Monday 31 March 2014

Harvest Monday

This week I harvested my first pumpkin! The vine on this one had died off. I think the variety is Jarrahdale, but second opinions are very welcome because I don't actually know as I think I just got the seeds from a bought pumpkin. This pumpkin was quite mild in taste and very smooth in texture. It wasn't great roasted because it didn't hold its shape very well, but it made a nice soup.

Here I have tomatoes, baby cos lettuce, kale, silverbeet, carrots, eggplant, green beans, mint and coriander.

Thanks for reading! Head over to Daphne's Dandelions to see more harvests.

Monday 24 March 2014

Harvest Monday

There hasn't been all that much to harvest in the garden this week, but I did manage to scrape together enough for this little salad for one. It contained baby cos lettuce, rocket/arugula, red amaranth leaves, lebanese cucumber, green mini capsicum, tomatoes, basil and coriander all from the garden, as well as fetta cheese and 'Yumm' original flavoured dressing. See more harvest posts at Daphne's Dandelions!

Friday 21 March 2014

How I make compost tea + garden update

First up, I thought I'd quickly explain how I make compost tea to use as a fertiliser for my garden. It's probably not the most effective way of doing it but I'm not into doing anything fancy - I just like gardening to be relaxed and fun! All I do is keep a polystyrene box and add some compost to it every now and then, as well as chuck random weeds and bits and pieces from the garden into it, and fill it with water. I let it sit for a few days and then poor it onto my garden. Very simple! 

Box filled with compost and random bits and pieces!
Box filled with water...that's all I do!

Anyway, here are a few pics that I took in the garden yesterday.

Heaps of long capsicums on their way!


Listada di gandia eggplant (I am saving this one for seed), calendula and marigolds

Listada di gandia eggplant - so pretty!

My amaranth is starting to produce seeds! It has been a wonderful plant to grow and it will definitely become a staple in my Summer crops.

Red cabbage seedling

Coriander - this is self seeding all over the place. Can't have too much of it!

Coriander, horse radish, various brassicas and spaghetti squash (no fruit on it and I'm not sure I'll get anything from it unfortunately!)

Pumpkins are almost ready to harvest!

Lemon tree surrounded by pumpkin plants

I won't have any shortage of pumpkins!

These are the two pumpkin plants growing out of my compost. I'm not sure that this photo really does justice to how far they've spread! There are at least ten on these two vines, plus several others on vines on the other side of the garden.

And finally, my funny bunch of chickens!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday 16 March 2014

Harvest Monday

Here are my two little harvests for the week. I got my first ever lebanese cucumbers (I definitely put them in far too late!) as well as FINALLY my first beans for the season. A lot of my bean plants died in the heatwave we had here in Melbourne, so it has been a terrible year for them. Oh well, I'll enjoy them while they last and look forward to when I can harvest broad beans and peas. I also harvested my first ever radish and ate it in a salad with a satay-type sauce. I like the texture of radishes but not the flavour, so this was a good way to use it. The amaranth also went into my salad (cooked with noodles), as did some tomatoes, rocket, capsicum, herbs and a cucumber. The eggplant went, along with several others, to my mother and aunt. I'm not a huge fan of it and they didn't grow any this year so I thought they would enjoy it more than me!

This week I've been planting baby cos lettuce, more brassicas and more root veggies. I just went to the Diggers harvest festival in Dromana and bought kiwi berry, blueberry and New Zealand (even though they originate from South America) yam plants, as well as the following seeds: barletta onions (an early variety), dwarf snow peas, ruby brussels sprouts, dwarf sugar snap peas, yukomo giant snow peas (these peas can get up to 14cm long!), purple podded dutch peas and greenfeast peas. I've definitely got a lot of planting to do!

Head over to Daphne's Dandelions to check out more harvests from around the world.

Thanks for reading!

Monday 10 March 2014

Harvest Monday

This week saw a few exciting firsts in the garden! I harvested my first long red capsicum, and I'm pleased to report that it was absolutely delicious, a relief after months of patiently waiting for it to turn red. I also harvested my first listada di gandia eggplant (though I think I picked it too small. Thoughts?) and my first cauliflower. 

My experiment with growing cauliflower in the Australian Summer was not all that successful. Yes, I received a cauliflower at the end of it, but despite my best efforts it was yellow, small, bitter and caterpillar ridden. I did eat some of it (and nearly ate a caterpillar in the process!) but in the end I decided to gift the rest to my chooks. Hopefully they will enjoy it more than me. I'm looking forward to growing cauliflower in the right season and seeing what the difference is! 

I have also harvested cherry tomatoes (many not pictured), silverbeet, kale and amaranth (much of it also not pictured), a mini capsicum, plenty of herbs and one measly carrot. 

I've started planting root vegetables (well, I started a couple of weeks ago) and have been gradually planting out brassica seedlings and succession planting more seeds. I have LOTS of coriander self seeding all over the place, and plenty of pumpkins ripening away (11 that are already just about full size and several smaller ones that will hopefully mature in time for the cold weather to arrive), a cucumber (finally!) that is almost ready to pick and a watermelon that I don't suspect will be ready by the time the warm weather disappears, but a girl can dream! 

All in all it has been a great week in the garden, mostly because of my capsicum success!
You can see more harvests at Daphne's Dandelions.

Thanks for reading!


Listada di gandia eggplant

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Harvest Monday & Community Gardening!

First up, here's a pic of my main harvest for the week:

I've also harvested more kale, silverbeet, amaranth leaves and cherry tomatoes that didn't make it in front of the camera! I haven't harvested a huge amount but I'm only cooking for myself at the moment, and this is enough that I rarely buy any other vegetables. At the moment I'm only really buying onions, garlic, mushrooms and occasionally sweet potato. It's very satisfying to know that almost all of the veggies I'm eating have come from my own back yard! It also leaves me more money to buy yummy organic fruit :) I don't really garden to save money on veggies, but I suppose it is a nice advantage.

If you'd like to see more harvests, head over to Daphne's

In other gardening related news...

Today I went to the first working bee of the semester for the Melbourne University Community Garden. I was involved with it a little in 2013 but I took the second semester off uni and honestly just got a bit lazy about going to working bees! I regret that I stopped going, because I enjoyed the working bee a lot today and I've definitely missed out on meeting lovely people and seeing the garden evolve. I suppose I will just have to make up for it this year. The garden is relatively new but it's looking great and has a really nice community feel to it. If you live in Melbourne and you're interested in checking it out, have a look at the garden's website or Facebook page (this is updated more regularly). Community gardening is such a wonderful way to use public space, create a great community and produce healthy food.

That's it for this week.

Thanks for reading,