Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Funky Frontyard Farmers Challenge: Day 3


Sunflower espresso coffee

Two white cockatoo's rampaged our sunflowers this morning, chewing off half of two sunflower heads and knocking over a third entirely. Joe scared them off with arm waving antics, and primitive growls but the were back again within minutes. After an hour or so of charging out into the rain to shoo them away again, it became clear that we simply needed to cut their heads off. The sunflower heads, that is. We chopped off what was left of them and brought them inside. With loads of sunflower seeds at our disposal, its now a matter of what to do with them, so after a little reseach, we decided to try sunflower seed coffee.

Sunflower seed coffee

I recalled reading somewhere that sunflower seeds could be used as a substitute for coffee. So we decided to give it a try. Firstly, we roasted the sunflower seeds in the oven until they were brittle. Then we blended them in the blender. A coffee grinder would have probably been better. We used the grinds as normal in our coffee machine. Surprisingly, a watery brown coffee was the result and tasted somewhat like a chai tea. While it was not as strong as regular coffee, it did have a nice nutty taste, and apparently, still contains some caffiene.

Not a bad drop for a morning coffee, but I think we will stick to our Aldi's coffee tomorrow.


N & G making breakfast for mum & dad

This morning, G &and N made us breakfast. Our last 2 mushrooms and some silverbeet was masterfully chopped and diced before dad pan fried them with garlic. Tragically, our mushroom kit keeled over this week. All of our baby mushrooms turned grey and stopped growing. I suspect we may have overwatered them. Alas! no more mushrooms for the challenge.

thanks kids

For lunch we made some more potato wedges, and served them with zuchinni fritta's and a garden salad. It was at this point that we realised our egg consumption required immediate rationing for the rest of the week. With only 8 eggs left in the fridge, and 3 being collected each day, we will have to limit our use of eggs to 5 per day.

By the end of day 3, things are beginning to look a little desperate. The relentless rain has stopped any tomatoes from ripening, and the silverbeet has developed rust spots. We have used more than half the carrots and the thought of a lamb roast is depressingly tempting.
N & G have lunch outside in the tent.


By dinner time, spirits are a little damp at the FFF HQ. Joe and Noah tried in desperation to catch some yabbies down in the local creek, but the rain had made the creek too swollen to see any yabbies. They returned wet, hungry and covered in leaches. A lovely hot vegetable pie was just the thing to lift the spirits.

While the weather has been miserable today, we wont complain too much. It doesnt seem right with the terrible floods in Toowoomba and Queensland in general, after spending my childhood in Toowoomba, our thoughts are with all the ppl there this evening.


  1. Great blog Jo & Joe! Tip for ripening tomatoes: A book we got for Christmas on storing garden produce says that when bananas are yellow they are at an advanced stage of ripeness and release a gas called ethylene which encourages surrounding fruit to ripen faster. It suggests that if you pick tomatoes that haven't ripened fully (at the end of the season for example) and you want to speed the process up, you can put them in a bag with a ripe banana in a warm room to help speed the process along. At this point I'm yet to test this tip myself, but it may just get you through the week! Good luck :-)

  2. thanks Brett. We were dabbling with the idea of a bruschetta for breakfast, which would use up most of our meagre tomatoes.

    Quickly! I need a banana and a brown paper bag!

  3. Loving your journey so far!! good luck for the rest of the week. I had visions of joining you this week, but unrelenting rain and flooding has not helped my vege garden and I am lucky to get 1 meal a day from it this week :-(

  4. Cheers Ally. Sorry to hear about your veg patch getting rained out. Hasn't the weather been a fizzer. Hope u get some well deserved sunshine soon.