October 19, 2010

Promises that Hopefully Will Keep

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We are in the middle of Spring and can feel that the weather is improving. Although we still received coldsnap, I don't think it is that bad. With everything is sprouting and going greener, we can actually be confident that there are promises in every open buds, that they will bear young fruits, just enough for us to enjoy.

harvest the rest

Kiwifruits were the last crops we harvested, shared with piwauwau-like birds. They taste really sweet and fragrant once they are ripen.

My Boy

bluebell by ben binsted

californian poppy by ben binsted

When the sun is up, the activities will be shifted outside. My oldest son, who shares passion in photography with me, is enthusiastic to learn more techniques outdoors. I let him use my camera and 100mm f/2.8L macro lens attached. Composition was our theme that day, so I think he did it well. You can visit his collection here, if you'd like to.

It is so lovely being the in the orchard and garden at the moment. Blossoms are blooming and bees have started working, pollinating. Some fruit trees have been bearing young fruits, sending promises that are well kept for us. Hopefully.

appleblooms2  Cherry Blossoms

the promises

Yes, I said hopefully. Full blooms are not always a guarantee that all will be developing into mature fruits. Many will drop when they are not pollinated, others might survive but still need to fight against diseases. 

Gardening and managing an orchard is a kind of work which requires regular treatment.  But we do love being self-sufficient and working on what nature offers. It is such an achievement if you can eat apples fresh from the tree which taste so much better than store-bought ones. This is because they are picked when are mature. 

grapes in our orchard

There is always ups and downs in gardening, but also contains surprises. This year, it seems that our grapevines are promising more fruits than last year which grew more foliage and vines rather than bunches of grapes.

Last Winter, we decided not to cut back all vines, but to leave the main ones, so that they won't get 'too tired' to grow. It seems worth it. We can see from their appearance now that flower buds are forming in each tip.

nashi trees

Our nashi trees seem happily growing, although they just finished their season in March. Other pear trees also look okay, full blooms and some Packham and William pears are forming little fruits now. Very promising.

nashi blooms

Apple blossoms this year are so pretty. I love the shade of pink and white on each petals. 

apple blossoms

With all of these colour displays in the orchard, it seems so strange to feel cold again. It seems that Winter does not want to go away just yet. We've been lighting the fire these past two-three days. But, then it is one reason for me to cook and be energized with mung bean soup, one of those kind I eat in a rainy day.

It is easy, simple, and nutritious.

bubur kacang hijau

Bubur Kacang Hijau (Mung Bean Soup)
by Arfi Binsted

1 cup whole mung beans
2-3 blocks dark palm sugar (product of Indonesia. Auckland people, please ask Barry of Wah Lee)
3 pandan leaves, knotted
3cm root ginger, bruised
a pinch of salt
about 1/2 cup-1 cup coconut milk

Rinse whole mung beans under running water in a sieve. Put into a small saucepan, filled with water just enough to cover. You may want to add more if you want a thinner version. Add in knotted pandan leaves, ginger, and cook until tender. When cooked, add in the sugar, salt and coconut milk. Simmer. Removed and enjoy. Makes 2 large servings.


thekyzt said...

Mba Arfi, what a lovely garden you have !

Happy Cook said...

Wowo i have never seen a kiwi tree, but then if i want to see i have to come there :-)
Your son has inheritted your talent for photography :-)

Alessandra said...

Your garden looks beautiful! I hope that the flowers will become yummy fruit! And the soup sound delicious too!


Cynthia said...

Hey Arfi, I hope that you and the family are well.

Xiaolu said...

He definitely has his mother's talent and passion :). All your photos and this soup are lovely, too.

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

I love the photo of Ben with the huge camera, and his photos look great. Sweet bean soups are something I didn't grow up with, and they always give me a little shock when I taste them and realise they're sweet instead of salty. I'd like to try one with coconut milk though.

WizzyTheStick said...

Wow in awe that he handheld such a big lens. Such steady hands. lovely soup and gorgeous picture