved and ready for the winter months, we love to make Sauerkraut which uses up all of our cabbage and once fully preserved gives many many delicious dinners. As a family we have also been picking all of the apples and other fruits from our garden and there are so many ways to keep these fruits so that they can be enjoyed all through the year, making Jam is one of those ways and our Jam can be enjoyed by all you that choose to stay with us here at the cottage and we like to think that ours is better than the rest but hey, we're biased, hahaha.

 

heres some other ways to keep your garden wonders going

 APPLES

Cold cellar store whole, cut in rings and dry, or pressure can, as applesauce.

ASPARAGUS

Freeze what you don't eat fresh. Cut spears in 1-inch sections. Steam-blanch 4 minutes. Ice-chill 5 minutes. Bag in a single layer and flesh-freeze.

BEANS, GREEN OR YELLOW

Can. Pick over, stem and string if needed. Pack whole into widemouthed pints or cut into 1/2-inch lengths and pack into quarts. Fill with water leaving 1-inch headroom. Steam-process for 30 minutes at 15 pounds.

BEANS, LIMA

Freeze. Boil-blanch for 3 minutes, chill for 5 minutes and press beans from pod with one end cut off. Box and freeze.

BERRIES

Wash, trim, dry, roll in sugar, bag and flash-freeze.

BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER

Freeze. Soak in saltwater to expose cabbage worms. Rinse well. Cut head into 1-inch florets. Peel stem and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Steam-blanch for 5 minutes. Chill 7 minutes. Dry, bag and flash-freeze.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Hang. Top plant in early fall. After light frost remove leaves, pull plant and hang upside down in a cool but not freezing outdoor location. Twist off sprouts as needed.

CABBAGE

Store in pit or root cellar (but not under house; they can stink). Hold near freezing, moderately moist. Overhaul often, removing soft leaves and any visible spots of black or yellow mold.

CARROTS

Leave in ground under mulch. Or keep in clean, sharp, barely damp sand in dark root cellar. Hold near freezing. Overhaul monthly, use any with black rot on ends. Plant out sprouting roots in spring for carrot seed.

CELERY

Stalks will store in straw, but get bitter quickly. Dry leaves for winter seasoning. Save plant bases in sand in root cellar to replant in spring for seeds.

CORN

Can cream-style to get all the goodness. Cut kernels from ears; scrape ears with back of knife to harvest kernel hearts and milk. Bring to a boil, add water or mashed kernels if needed to cover well. Pack hot in widemouthed pints (only) with a full 1-inch of headroom. Pressure-process at 15 pounds for a full 90 minutes.

CORN ON COB

Freeze. To avoid cobby flavor from too-slow processing, before shucking, drill a 1/2-inch hole through cob. Trim or split cobs to 5-inch length. Insert a 6-inch steel spike with each end exposed and leave in through processing. Shuck, water-blanch for 10 minutes. Chill for 15 minutes. Remove spike, bag individually and flash-freeze, turning after a half hour. (Oil spikes with vegetable shortening to prevent rust till next crop.)

 CHERRIES

Can as Aunt Birdie's stewed cherries. Pick over, wash and pit red sour cherries. Cook till soft in equal parts sugar and water. Can in pints, leaving 1/2-inch headroom, for 30 minutes at 15 pounds. For a treat, cook and can with a few drops of almond oil, rind-on orange rounds, Cherry Heering or other fruit cordial (boiling removes alcohol).

GREENS

Freeze. Pick over and wash in saltwater to eliminate small wildlife. Rinse and dry. Cut in 1/2-inch-wide strips. Boil-blanch for 3 minutes, chill for 5 minutes. Pack loosely in a large bag and flash-freeze.

ONIONS

Sun/air dry. Braid fully dry tops. If not dry, freeze onions. Do not blanch. Skin under water, chop coarsely, conserving juice, and bag. Flash-freeze and take from bag as needed.

PEAS, SWEET AND SUGAR

Freeze. Steam-blanch peas or small-pod sugar peas for 2 minutes. Chill for 5 minutes. Dry, bag and flash-freeze.

PEACHES, PEARS, QUINCES

Can in sugar syrup. Pick firm, newly ripe fruit. To skin, scald in boiling water. Pit/core and cut in two-bite slices in a bowl to conserve juice. Poach for 3 minutes in medium syrup (one part sugar to two parts water, with a squeeze of lemon juice per cup). Pack hot into widemouthed pints and fill to 1/2-inch of top with hot syrup. Process in pressure cooker for 30 minutes at 15 lbs.

PEPPERS, HOT

Air/sun dry. Braid, string or pull whole plant and hang from the south, facing front porch ceiling or door to dry in the fall sun.

PEPPERS, SWEET

Freeze. Cut out stern and blemishes, quarter and seed. Cut in strips or dice. Steam-blanch for 4 minutes. Chill for 5 minutes. Dry, bag and flash-freeze.

POTATOES

Cold cellar, or else dice and dry. Keep loosely packed in dry straw or on trays at moderate humidity, at 35°'F to 40°F and in total dark. Overhaul biweekly. Remove and use any with soft spots. To dry, scrub or peel if you must dice and soak in ascorbic acid to retain the white color. Dry as rapidly as possibly. Bag and store in a cool, dry place (in nitrogen).

PUMPKIN, WINTER SQUASH

Pick when stem slips. Hold in dry, warm storage at 55°F (not touching, in clean straw in a dresser drawer under the bed in an unheated bedroom is traditional). When water spots threaten to soften into rot after several months, split seed and bake till soft. Scrape out pulp, add water in a pot and bring to a boil. Pack hot in one-pie pints or two-pie quarts, leaving 1-inch headroom. Pressure can at 15 pounds for 70 minutes in pints, 90 minutes for quarts.

RHUBARB

Pull stalks, discard leaves, trim bottom. Cut in 1-inch slices. Mix with 1/2 cup white sugar and a pinch of salt per cup of stalks. Steep for an hour to draw fluid. Bring to a boil and cook till sugar dissolves and stalks soften. Add slices of mouse-nibbled strawberries for color and flavor. Pack in pints, leaving 1/2-inch headroom. Pressure-cook for 20 minutes at 15 pounds.

 

thanks to motherearthnews.com  

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Tips on Superhosts

There are some awesome tips and guidance on the Airbnb website www.airbnb.com and if you are looking at how to improve your guests experience then visit it first to see where to start. But while your here why not see our top 5 tips on being and staying a #superhost on @airbnb :

.

1: description- be super accurate with what your place is and don't make it out to be something it's not, get this right and your review will be spot on.

2. Clean- make a cleaning list and itemise all the things that you need clean/change/refill , this is sooo important!! Nobody wants to stay in a dirty bed or shower in someone else's hair. Never leave anything to chance, clean clean and clean again.

3. Honesty- be yourself and don't pretend to be someone your not. Part of the success of being a host is being open and letting guests know what you are about, embrace them!

4. Your guests are special- it's a privilege to host people and because of this you should make them feel as special, add a personal touch, write a nice note or just spend some time with them. Remember, not only are you representing yourself but you are also representing the area where you live, you want people to come back time and time again.

5. Have fun- if you get the top 4 right then enjoy the experience!! See you soon!

Find us on Instagram @lrcottage and on Airbnb Look for Listing #5096414 lrcottage #littlerivercottage #littlerivercottagenz #littleriver #nz #newzealand #wanderlust #airbnbhost #airbnbphoto #instagrammers #christchurchnz #canterburynz  #airbnbnz #cabin #cabinlife #bankspeninsula  #bestplacestogo #explorenz #newzealandfinds 

Being a superhost requires dedication and putting the guest first

Being a superhost requires dedication and putting the guest first

Sculpture on the Peninsula

The Peninsula

Sculpture on the Peninsula is a contemporary sculpture exhibition held every two years. It is the largest sculptural exhibition in the South Island and attracts both leading and emerging sculptors.

 

History

The Sculpture on the Peninsula was the vision of the late Geoff Swinard. Geoff gathered a group of friends together with different talents who formed a committee and later the Lombardy Trust to run this event. The Trust seeks to bring to the public an event that is representive of current art practice in New Zealand. This event would not be possible without the extended support and goodwill of the Sculptors, the Harbour Basin community and our friends.

 

Jane Downes "dalek" 

Jane Downes "dalek" 

Next Event

6, 7, 8 November 2015

Grand Opening

The Grand Opening will be on 6th November 2015

Open to the public

2015 event

Sat 9.30 am to 8:30 pm

Sun 9.30 am to 5:00 pm

Admission

$12.00 per person

Children under 12 free.

Sorry, no dogs.

Rod Donald hut opening

PROGRAMME

Rod Donald Hut opening

Saturday 7th November

9:00am – 1:30pm

with Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trustees and staff Suky Thompson and Sarah Pritchett

Join invited guests to celebrate the official opening of a brand new tramping hut, connecting the Sign of the Packhorse hut to Hilltop along the Summit Walkway.

Car pool from Little River to walk start. Walk to the hut, have a good look around and participate in the formal hut opening before walking back. Light nibbles provided at opening, but bring your own lunch and water. Wear tramping boots and warm clothing.

4.5 hours. Moderate difficulty $10 book for this walk

The walking festival

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The Banks Peninsula Walking Festival offers guided walks all over the peninsula. The guides, all volunteers, bring a huge wealth of knowledge and experience which makes each walk a valuable experience beyond access to tracks, reserves and private land.

Welcome to the 2015 Banks Peninsula Walking Festival!

you can find all of the walks here  

http://bankspeninsulawalks.co.nz 

 

 

The full programme is below.

Four Wonderful Weekends: November 7th - 29th

We have curated a diverse programme of quality walking experiences, all lead by experienced volunteer guides who have a passion for the land, ecology and communities of the peninsula. We are also proud to present several special events in this year's programme, including the Rod Donald hut opening, Global Climate Mobilisation, overnight trip to the Packhorse hut for children and new walks at the Purple Peak Curry Reserve and Panama Reserve.

Children under 10 free

Participants are responsible for their own safety, equipment, food, clothing and vehicles

Postponement/cancellation information call 328 9243

Meeting points and other information will be emailed to you after you register.

Bookings

All walks must be booked and paid for in advance. To book, please visit Eventfinda.co.nz

Walks lead by TimeBank members: If you are a member and the walk you are booking for has “TB” on the programme, use the code TIMEBANK when checking out at eventfinda.

Find us on facebook: Banks Peninsula Walking Festival

Visit www.lyttelton.net.nz for up to date information including transport

For Banks Peninsula Walking information and maps, visit bankspeninsulawalks.co.nz

For accommodation and other services vist Lyttelton Harbour Information Centre www.lytteltonharbour.info or Akaroa District Promotions www.akaroa.com

Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust Events

The Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust works in partnership with others to promote access, biodiversity and knowledge of Banks Peninsula. It is named after MP Rod Donald, the highly respected Green Party co-leader, who sadly died in 2005, and had stood as the candidate for Banks Peninsula in many elections.

The Trust is delighted be part of the pan-peninsula organising partnership for this festival facilitating local guides and to showcase progress on some of our projects:

The new Rod Donald Hut will formally open to the public on the first day of the festival. It provides a much needed second night of accommodation on the Summit Walkway - a wonderful tramp linking the Lyttelton crater to the Akaroa crater along the peninsula’s central high ridgeline. The Trust is working in partnership with Department of Conservation to develop the Summit Walkway into an introductory tramping experience aimed at Christchurch families and youth groups. After opening the new hut will be available to the public, but overnight users must book bunks via the DOC online booking system.

The Packhorse Hut has been seismic strengthened and given a spruce up by DOC as their contribution. Walkers intending to stay overnight must also now book a bunk. This is to help novice tramper families and youth groups ensure they have a bed for the night.

Purple Peak Curry Reserve, 190ha high above Akaroa has been purchased by a consortium of this Trust, the Native Forest Restoration Trust, and Christchurch City Council. The reserve will be managed by Hugh Wilson and his team from neighbouring Hinewai to foster biodiversity recovery. Hugh will be leading a preview walk on a new track in the festival, prior to the reserve’s formal opening next year.

Panama Reserve – the Trust has added 104ha to the Josef Langer Trust’s reserve at Le Bons Bay. Reserve Manager Robin Burleigh will lead a walk including new track areas under the Panana lava dyke.

If you want to find out more about all the public walks on Banks Peninsula, check our comprehensive new website www.bankspeninsulawalks.co.nz or pop into a Peninsula Visitor Centre or the DOC Visitor Centre in Christchurch to obtain our reference book “Banks Peninsula Walks Overview”. You will also find our new brochures detailing the many walks around Akaroa and the Bays and we hope to have the first of our new brochures on walks in the Lyttelton Basin available in time for the Festival.

Feeling a wee bit french....

 

Akaroa frech festival is an amazing weekend where you can practice your french and indulge in a kiwi/fenchie style of festival.. we have some great accommodation deals


Event date: 

Friday, October 9, 2015 to Sunday, October 11, 2015

Brief Description

The Festival will be held on 9th, 10th & 11th October 2015. Escape to picturesque Akaroa and immerse yourself in French culture, entertainment and romance as you celebrate Akaroa’s unique French connection at the Akaroa French Festival. Settle in on Friday evening and relax with sea side dining. Watch the street come alive with entertainment, music. and a light show. On Saturday enjoy the French landing at the beach, the parade, flag raising and market stalls and Sunday look forward to traditional games. This year also celebrating 175 years since Akaroa was founded by the French in 1840. Akaroa French Fest 2015 will be an event not to miss.


Event Date:

Event date: 

Friday, October 9, 2015 to Sunday, October 11, 2015

Eggs a plenty

The Little River Cottage Hens have been hard at work creating beautiful eggs ready for when our guests arrive, now that the winter has finally passed and we are bounding into spring the egg production has increased dramatically, so much so that our eggcess is available to buy by the dozen!

Our hens lead a very fruitful life and you will often see them wandering around the property scratching for bugs and worms and if they are really lucky then they visit the guests who feed them all sorts of goodies! next time you come to stay with us make sure you visit the Hens they will love you for it.

See you soon

Jody

Small business

15 September – Tuesday – ‘SMALL BUSINESS BOOKKEEPING AND TAX BASICS” Informative Talk by Craig Roberts of Craig Roberts & Associates, Chartered Accountants. The Talk is open to anyone with questions on tax matters and Small Business Book keeping. 

Numbers essential as hand-outs provided, bring a pen,  No charge, cuppa provided.  

To book phone  or email Fiona Waghorn 3290171waggie@xtra.co.nz   Bookings essential. 

7pm in the Meeting Room at the Little River Service Centre.