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Harvest Monday – 1st and 8th October 2012

8 Oct

I missed another Harvest Monday, so here goes my list for the last fortnight.

Berries!   The berries have been plentiful. Actually the strawberries and blueberries are only just starting, but the mulberry tree has been overflowing. Over the past fortnight I have harvested more than 2 kilograms.   Most of these went into batches of mulberry dessert sauce. It is a-mazing on greek yoghurt and I imagine on ice-cream too.

They also went into smoothies. I seem to be surviving on these when the kids are at daycare.

Bowl of Peppermint

  I dried this for storage and later consumption as tea.

Several bowls of Lettuce, English Spinach and Tatsoi

  The english spinach has provided me with many meals worth of baby spinach leaves. I used them in omelettes and salad primarily. The tatsoi and green oak lettuce have mostly gone into salad.

The photo below shows a bowl of green veggies that I harvested for some veggie dumplings during the week. It included spinach, tatsoi, celery, spring onion, garlic chives and coriander.

Little D helped me put them together.

Actually this photo makes him look a lot more helpful than he actually was. Mostly he just ate raw dough, but we managed to conjure up some passable dumplings in the end.

Bay Leaves

I think I might have accidently killed my bay tree. Fortunately bay leaves are still good when they dry out, because I needed a bunch of them for Bobotie this week.

1 kilogram beetroot

I’ve started harvesting the beetroot because it is going to seed. I roasted it today, then pureed it and froze in batches. I plan to use it for beetroot dip once the weather warms up.

That’s it for me this week. More more harvests, head over to Daphne’s

Berry Season

26 Sep

The first of the mulberries, blueberries and strawberries seem to be ripening at the same time. I picked this bowl of berries today.

P and I ate them for dessert topped with a sauce made with sour cream, brown sugar, vanilla and Tia Maria. Drool.

All of these berries can be grown in pots. The blueberries and strawberries were and the mulberry tree (shorter than me) will be transplanted into a pot shortly. You could even grow them on the balcony of an apartment.

Delicious, organic berries – easier than you think!

Harvest Monday – 24th September 2012

24 Sep

Short post this week. I’ve been lazy and haven’t taken many photos.

A handful of Blueberries and 8 Strawberries

The first of the blueberries and strawberries are ripening. From this point forward I think I’ll have enough for garden snacks and regular smoothies. Just like this week, where I combined a banana with the first few tiny strawberries and a few blueberries. Add milk, yoghurt and honey – delicious!

A few bowls of Tuscan Kale (and its flower stalks) I am so in love with tuscan kale. At the start of winter I’m ashamed to say I had never even tried it. Now I won’t be without it again. Today we had it in a stirfry for lunch and tonight I served it alongside chicken thighs with green peppercorn sauce and mashed potato.

10 Curry Leaves

I used these in butter chicken during the week.

4 Celery stalks

Used in a pasta salad for playgroup, some Bolognese last night and the leaves in the butter chicken. I substituted them for fenugreek leaves. Having never tried fenugreek leaves I’m not sure it it was a fair substitute, but it tasted good.

4 Spring Onions

I am enjoying having these in the garden, but many of them are starting to bulb up now. I should probably plant a new batch to ensure supply. This variety (Hunter River Brown) is fabulous as a spring onion and I hope it lives up to its reputation as a good brown onion too, because I have hundreds of them!

Asparagus – none!

I displayed amazing self-control and didn’t cut any more of the asparagus despite it producing prolifically. I want it to continue to put energy into establishing the crowns and next year I’ll cut for longer.

Hopefully next week will bring more berries and leafy stuff. The rest is a little way off. Hopefully Daphne has had more variety to harvest than I have.

Harvest Monday – 10th and 17th September 2012

17 Sep

I was out of action last week, so exhausted by toilet training a 2 year old that all I could do was sit on a couch and stare at the wall. So today I need to cover 2 weeks of harvests.

17 Asparagus

The asparagus has been regular but I need to stop cutting it soon because the crowns are still fairly young. I’m having difficulty controlling myself because it’s so delicious.

The asparagus has gone into many dishes, such as grilled with a hot breaksfast, chicken and asparagus risotto, and a fritatta I made for lunch today.

Most of the spears have been of average size, but the purple asparagus crown (more established than the others) has been producing monster spears.

4 Spring Onions

Spring onions are picked on demand and used on a moment’s notice. I’m absolutely loving having them in the garden. They are starting to look quite fat, and hope that they will eventually form bulbs.

A few bowlfuls of tuscan kale

The kale is lovely. My 2 plants are bolting now, and I’m letting the largest one flower so I can save seed from it. I’m harvesting from the little plant freely – the flower heads are particularly delicious.

1.5 kilograms silverbeet

I have harvested a monster amount of silverbeet this week. I made a double batch of mushroom and silverbeet lasagne as recommended by Barbara, but I made mine much higher fat that she did.

1 cabbage

The cabbage weighed a bit over a kilo after was stripped of outer leaves and its slug population. I used it in a very ordinary batch of okonomiyaki.

2 celery sticks

Celery is another crop that I love to just pop out and cut when needed. Today I harvested a stick to cut up to dip in some french onion dip that I made (from real onions!)

Bay leaf

Went into a cauliflower soup – here’s a tip for young players – remove the bay leaf before blending the soup. D’oh! More fibre I guess.

Lots of mixed salad leaves + coriander

I have quite a bit of salad green in the garden at the moment. I harvested quite a bit of green oak lettuce, some baby spinach and some tatsoi. I made a caesar-ish salad on Sunday and I also made some fish tacos last week with some coriander.

1 tomato

The last stupice tomato plant is starting to produce. I used a tomato in the caeser salad.

1 Mulberry

The mulberries are just starting to ripen, and the crop is enormous for such a little tree. I picked the first fruit and then lost it somewhere. I hope I didn’t put it in a pocket or something!

2 Strawberries

The first of the strawberries are on the smaller side, but taste good!

Large bowl baby beets

I harvested these and roasted them for a warm pasta dish of fetta, beetroot leaves and pine nuts.

Well that’s all for my fortnight. I hope everyone else’s gardens have been productive. I’m sure Daphne has been busy this week too – if you have a chance, head over and see what other people have been picking from their gardens right across the world.

Harvest Monday – 3rd September 2012

3 Sep

The hungry gap has almost hit. Having pulled out the peas, tomatoes and root veggies lately there are large gaps where I have planted new season veggies that won’t be harvested for at least a couple of months. This week I planted out some snow peas and okra (way too early for the okra, I’m sure) and the new monster-sized carrot patch has germinated nicely. I have also started pre-germinating parsnip seeds and transferring the germinated ones into individual toilet rolls for transplanting later on.

Spring onions and asparagus have made up the bulk of my harvests this week. Just little bits here and there for use throughout the week.

10 spring onions

Used in various dishes, including the Vegetarian Pad See Ew and a dish of soba noodles, salmon and edamame. The edamame came from my massive edamame harvest earlier in the year. I froze them for use in dishes like this.

1 stalk celery

I used some celery and spring onion in a potato salad for our Father’s Day BBQ with P’s family.

7 asparagus spears

The asparagus is still powering along, although 2 of the 5 crowns don’t seem to have woken from winter. I think maybe they have died because the other 3 have produced several spears each already. The asparagus went into the pad see ew, and also a vegetarian Thai green curry.

Bowl of tuscan kale

This is running to seed so I’m using it as fast as I can. This was spectacular in the pad see ew – I must remember how good kale is in stir fries.

Bowl of mixed salad leaves

During the week I made a potato-topped root vegetable and bacon pie with the remaining root veggies that I harvested a couple of weeks ago. With it I served a salad that included baby spinach, beetroot leaf and iceberg and green oak lettuce.

That’s it for this week. If you have a few minutes head over to Daphne’s to see what others are harvesting.

Harvest Monday – 27th August 2012

27 Aug

Warming weather has meant that the garden (and weeds) are growing quickly. I’m having to be more active outside these days to keep on top of it, although I’ll be glad when the creeping oxalis (soursop) goes dormant and I can stop chasing it for the time being.

2kg peas

I harvested the last of the shelling peas. After shelling they yielded about 900g of peas. Some went with some meatloaf during the week, and the rest went into the freezer.

3 baby leeks

The leeks are taking forever and I’d like the space for summer plantings so I harvested 3 small leeks this week for use in an asparagus and smoked salmon quiche.

2 sprigs dill

Also in the quiche.

2 asparagus spears

The asparagus is putting out lots of new spears, so the coming week will bring the biggest harvest. I combined one of these with the ones I harvested last week and used them in the quiche, which was seriously delicious.


Bowl of baby spinach

Into a salad that I served with the quiche.

25 peppermint leaves

I harvested the first of the peppermint leaves from my new plant. I put them into some tea, but realised upon drinking that you need far more than 25 leaves to a pot. It was very slightly minty hot water.

Bunch of oregano

The oregano has sprung back from winter much faster than the other herbs. I used this in a garlic chicken and chorizo casserole.

Bunch of celery

Normally I harvest the celery on a ‘cut and come again’ basis, but this week I harvested a whole bunch for a batch of cream of celery soup. The soup benefits from using the sweeter inner stalks, and it was delicious.

4 spring onions

I used these in some chicken and sweet corn soup and also in a pasta salad today.

1 bunch silverbeet

I found a recipe that the kids would eat silverbeet in! This large bunch went into Chickpeas with chorizo and silverbeet.

Luckily this little guy survived the shredding of the silverbeet and was noticed before being added to the pot.

Well that’s all for me this week. For more harvests – in Australia and the other side of the world, I’m linking up with Daphne. Go pay her a visit.

Harvest Monday – 20th August 2012

20 Aug

My garden is looking a little ‘between seasons’ at the moment. Winter stuff has come out and some summer plantings have gone in – this should decrease my yield over the next two months or so.

1 bunch Coriander and 20 Curry Leaves

This was the first harvest from my new curry tree. Despite the aroma of the crushed leaves (that I find offensive) I really enjoyed their flavour in a curry I made during the week. I’ll be posting the recipe as part of my Tuesday Night Vego post tomorrow.

2.2 kilograms Root Vegetables (carrot, daikon, swede, turnip) 

I harvested the remaining root vegetables this week, which leaves me without carrots for another 3 months at least. I’m going to use them in a bacon and root veggie pie.


1 Cauliflower

This was one of my ‘mini cauliflowers’. Not sure I’d grow it again because the plant took up almost as much space as a full-sized cauliflower. I used this one is a cauliflower and cheese soup.

Large bunch Silverbeet

I used this as a side dish during the week. I steamed it and added an oyster/soy based sauce like they serve over gai lan at yum cha. I also added chilli to my serving.

4 Asparagus spears

The asparagus has mostly woken from its slumber. Not all the crowns have put out spears, but one in particular is going great guns – 3 spears at once. I’ve been collecting these in the fridge, and I’ll use them once I have 6 of them.

2.5 kilos tomatoes

I pulled out the last of my tomato plants during the week and harvested the 2.2 kilos of tomatoes hanging on the plants. With these I made 4 bottles of tomato sauce (ketchup.)

That’s all for this week. I might have a few more weeks of decent harvests before the hungry gap hits, but the seedlings are mostly all up, so it won’t be long before the bulk of the garden gets stripped and the new plantings take their place.

For more harvests from around the world, visit Daphne’s blog.

Harvest Monday – 13 August 2012 – And tips on making Fried Rice at home

13 Aug

Much smaller harvest this week, mostly because I haven’t ventured outside to pick any of it. I still have tomatoes hanging off mostly-dead plants and other stuff waiting for picking.

2 kilograms Daikon and Swedes

I took these along to some of the other mothers at Playgroup. One of the Japanese mums showed me pictures of how she used the daikon from last week, and she used not only the daikon root, but the leaves and also the skins! I really should have asked for a copy of the photo to post.

2 Sticks of Celery and 3 leaves of Silverbeet

My friend Sarah took these home with her after visiting today.

A few more blueberries

Average of 4 eggs per day

I always forget to account for the eggs in these posts, particularly as they have slowed over winter. The laying rate has picked up a bit, now about 4 per day.

3 Spring Onions

4 Carrots

250g Peas

All of these went into some kimchi fried rice that I made last night. Kimchi is a-mazing in fried rice. It adds a sour and spicy element to a dish that already has a lot of salty-sweetness. I made Kim chi from the wombok harvested a couple of weeks ago, and this batch was a winner. I’ve been eating it as a snack ever since.

Tips on making great fried rice at home

To pad my post this week I might arrogantly share my fried rice making tips, because I think mine is pretty good.

1. Start with leftover rice, cold and dry. Rice that has been left uncovered in the refrigerator for a few hours is ideal. If I’m cooking rice for a particular dish I will often intentionally cook too much so I can make fried rice a day or 2 later. In the photo above I didn’t dry the rice out, so the texture wasn’t as good as it could have been.

2. Use as much oil as you think you can stomach, then double it. Fried rice has an insane amount of oil. It glistens in the restaurant for a reason.

3. Use a super-hot wok or pan. You want the rice to stick a bit and get burnt on to the pan, because those little charred bits add flavour.

4.Use very little in the way of seasonings. I fry the ingredients in vegetable oil and some honey, then add only a little soy sauce and sesame oil right at the end. I used to make the mistake of adding soy sauce until the dish is sufficiently salty, but fried rice really shouldn’t have much soy at all. It will taste wrong if you add too much, and worse – it will steam instead of fry.  Just add a little bit, then add normal salt to obtain sufficient saltiness.

5. Start the process by making an omelette. Once again, heat lots of oil, then beat a few eggs with a dash of light soy sauce and sesame oil. At high heat, pour all of the egg in and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Roll it up in the pan (well before it cooks right through), then roll it around so that the outside of the rolled omelette browns slightly. Remove it from the pan before it is cooked through – you want the inside to stay a bit runny because it will continue to cook on residual heat. Slice the omelette into thick strips and reserve until the end, then add to the fried rice just before serving.

6. Don’t be afraid of using brown rice. I know that the chinese restaurant always uses white rice, but I used brown rice this week and it works just fine.

For more harvests from around the world, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

Harvest Monday – 6th August 2012

6 Aug

Another good week. We’ve had cool temperatures but mostly sunny days and the garden is very quickly waking from its winter slumber.

A couple of blueberries

I mostly fail to mention my blueberries in these posts but I’ve been harvesting at least a couple per week. They get munched as a snack whenever I wander in the garden. These were the berries that were already on the Misty blueberry plant when it arrived by mail order from Daley’s in Kyogle. It clearly wasn’t expecting to be shipped so far south because it’s setting fruit again now.

5 Passionfruit

Over the weekend I put P to work pruning the passionfruit back. Passionfruit vines fruit on new growth, so pruning significantly should (theoretically) increase your yield. I’ve read that cutting back by a third is the general aim, but I think we might have gone slightly overboard.

Before and after the prune

1 Swede and 2 Turnips

I harvested these along with some carrots to contribute to a roast dinner at my sister’s place. I really adore root vegetables, particularly at this time of year.

Approximately 500g Shelling Peas (Greenfeast)

The kids have picking peas as a snack whenever they go outside. The ones in the photo above were just snacks. Tonight we picked a more substantial batch that went along with some carrots and potatoes in a meal of corned beef.

All the veggies in this (tonight’s) meal were in the garden the hour before.

500g New Potatoes and 1 kilogram Dutch Carrots

The potatoes were from one grow bag – a pretty disappointing yield, but tasty nonetheless. The carrots went with the beef and also to my sister’s roast pork meal.

1 Stick Celery

The celery is wonderful at this time of year. This grows in almost total shade, yet thrives in winter because the soil stays moist. In summer the soil dries out and the stalks get hollow, but now the stalks are lovely, fat and juicy. This stalk went into the boiling water for the corned beef (seems a bit of a waste).

A bowl of Baby Spinach

The spinach is still really small, but I managed to harvest a bowlful of baby leaves for some eggs benedict for lunch today.


11 Daikon (approx 5 kilograms)

I took some daikon along to playgroup for the Japanese mothers. They loved it, but it was a bit awkward when the Indian mothers expressed interest too. I didn’t realise that they are used in Indian cookery. I had a great discussion with one of the mums about Indian vegetables, so now I have a list of new things to try. It’s great how food connects people, isn’t it?

These daikon in the picture were smaller ones that I gave to my friend Yukari – she uses daikon regularly and I can’t possibly use all that I have grown.

The daikon I used this week went into a batch of kim chi and a batch of Japanese pickled daikon (takuan).

1 Bunch of Silverbeet

The silverbeet is lush and wonderful – much more than I can use. I gave this bunch away, and Sarah took some more today.

1.5 kilograms Tomatoes

The tomatoes are slowing considerably. There won’t be much more from these plants now, but they have been fantastic.

1 Bay Leaf

Into the corned beef

1/2 cup Parsley

In the parsley sauce on the corned beef

330g Rhubarb

I forgot to include this last week. It is being used for something exciting that I’ll feature in a future post.

That’s all for this week. Head on over to Daphnes’s Dandelions for more great harvests from around the world.

Harvest Monday – 30th July 2012

30 Jul

Another great week – I’m very pleased. I’m getting concerned though about the space still occupied by winter crops and when I’m going to have time for soil amendment before the summer plantings go in. So I’m ramping up the harvesting and plan to sow my summer seeds in trays this week.

1 wombok (1.4 kilograms)

Although these are slug magnets I was happy with how much I actually got to keep from this wombok once I stripped away the munched-on leaves. This wombok is destined for kim chi.

2.5 kilograms tomatoes

I didn’t photograph the tomatoes this week, but I picked another large bowlful, which was 2.5 kilos. I have been giving a lot away and still have plenty more for eating fresh and cooking. Last night I put some on pizza.

1 Cauliflower

Like Liz, my cauliflower has been a bit disappointing. I was sad to see that the heads were loosening before reaching a decent size, until I went through my records this evening and realised that I planted ‘mini cauliflower’. That explains it! This one at the right went to my friend Karen, who came around on Friday and helped me weed and mulch. It was fun.

4 Turnips and 1 Swede

The root vegetables are reaching harvestable size faster than I can actually use them. My friends Sarah and Aaron took some today.

5 Rainbow Silverbeet leaves and a Small handful Tuscan Kale

Sarah took these for her dinner tonight.

4 Daikon

The daikon is seriously nuts! It is growing out of control, and J was using it over the weekend as a prop for olympics-inspired roll play with her Nan.

Here she is doing daikon weightlifting. We also had hurdles, javelin, pole vault, hammer throw and a ‘torch’ relay. We concluded that daikon is definitely a track and field vegetable.

800g peas

We harvested the first of the shelling peas this week.  They are wonderfully sweet – the kids would far prefer these to lollies. A little over 800g of pods yielded approximately 250g of peas. Well I think there was about 250g. There was 230g once the kids had finished shelling them, and Little D spent most of the time eating them. Maybe there was more than 250g…

3 Green Onions

Now this is really dumb, but it has only just occurred to me this week that you can plant bulbing onions and harvest them early as green/spring onions/shallots. I know it’s obvious, but I’ve always had difficulty growing the ‘shallot’ type, but never any trouble with the standard brown onion. I’ve been harvesting them early as green onions, and I don’t think I’ll look back from now on.

8 Carrots

I’m harvesting carrots a little faster than they are growing at the moment I think. These baby ones went into a bacon and spring vegetable risotto along with the peas and green onions. It was really delicious – both the peas and the carrots are so sweet that you are constantly getting bursts of sugar explode in your mouth as you eat it. What a treat!

I hope everyone else is reaping a great harvest this week. For some inspiring summer crops head over to Daphne’s Dandelions.