Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

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!

BP_BroadBeans1

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!

BP_BroadBeans2

Advertisements

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!

 

 

 

You Gnome Me?

So I came home and found this guy under the cherry tree. Nice!

You know I have always loved gnomes but, somehow I have never gotten around to buying one. Someone certainly knows me well 😉

I’m going to call him Al.

I love garten schmuck!

Thanks xx

Applewurst

We had a big weekend out in the garden – clearing out spent crops, sowing leafy greens and replenishing the herb garden with seedlings that I had growing in the greenhouse. And what does one need after a hard day’s work in the garden? Applewurst, that’s right!

Ol’Pauly was a good boy so I picked a couple of Granny Smith apples off the tree and headed inside to whip him up a hearty snack.

Naturally, I poached then fried the weisswurst then, as you can see, I fried up the wedges of apple.

I spread a warm bun with a little fancy sauce (mustard and mayo) then I loaded it up with apple and weisswurst.

Ol’Pauly got stuck right into it, as you would right?

Then he washed it down with a delightful ale. Mmm…

And of course there was a sip for the camerawoman 😉

Now don’t go bustin’ my chopps about tradition because I know all about that! This is about flavour, its about eating from the garden and it’s what we like!

Tschuss!

Summer Herbs II

This post is for Alexa who wrote to me asking for more information regarding summer herbs. I thought that many of you might find this topic interesting so I have posted my response here for everyone’s benefit.

That reminds me that it is time to give my Thyme a haircut!

Alexa – hi Im in high school and I need to do this hospitality project, part of it is that I have to name 5 summer herbs but Im struggling to find any! I was wondering if you could list a few for me it would really help me, thanx 🙂

Hi Alexa,

Thanks for your question. I can see how this could be quite confusing as there is a lot of talk about herbs on the Internet but, mostly the information is non-specific in terms of their seasonal classification. It can also be tricky in some parts of the world, like here in Australia, where we don’t necessarily have clearly defined seasons. In cold climates for example it would be much easier to tell that you have “summer herbs” because they would be the ones that either can’t survive in winter or go dormant during that time. However, in my garden that is not quite so evident – because many of the perennial herbs that would, in a cold climate garden, go completely dormant, don’t. Sure, they start to look a little tired and die back a bit but, after a good prune they reshoot and continue to grow into the autumn and winter. Mint, sage and oregano are just a few of those continual growing “summer herbs” that I have in my garden.

So, I would say that “summer herbs” are those that like the warmer weather and do most of their growing during the spring and summer months. They are herbs that we plant in the spring to enjoy harvesting during the summer. They will often be the type of herbs that die down at the end of summer (but, not always!) or in the case of perennials, ones that need to be cut back hard before the frost arrives.

One place that might give you a good clue as to which are “summer herbs” and which are “winter herbs” is to look at a few recipe books. For example mint is one of those herbs that is used a lot in summer dishes and drinks. Pineapple sage and lemongrass are beautiful in fruity, summer iced teas and are also a nice accompaniment to bottled fruits like peaches. Basil is another important summer herb – very often teamed with fresh tomato dishes because they share the same growing and harvesting seasons and also because of their naturally superb flavour combination.

The following are some of the summer herbs that I have growing here in my garden. I have listed their Common names and their Botanical names for easy reference. I hope this helps.

Jodi

Every Day In The Garden’s Summer Herb List:

  • Basil Ocimum basilicum
  • Chamomile Matricaria recutita
  • Chives Allium schoenoprasum
  • Comfrey Symphytum officinale
  • Echinacea Echinacea angustifolia
  • Horseradish (or Seeradish) Armoracia rusticana
  • Mint Mentha spicata
  • Oregano Oreganum spp.
  • Lavendar lavandular angustifolia
  • Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
  • Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus
  • Lovage Levisticum officinale
  • Parsley Petroselinum crispum
  • Pineapple Sage Salvia elegens
  • Summer Savory Satureja hortensis

Visitor of the Month

Isn’t this Jewel Bug or Metallic Shield Bug (Scutiphora pedicellata) beautiful?

Sorry about the blurry head. It was so windy that I was lucky to get shots as clear as this. Oh and it really wasn’t all that happy about me taking photos either.

Ok – for the nerds among us (yes, that’s me too!) here are the particulars:

Kingdom: Animalia (naturally!)

Phylum: Arthropoda

Sub-phylum: Hexapoda (that covers all creatures with 6 legs and antennae)

Class: Insecta

Order: Hemiptera

Sub-order: Heteroptera

Family: Scutelleridae

If you want to see these guy’s in their other stages of life go to Morewell National Park‘s website.

Someone was a bit shy!

Jewel Bugs are sap suckers that feed on a number of different plants, including some food crops. I haven’t had any problems with them in my garden do date. Therefore, I treat them as very welcome visitors. This particular bug has been hanging out on a potato that sprouted in my leafy greens bed.

Why is this a “Bug” not a beetle? Well, these guys, those of the order Hemiptera have four membraneous wings beneath their scutellum as opposed to beetles who only have two. Also, these guy’s have what I would best describe as a “Ute Lid” styled scutellum. Beetles have a dual scutellum that has a split down the middle which, when they take flight, open up more like gull-wing doors.

Come to think of it, Herbie really was more of a “Love Beetle” than a “Love Bug”. Maybe if Herbie was a Ute…

Rainy Day Activity #3

Ok, its raining outside and you’re looking for any excuse to stay indoors. Well, I have a great activity for you to do while you’re sitting down watching Ellen /when you’re not dancing that is!

Tomato Ties!

Yes indeed. You can make your own tomato/any-plant ties while you’re sitting in front of the TV and you don’t need to buy any fancy materials to do it!

To make your tomato ties you will need:

A sharp pair of fabric scissors

An old t-shirt or any other light knitted fabric like jersey. Scrabbies will come in quite handy here. What’s a Scrabby I hear you ask? According to “The Meaning Liff*” – a Scrabby. (noun) is a curious-shaped duster given to you by your mother which upon closer inspection turns out to be half an underpant.

Stretchy fabric. Note that from thumb to thumb is "across the knit".

Now for the fun stuff:

If you are using an old garment, first cut off all of the seams so that you are left with clean pieces of fabric that, you could stitch back together to make a slightly smaller garment than before. No, no, we mustn’t get distracted!

Don’t throw away those seams! You can use them as ties too.

Now quite simply cut your fabric into strips, cutting across the knit so that you are left with stretchy strips that when pulled will curl inwards. I usually cut mine about 2cm wide by about 20cm in length. Suit yourself though as I usually use my eyeometer. You can make them wider or longer just not shorter or they won’t allow you to tie them securely.

When tying my plants I usually use what I believe is called a half bow knot. Particularly when tying tomatoes. Now, this will be interesting explaining how to do a half bow knot without a video handy. Here we go: You need to imagine that you were tying a bow in the usual manner except that when you get to the final loop you push the whole piece through so that you are left with one loop and two tails. You can then pull on the tail of the existing loop to release the knot without the need for scissors. How was that? Give it a few goes on your big toe first. Yes, I was tying it on my big toe while I was writing that description. Haha I told you there would be no fancy materials needed!

It is best to dispose of the ties after each use as they can harbor diseases that you don’t want to spread to other plants in your garden.

So now you can get a years worth of plant ties and recycle your old clothes AND you don’t even have to leave the front door!

Yay for you!

* The Meaning of Liff is a very funny dictionary of words which describe common objects or situations for which no word previously existed. The Meaning of Liff written by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd (two men who, I am positive, enjoy their whiskey).

%d bloggers like this: