NZ Kitchen Garden

Home grown goodness for the kitchen and pantry


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There are holes in my brassicas, dear Lila

Is there anything more frustrating than tenderly raising a seedling, only to have it munched to pieces by a predator? Well, the white cabbage butterfly and it’s iridescent green offspring have found their home among my young broccoli and the results have been devastating. However, I hope that my recent efforts have thwarted their attempt to crunch their way through the second wave of seedlings that I planted out last night. Continue reading


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The simple joy of mashed veg

The taste of vegetable mash takes me back to childhood memories. Mashed potato with whatever was growing in the garden, a dollop of butter hidden in the middle and a splash of Lea & Perrins (when I was older) reminds me of dinners at my grandparents’ or the simple, but seemingly special, healthy treat that I was often given when unwell.

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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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Two ways with Spinach, Silver Beet and Kale

An abundance of leafy greens in my garden has prompted an hour of preserving in my kitchen. Now is a good time to bring in the last of my autumn spinach, silver beet and kale to make way for the next crop, which is branching out in all directions already. Continue reading


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Water, water everywhere

Oh what a glorious sight to behold! My do-it-yourself irrigation system, watering my veges twice daily. We’re on tank water, so it is the best noise hearing the pump turn on – previously, that sound would have me hunting around the house for a rogue dripping tap! We have two large tanks for just the two of us, so there is plenty of water to go around.

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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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Putting the verve into vege gardening

The new books page on my site has a good list of the books and magazines that motivate me to work in my vege garden day-after-day, keep on top of the issues that can occur and then – of course – provide inspiration on how to enjoy the benefits of my labour. Continue reading


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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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Spring delivery

Excitement! My first online order of seeds have arrived from POD Easy, Edible Gardening! Thanks go out to NZ Ecochick for making me aware of the special:  buy $25 or more of seeds and receive 5 free packets of flowers and 5 free packets of vegetables. This is 5 free packets more than POD’s usual offer. 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 getting hot in here

It feels great to grow your own seedlings, if you can. You need a little time and space, a little gear (like a hot house/cabinet), a little warmth, and then you need to remember to keep the tender stems moist as they grow over the coming weeks. Carefully selecting and packing seeds into seedling trays has become a day that I look forward to on my gardening calender. You reap the rewards every time you see the new growth and, of course, when you eventually plant them out and count the savings! 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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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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Green Smoothie Base

I have my hairdresser to thank for this addictive and fibrous smoothie. Making it is simple, drinking it is enjoyable and the end result is a filling, good-feeling act of kindness to yourself. It must be, surely, since it is jam-packed with goodies like iron, niacin, folic acid, vitamins a, c, e, k and a few b vitamins – and several handy minerals.

Use it as a base recipe and experiment with complementary flavours, and other fruits and vegetables that will give you a boost in one mineral or vitamin department or another. Continue reading


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Mean, green Brussels Sprouts

I have been planning my next garden (aka the mega garden) and have been undecided about the tight little mini cabbage-type greens called brussels sprouts. If selected, they will not be planted until January or harvested until May, but I like to know what’s coming. If it is not brussels sprouts, then I need to pick something else and lock it in so that my plan is nice and tidy! Continue reading