The Fruits Of My Labour – Or Not!

Back at the end of Spring, when I had finished harvesting my broad beans, I still had heaps of seeds that had dried on the plant. When I pulled the plants up they went everywhere and since I was crazy busy & had already harvested all of the seed I needed I decided to leave them in situ. Funny enough, because of the strange weather we had over Summer and into Autumn, those beans sprouted prolifically, flowered & now, when we should be sowing seed for spring crops, I am harvesting them for the plate at a time when I have never had fresh broad beans before!

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So, while I’d love to tell you that these were the fruits of my labour, actually I just mulched over them and up they came! They did all of the hard work for me. All I had to do was drink my gin and enjoy the summer! Now that’s food for thought!

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Speak Of The Devil!

First spears of the season! I’m in love!

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Working Bee

The Roxburgh Park Community Garden is cracking on. We just had a working bee and workshops down there. Thanks to all who joined in. Special thanks to Maria for the lovely lunch!

We espaliered an apple along the fence. Planted some passion fruit & choko along the fence too! Don’t forget to train your vines sideways at first so that your plants bush up at the bottom as well as the top!

We planted up a herb garden with both edible plants & insect attracting plants and put in a super crop of asparagus. That’ll be ready to harvest from next spring. We’ll refrain from picking them this year so that the plants get a good chance to grow strong & establish themselves. We’ll keep topping them up with mounds of well rotted sheep manure so that they are well fed.

My asparagus at home have established themselves quite well now. They’re planted along side my rhubarb underneath the mulberry trees in the front yard. It’s the perfect spot – the mulberries protect them from the harsh summer sun and it’s a bed that doesn’t see too much action so they aren’t disturbed very often. I’m expecting big things from that bed this year!

 

 

 

Now That’s Something You Don’t See Every Day!

Well I never…!

Today I just don’t know what to say.

I probably don’t need to. I think that this picture says it all!

Here’s the long shot – just in case you were curious!

Hume’s Environmental Champions

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I’ve had a great day out with Hume’s Environmental Champions today. We had a lovely day trip around the district visiting various environmentally sustainable projects. We started the day out at Meadows Primary School to check out their wonderful facilities. The school is powered by wind energy that is produced on site. There are enormous stores of fresh water collected off the roof and the school has within its grounds a community garden for friends of the school and local residents.

They are also involved with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program so the kids have their own garden too. The school are always keen to hear from willing volunteers so if you are in the area and have a few hours free Maureen would love to hear from you =)

We went out to a new community garden development in Mickleham. It’s a part of the “Network Of Gardens” project that is being established – more on that soon!

Then we headed off to Sunbury for lunch at Just Planet. Norman and Lee Palumbo have a lovely cafe that specialises in ethically sourced raw food. You can also buy all manner of fair trade items from chocolate to hand woven baskets.

We wrapped up the day with a visit to the Evans Street Grassland in Sunbury. It is one of the most diverse grassland sites in Victoria with over 180 species present on the 4 ha site. Well worth a visit, particularly in spring when the wildflowers burst into colour.

What are you up to this weekend?

A Purple Kind Of Day

It has been glorious out there today! What a way to start the winter.

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The garden is full of flowers right now. Today it seemed as if there was every shade of purple out there.

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All around us the tree dahlias are blooming. If you ride the train keep a look out for their beautiful blooms. You often find them peekingover the fences that line the railway.

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Salvias are the champions of the winter garden. They seem to paint the garden with colour at a time when everything else is looking a bit drab. The bees love them too! They provide good winter fodder that will help your local hive stay strong for the time we need them most, spring – it’s just around the corner.

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What’s blooming in your garden today?

A Melon By Any Other Name Would Taste As Sweet

They may have been tiny this year but they weren’t short on flavour!

Eden’s Gem Rockmelon

Today I sent my rockmelon plants off to the compost but not before I harvested the last fruit of the season. This was a very strange crop indeed. The fruit were much much smaller than I imagined they would be. These were meant to be ‘Edens Gem’ rockmelon. Well, they were… but they weren’t softball sized as they should have been. They were like little rockmelon berries. Well, technically they are – botanically, rockmelons are modified berries or pepoes. Theres an interesting fact for you!

I think that this was a seed issue as the plant was quite healthy and the fruit were amazing (albeit so very very small).

Now, I want to put this out there because this was a total revelation to me: unripe rockmelon make an amazing substitute for cucumber! Yes indeedy!

When I pulled up the vine there were a few immature fruit still hanging there. Curiosity got the better of me so, I cut into them to see what I would find. Naturally I had to have a little taste. It was just like cucumber, only sweeter. So, into the salad they went.

I think I know what I’ll be doing with my melons next year! (oh behave!)

Have you ever grown Eden’s Gem?

How did you fare?

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