Posts Tagged ‘oil


O is for Oranges, Oil and Organic Chemistry

Fascinated as I am with the industrial uses of plants and how they can be used to do almost everything, I don’t write a lot about these things simply because my scientific knowledge isn’t really… And I’d hate to get it wrong. But in moments like this, I can point you to people who are way cleverer than me.

Heather is way cleverer than me. She’s an industrial chemist and blogger at Oil is for… The blog is a really informative look at what oil can actually be used for and how we can put it to better use than simply burning it.

Recently, Heather took a look at bubblewrap and how poly lactic acid (PLA) bubblewrap can be made from starchy crops such as silverbeet and corn. There’s also a bit of disturbing news for pineapple lump lovers such as myself.

What really grabbed me was Oranges are for oil. It quickly looks at some of the industrial uses of orange waste from juice production:
— vitamin A,
— paint ingredients,
— gelling agents,
— cellulose for cellophane and fuel,
— synthetic rubber,
— food oil,
— activated charcoal.

Another one for the feedreader, folks! Oil is for…
(via StarCooked)


Pickled olives

olive_treeI’ve just tasted some beautiful olives a friend’s mum grew in her back yard and then pickled. Most generously, I was given a recipe to post here. I’ll have to wait to find a tree I can raid. I’ve spotted a few olive trees growing on properties around Kapiti. We’ve certainly have that salt-laden wind of the Mediterranean. Olive trees have incredibly long tap roots so they can survive in very dry coastal situations. There are some commercial growers a bit further north.

Jill, the aforementioned pickler, has two Mission olive trees. Mission is a cultivar that’s been popular in NZ for quite some time, with a reputation as a reliable cropper. Her husband crops the trees every year keeping the fruit within reach. Harvest time is carefully chosen – just before the olives turn black, the birds will swoop in pretty quickly then.

Facts for the homesteaders, a tree producing 30-40 kilos of olives at year nine, with an oil content of 20% yields 8 litres of oil.  Recipe after the jump Continue reading ‘Pickled olives’


Rocket Farming

I may have inadvertently started the potentially great Kapiti Coast rocket (Eruca sativa) weed problem. And I have mixed feelings about it. We simply don’t need any more weeds around this place. But I’m always happy when things self sow, it’s the way things are meant to happen.

The rocket came from certified-organic stock, and I first planted it 2 years ago. It’s been self-seeding regularly which has been fabulous, growing all year round. Now it has started growing in my lawn, proving that it doesn’t need great soil to do well. It’s frost-resistant and drought-tolerant. It does go to seed quickly though.

Many years ago my interest in lettuce waned. It was simply a case of over-use. I was uninspired by salady greeny leafy things until a relative newcomer rocketed into my world and rocked it! Rocket – I love your peppery flavour, the zest you bring into my life. You’re a match made in heaven with tomatoes and you are out of this world with haloumi.

The flowers are really pretty and are a tasty garnish or addition to salads. And a little reading at Plants for a Future suggests that the seeds could make a mustard alternative. The seed yields a semi-drying oil which is a substitute for rapeseed oil. It can also be used for lighting, burning with very little soot. The powdered seed has antibacterial properties.

I love it rocket – it’s one of those plants that deliver on flavour, attractiveness, medicinal and industrial properties. It’s a plant I’ll be nurturing in my garden for a longtime to come.

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January 2020
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