NZ Kitchen Garden

Home grown goodness for the kitchen and pantry


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New growth spurs on Autumn enthusiasm

My vege garden has taken a backseat to raising our new baby over the last few months. However, a couple of hours clearing out the overgrowth and preparing my beds for autumn has renewed my interest and provided much needed motivation to make time again for my green thumb. Continue reading


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The proof is in the produce

What a month or so it has been for harvesting, now that we are well into summer! I have really enjoyed watching other people’s successes as they reap the benefits from their gardening passion. The vibrant colours of ripe tomatoes, colourful beans and rainbow silver beet, shiny courgettes, leafy greens and more, mean that I have been more “green eyed” than “green thumbed” during this plentiful period. Continue reading


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Garden Tour – 1 November 2013

It’s been two months since I provided my last garden tour and boy have things changed. Here’s the latest update on my garden – such growth, such change, such excitement for an enthusiastic vege grower like me! Continue reading


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Crunchy chicken salad that packs a health punch

Last night’s dinner was inspired by a dish call Metuvlun Saland from a local restaurant called Cafe Jerusalem. A cabbage-centered dish (stay with me), which is uber-tasty, filling and delivers a powerful punch when it comes to the health department. Continue reading


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Greek salad and lamb burgers

My go-to cuisine when I feel like detoxing or loading up on fresh vege is Mediterranean. Last night it was Greek style salad with lamb burgers – yum! Quick and easy to rustle up with most of the making in the preparation – or chopping, to be more precise. Continue reading


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Risotto Bianco with spinach and peas

The harvesting is ramping up around here, with spinach and peas for dinner last night. The inspiration for these gorgeous greens was Jamie Oliver’s Risotto Bianco; a basic risotto recipe, which is yummy on its own or great as a base for other flavours.

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Planting Out: Time to harden up

It’s time to plant these little seedlings out in the big garden. So, they are spending a couple of nights out of the hot house cabinet and on top of the work bench before they join the rest of the vegetable patch. Continue reading


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There’s been a … harvest!

It’s time for a confession: I would rather look on lovingly at my well-stocked, heaving vegetable garden and never harvest anything. There, I’ve said it. Yes, it is a curse and this line of thinking may possibly contravene some unwritten law for vege gardeners. However, the only thing that eventually motivates me to harvest is the thought of losing my fleshy beauties to time, where they can be taken out by some stealthy suspect like rot or going to seed.

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Seeds in the midday sun

It’s such a lovely day here that my seedlings have found themselves out of their hot house cabinet and alongside a north-facing wall for a dose of warm sunshine. They were well watered early this morning and will be watered again tonight to make up for the drying sun. We have a high today of 16 degrees celsius and no wind to speak of. Perfect! Continue reading


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Garden Tour – 25 August 2013

One of my favourite things about blogging is being able to see everyone else’s vege patch and how they change structure, shape and colour throughout the seasons. The My Garden page and these Garden Tour posts are my karmic contribution for sharing with others. And, of course, a way for me to look back over the changes that have taken place in my own patch.

Not for the faint hearted, these posts will be chock-a-block full of images! Continue reading


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Sown Today

With the exception of last night’s incredible storm, the past few weeks have consistently brought light showers and cooler temperatures, which are soon warmed by the midday sun. It’s what you would expect being one week away from spring. Continue reading


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It’s Alive!

I guess that’s a bit dramatic, however I am so excited that my garden is still going through its first autumn and winter! Yes, growing has been slow – but there is growing, and that is the main thing.

The one year anniversary of my all-year-round vege patch occurs at the end of September, as that is usually when I plant my seedlings in preparation for harvesting over summer. This time last year, I wasn’t even thinking about my garden. The first day of spring would usually bring the first inklings of excitement and planning of what would take root come “planting weekend”. Continue reading


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Thai-inspired chicken soup

Well, I looked at my garden this morning and thought, “what exotic lunch could I make with you?” The answer that I came up with as Thai-inspired soup.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Soup

From the garden:  Lemon grass, capsicum, chili, spinach, spring onion, young celery, chives and coriander. Other ingredients:  cooked chicken, noodles, white onion, water, mystery-Asian stock cube, palm sugar, shrimp paste, fish sauce and mushrooms.

The time (all 5 minutes of it) was in the chopping of the vege and bringing the pot to boil. If you are like me and a bit unsure of how to prepare fresh lemon grass, watch this great vid. Continue reading


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Preserving Herbs

At the very start of May, my herbs had been flowering and seeding for a few weeks, but were still plentiful shrubs. I decided that it was a great time to chop them back, clear out the woody bits (sage and thyme, I’m talking to you!) and curb the creep of the oregano. Lingering from the previous bountiful herb season was the guilt that I experienced from proudly harvesting a heaving basket full of herbs, with no idea what to do with most of them once I took them inside. Sure, I used as many as I could fresh, but I found that after procrastinating too long, they ended up in the bin. Sinful! Continue reading


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Mushrooms with chilli, herbs and butter beans

It must be perfect weather for growing toad stills here at the moment. There are quite a number growing quite well around the base of our oak trees and in the shelter of the flaxes. Continue reading


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The world for some Coriander!

If you are anything like me, then you will have struggled growing coriander at some point in your herb growing time. It is always worth persevering until you get it right, as coriander is a really versatile herb that can turn pork mince + oyster sauce + the humble iceberg lettuce into an authentic-tasting Asian extravaganza (fun for the whole family – use the lettuce leaves as spoons/scoopers). It is definitely one of the most used herbs in my kitchen. Continue reading