NZ Kitchen Garden

Home grown goodness for the kitchen and pantry


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Slugging it out, eco-friendly style

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

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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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Mandarin Gems

Mandarins – those teeny little, easy-to-peel orange-type fruit – are everywhere in the Far North of NZ at the moment. They are truly one of the best things about winter around here. I have eaten my fill fresh, so it is time to start bottling. I picked these little beauties up from a roadside stall down at the end of someone’s driveway, just down the road. 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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Crime against beauty

I committed a selfish crime against my pretty little flower garden this morning, although it was for a good cause. There it was, all young and innocent and proudly sprouting its first bursts of colour – exactly what it was supposed to do. But, it is time for it to grow up (and out), so some tough love was needed. Continue reading


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Blooms and butterflies

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