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.
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
If you are looking for a little nibble that will get you through that 3pm craving time, these little almost-raw food truffles may be just the ticket. I was inspired by these little raw food treats called Foosballs, which I found at Hardy’s health store in Kerikeri. Here’s my take on it, using what I had in the pantry. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
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.
My beer traps have been working wonderfully, trapping three or four slugs in each a night (many of them on the very large side) and a few tiny snails. However, after a while I noticed that my tender broccoli, cucumber and eggplant seedlings were disappearing, one bite at a time. When I arrived home after a long weekend away, smidgens of ravished stalks greeted me, making it blatantly obvious that either some slugs did not have the taste for beer or something else was making a mockery of my pest protection system. Continue reading
There are masses and masses of little fruit flies flitting atop my three small vege beds. They are going crazy over the smelly, mucky, well-rotted chicken poo that I have mixed in with the soil. Apparently, it’s a great place for them to lay their eggs. Continue reading
… a busy little worker bee! Continue reading
For the last few weeks I have been patiently waiting for for the blush on my first strawberries to rise from their tips to their stalks. But, horror upon horrors, when I finally picked them, I found that the pesky ants had already beaten me there! Continue reading
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
It feels like spring has been with us for some time, in some form or another. It’s the milder winter weather, the more frequent sunny days; or the daffodils showing and the blossom exploding from fruit trees. However, this week is officially the start of spring and it is a wonderful prelude to the ever-warming weather that leads us into summer. Continue reading
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
As I ran out of the door on the way to the UK at the end of June, I snipped around 30 puffy swan-like seed pods off my large Swan Plant. I carefully placed them just inside the glass door in a sunny spot, so that they could dry out while we were away. As we drove away from the house, I had the warm sense of satisfaction that I would arrive home to perfectly dried pods, ready to be de-seeded. I would harvest enough seeds to keep me in Swan Plants – and beautiful Monarch butterflies – for many, many moons to come. Continue reading
En route to retrieve my iPhone from the glove box in our car the other night, I took a quick tour of my garden – torch in hand – to investigate whether it was indeed sneaky slugs that were munching their way through my young brassicas. It took a few seconds for me to see their shady selves, but sure enough, there were ten-to-fifteen of the slimy monsters caught in the spotlight. And not just slugs; a rather large snail was clinging on to the spindly remains of a tiny cauli leaf in a rather King Kong-Empire State Building fashion! Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
I used to be all about the vegetables, when it came to planting and maintaining my own garden. I wanted plants that delivered something tangible to the [kitchen] table. At a bare minimum, it used to be the ingredients for a basic salad – instant gratification when it came to throwing a feel-good meal together at last minute. My view on that has changed as my vegetable growing objectives have grown and become more about the longer-term, sustainable output of an ever-increasing variety of fruit and vegetables for my kitchen and pantry. However, it has been a gradual, not an overnight, appreciation for what plants of the flowering, non-edible variety have to offer in aesthetic and more productive ways. Continue reading
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
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