Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Zucchini carpaccio

A wonderful recipe for this time of the year. Zucchinis are in abundance and it is nice to have a few recipes up your sleeve.

The recipe can be found here. The picture on that blog is a lot nicer than mine. But I didn't use balsamic vinegar, hence the difference in colour. I also bunged in a few torn basil leaves.
Give it a go, it's a wonderful light accompaniment to any dish, or just by itself.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Picking beans...

...is great fun, when you are prepared.
Let them climb up a structure that can also support a ladder. What is the point in having them climb up 2 - 3 metres and then you can't reach them?
This was the first year we actually harvested a few handful of beans. And the most delicious beans they were!
Unfortunately, the bean harvesting time was too short, and we are beanless again. But I'm happy we actually got to harvest a few.
Spring is always a crazy time. The chooks dig up half the beans, the snails have a go at the tiny seedlings, etc.... So every bean is a bonus, really. I'll try again next year. :)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Today's view

We have had 56mm of rain since yesterday morning!
The big house water tank is overflowing, the ground is nicely saturated, the snails are out in force, the frogs are happily ribbiting.... the Mad Gnomes are smiling madly...
It's still drizzly out there, but not as cold as it looks. Lovely.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Sowing winter vegetables

It still amazes me, how organised a gardener has to be. Here we are, in the middle of summer, and I have had to sow all my winter vegetables.
We have to get all our vegetables planted out in March*. Any later than that and the seedlings sit in the cold soil, shiver, complain and do nothing. They just don't grow.It's a risky business, though. We might still get a heat wave. And if that happens after I've planted out the tender little seedlings, well, they'll be cactus. So, I sow more than I need. Just in case.
*I am talking about our particular place. Autumn hits earlier here, than in the city. Every place is different. :)

In March, the soil is still warm and the seedlings are off to a good start. They can grow to a reasonable size, before the cold weather hits.

Now I'll better get the winter beds organised. Always a bit awkward when we haven't even started our proper summer harvest yet. Oh, the joys of gardening! :)

Edit: What have I sown?
Kale (2 varieties), brusselsprouts (2 varieties), cabbage (3 varieties, cauliflower (2 varieties), onions (4 varieties), spring onions, lettuce (5 varieties), celery, celeriac, chia, amaranth, mustard, leeks, silverbeet, spinach, broccoli, purple sprouting broccoli ...That should be about it. Direct sowing of root vegetables next month.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Blackberry smoothie

It looks funky!
But the texture is not that great, as the blackberries have tons of tiny, hard seeds, that get in the way of really enjoying this smoothie. And I really can't be bothered to strain the blackberry pulp through a sieve. Solution? I just eat the berries as they are. :)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Summer Pasta

Home-made pasta (with specks of dried chilli and ground, black pepper).

Pesto (with basil from the garden), tomatoes (cut in quarters), grated parmesan.

All tossed together, topped with more grated parmesan and some roasted cashews.Heaven in a bowl!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Purple Dragon Carrots

These are our all-time favourite carrots. After years of failure, I have finally 'mastered' the growing of carrots. All it takes is a ton of perseverance. If at first you don't succeed, sow, sow again. And again. And again.
These are tender, sweet and tasty. They are bright orange inside.
I grow carrots now (nearly) all year round. When the first batch has germinated (this can take up to 3 weeks!), I try to sow another small batch. The best and biggest carrot is often left in the ground for seed saving. The flowers are incredibly pretty and great for attracting heaps of different insects.