Archive | June, 2012

Harvest Monday – June 25 2012

25 Jun

Tonight’s stew ingredients

Having a newborn is clearly more demanding than I remembered. Despite Baby T’s good nature I am struggling to keep the house in order, let alone get out to the garden. I haven’t been cooking as much as usual, so I’ve missed a few Harvest Mondays due to meagre pickings.

This week I’m getting more on top of things and I’ve harvested quite a reasonable amount for this time of year. Tonight for example I harvested quite a bowlful of veggies for a lamb stew.

1 Daikon (radish)

These are huge! So huge in fact that they are trying to escape from the ground. Despite a circumference of 4-5 cm, the daikon I picked was almost 50cm in length.  They are also very versatile. I use them in Japanese hotpot dishes, in salads, pickled, raw (sprinkled with salt) and tonight in the lamb stew.

1 Lettuce

 A bunch of these lettuces popped up under the roses (along with countless weeds) after I spread compost around. I weeded, but kept the lettuces.

1 Turnip and 2 Swedes

Also in the lamb stew.

5 celery sticks

In various dishes over the week, including the stew and some bolognaise yesterday. I’ve found that the celery is improving as the weather cools – far less hollow stems due to lack of water.

2 Tomatoes

I picked the first two of my winter tomatoes this week. As usual with my tomatoes they were a bit underripe, but I’m always afraid that they will be stolen by a cheeky rodent or insect before I get around to picking them.

My next door neighbour says that there was frost the other morning, but for some reason the tomatoes have survived. They are loaded with fruit, so I hope they survive despite a touch of blight and my appalling staking.

3 Passionfruit

I’ve given up trying to work out what variety these are. I thought they were panama gold, but they clearly are not that. They may be panama red, but they seem too purple. These should ripen up quickly in the fruit bowl next to the bananas.

There is plenty happening in the garden that didn’t make it to harvest this week.

The womboks have suffered from my neglect – covered in slug damage.

I cut the asparagus down to ground level as the foliage had mostly died off. I should probably spread some manure over before spring.

The strawberries are in desperate need of dividing and repotting.

I repotted the blueberries into bigger self watering pots with new potting mix.

They are setting fruit like crazy.

The kale is ready to harvest once I work out how to cook it.

The onions are coming along nicely.

And the rhubarb is flowering. I need to keep cutting the flowering stalks out, but they are persistent.

I hope everyone else has been harvesting successfully this week. For more harvests from around the world, visit Daphne’s.

Sticking with a good thing – Blueberries in Sydney

10 Jun

After last year’s roaring success with my 2 Nellie Kelly blueberries, I concluded that I really had to expand my collection. So when Daley’s announced a ‘buy 3 and get one free’ special on blueberries, I really couldn’t resist.

I ordered 4 different varieties – Misty, Brightwell, Biloxi and Legacy. These will join my two Nellie Kelly (Sunshine Blue variety) plants, bringing my total to six.

I am hoping that by having a number of different types it will extend my harvesting season.  I have also read that having multiple varieties improves the yield on each plant. I can’t say I was having much trouble on that front, because it looked to me like almost every flower yielded fruit, but I guess more cross-pollination can’t hurt.

Being no blueberry expert, I will stick with my tried and tested formula for success with my other 2 plants:

  • Self-watering pot
  • Azalea potting mix (more acidic)
  • Occasional feed with dynamic lifter
  • Mulched well

I’ve recently moved the blueberries to the front yard where they will get full sun instead of half-shade, but I can only imagine that that is a positive thing.

Now to find some self-watering pots of the right size to plant them in.  And I’m also keen to try propagating some more plants from cuttings, but I’ve heard that that is easier said than done. I love a challenge.

Harvest Monday – June 4th 2012

4 Jun

After a couple of week’s absence  for the birth of my son (timed well, actually to coincide with a gap in production) I’m back on board this week. The winter garden shows a lot of promise. We’ve had mild nights, cool days and spells of torrential rain.

500g Cherry Tomatoes

The rain has played havoc with my self-seeded cherry tomatoes. Not sure of the variety because I haven’t bought or planted any with quite the same shape. Much of the early crop split during the first downpour, so I wasn’t going to risk any more of them. I picked anything that looked like it might ripen indoors.

I haven’t actually weighed anything, but it is approximately 500g, probably sightly more.

This plant is in almost full shade now, so not much more will come of it. Just holding out now for the winter variety (Stupice), which is loaded with fruit of varying sizes.

4 Apples

I didn’t thin the fruit sufficiently on the ‘Tropical Anna’. 13 fruit was a little too much for the small tree, so the resulting apples are quite small. The biggest one was 150 grams, and most (including the one pictured) are around the 100 gram mark. I’ve also discovered that if I leave them on the tree too long they go floury, so I’ll know in future not to let them go quite this red.

1 Choko

I planted the choko vine last August and this week I picked the first fruit. The vine still has a few more fruit on it, but I suspect the harvest this year will be fairly light. Probably a good thing considering how much P dislikes chokos.

Iceberg Lettuce

I’ve been treating the Iceberg lettuce like a ‘cut and come again’ variety, which it probably isn’t. Not sure of the weight harvested, but whenever we make a salad I just pop out and take the outer leaves from each head.

Despite my abuse it still seems to be forming heads just fine, so I think I’ll keep on doing that until the heads are big enough to harvest whole.

Please turn a blind eye to all my weeds – I’ve been out to wander and harvest, but maintenance has fallen to the wayside with all the baby feeding etc.

1 Chinese Broccoli (Gai larn) and a bunch of Broccoletti/Rapini

The brassicas are coming along nicely, including the chinese broccoli and new variety I am growing this year called ‘brocoletti’ or ‘rapini’ (pictured).

It is similar in some ways to chinese broccoli in that it forms small broccoli-like florets and the leaves are edible, but although I’m enjoying the leaves stir-fried, the stems are a little tough for my liking. Is anyone familiar with this vegetable? Am I preparing it wrong?

3 Daikon

Not actually harvested this week, but during my break. I went to ‘thin’ the daikon and discovered it was already enormous. It pushes itself up out of the ground, but still goes so deep below. Just incredible how fast it grows too. Lucky it is so adaptable, because I’m going to have a lot of it.

Other happenings

My super-productive beans came to a halt quite abruptly as soon as the weather cooled. Their leaves browned and they stopped producing almost immediately. I think I might save some seed and pull them out – that will free up quite a bit of space for something, but I haven’t decided on what just yet.

I have quite a bit of silverbeet ready to harvest now, as well as some tuscan kale and some type of self-seeded lettuce.

The passionfruit is finally ripening. I planted 2 varieties together – a Panama Gold and a grafted Black passionfruit, though this doesn’t look like either. This passionfruit is definitely turning purple, but the fruit are enormous – like a panama red. I was pretty sure that black passionfruits are much smaller. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

It’s good to be back blogging (and harvesting) again. For more harvests from around the world visit Daphne’s Blog.

It’s a boy!

2 Jun

As you probably guessed by my absence, I am thrilled to report the birth of baby number 3 – a boy! Tobias Henry (hereafter Baby T) made his entrance last week after a short and cruisy labour.

I’d been in hospital for a few days prior due to pelvic instability, so he was induced in the end because the issues were not going to resolve themselves until he was born. I put the epidural up there with the wheel and the lightbulb on the league table of best inventions ever.

Both sets of grandparents very graciously cared for J and D. Dad kept an eye on the garden, and there is already much to harvest – my hungry gap is coming to an end! The late Autumn garden is looking pretty wonderful actually, with asian greens, lettuce, silverbeet, tomatoes (hooray!), chokos, apples and several others providing us with many fresh options for quick and nutritious meals while juggling a newborn.  Luckily I haven’t had to cook much – some wonderful friends and family have provided a lot of delicious meals. A huge blessing, particularly with D’s dietary restrictions.

Hopefully the little guy won’t keep me too busy to make it outside regularly, although it has been very chilly out there already – I probably want to hibernate for a while anyway.

I hope to back on board now – despite having my hands very full I’ve missed writing and interacting with everyone in blogland. Sorry I’m so behind with reading and commenting too – I’ll try to catch up soon.