Tag Archives: garden

Garden Update and Flemington Farmers’ Market

I realise that I’m not posting many recipes here at present.  Quite frankly, the weather just isn’t conducive to culinary experimentation – it seems to be endlessly, wearyingly hot, in a manner that saps energy and creativity alike.  Right now, I’m feeling grateful for my cookbooks, which allow me to continue making moderately healthy meals without doing too much thinking.

But – almost miraculously – my garden is still alive.  In fact, it’s even producing tomatoes at last, as well as zucchini of supermarket-worthy size (though, pleasingly, of farmers-market-worthy shape and colour).

gardentomatoBehold, yesterday’s harvest!

Harvest time!  Tomatoes of many colours, zucchini, green and purple basil, and parsley!

Harvest time! Yellow, red and stripey tomatoes, yellow crookneck zucchini, green and purple basil, and parsley!

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Brief garden gloat, because…

I have ripe tomatoes!  At last!


I’ve been watching literally dozens of tomatoes hang greenly on the vine for at least two weeks now, refusing to ripen, but I nearly missed these two because they were so well hidden in the very centre of the foliage.  This is probably why they are so perfectly red and round and unmarked – usually the birds or the caterpillars spot them before I do.


Another stealth tomato waits to ripen… I think this one is a tigerella, but I have no idea what it’s ultimate colour will be…

The rest of my garden is growing enthusiastically.  My beans are looking a little sad, but they are producing beans in dribs and drabs, and the corn is looking alarmingly like the sort of thing that takes over your garden and is unkillable.  Given that I planted the corn almost entirely in support of my beans (Andrew doesn’t even like corn), I’m a bit concerned by this.  But a part of me can’t help being excited nonetheless at the presence of an entirely new vegetable in my garden!


My asparagus and leeks are looking healthy, and my salad greens and basil aren’t dead yet, which is more than you can say for most of my pot plants.

(And no, there is no illustration for that statement.  Did you want a photo of shrivelling-up pot plants?  No, I didn’t think so, either.)

My allegedly compact delicata pumpkin is sprawling all over the place and threatening the raspberries.  Compact, my foot.


At the other end of the garden bed, my rockmelon is slowly building up steam – I suspect a big push starting sometime next week.  At which point the raspberries will be in serious trouble…


And back in the tomato bed, I have yellow zucchini ripening, along with a surprisingly large number of long sweet chillis.  My other capsicum plant isn’t doing so well, but my parsley is producing nicely.


A proper foodie post or two will follow soon, but the last few days have been a bit hellacious, both in work and out of it, which is not conducive to writing.  We’re all fine, but living in interesting times.  I hope your week is more pleasant than mine – and that your garden is growing!

Oh and one more thing… we’re coming up to the last week of my raw food challenge, so if you wanted to play and haven’t done so yet, now is your moment!  I’ve been getting some lovely recipes through this challenge, so even if you don’t plan to contribute, I recommend giving it a look.

Gardens, Salads and Swans

This isn’t much of a post, but I did want to celebrate my first harvest of the season!  (I’m not counting the single purple bean I harvested a week ago).

The tally so far is one yellow zucchini (with about six friends coming along behind it, leading me to hope that this, finally, will be the year when I get overrun by zucchini – I have so many ideas for using up zucchini, and my garden never delivers), assorted salad greens (many of which are growing outside the raised beds, thanks to the diligent digging work of certain felines), basil, parsley, and the Littlest Capsicum Of All.


This calls for a salad, don’t you think?


And, just for something completely different, some photos of black swans and waterbirds below the cut.

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Farmers’ Market with Fruit and Gardening and No, Still No Chocolate Caramels

First, allow me to apologise to those of you who read my Facebook and have been waiting patiently for the chocolate and cranberry caramels I was bragging about a few days ago.  It turns out that pride really does come before a fall; my first batch was delicious but failed to set (converting dairy confectionery recipes to non-dairy ones requires a bit of guesswork to get the temperatures right.  On this occasion, I guessed wrongly), and when I was halfway through making my second batch (today), my digital candy thermometer suddenly started showing rows of 8s, and by the time I’d realised that this wasn’t just me staring at it from the wrong angle and that it really wasn’t going to reset, the whole batch had gone too high at some point, the cocoa butter had separated out, and it was a total disaster.

My digital candy thermometer, incidentally, is now working perfectly.  Perhaps it just doesn’t like hot temperatures?  Though if this is the case, I believe it need to reconsider its career choices.

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My Weekend: World Vegan Day and Pots of Herbs

My aims for this weekend were twofold: to attend World Vegan Day, and to finally tidy up our rather disgraceful back porch (I’d do a before and after post, but I am far too ashamed of the before state to provide photographic evidence).

Well, I did have one or two other aims, mostly involving singing practice and sleeping a lot, but those are pretty much my main goals every weekend so they don’t count.  I achieved them, by the way.

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Garden post of extreme excitement

Look at this!

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Look!  I have grown vegetables!

Aren’t they beautiful?  Yes, I think so, too. Continue reading

Grandiose Gardening Plans

Another week with very little blogging, this time because I’ve barely been home – since last Sunday, I’ve either had dinner guests or been out myself every single evening (including this evening, in fact – yay, paid singing gig!), and as a result, I’ve scarcely had time to look at the kitchen, let alone cook in it or write about it.   And today, of course, was the first decent weather we’ve had on a weekend day for quite some time.  I had to make the most of it.  Besides, every Melbournian knows that you have to get your tomatoes in before Cup Day – so I’ve just barely made the deadline.

Behold! Tomato plants – and Cup Day isn’t until Tuesday. And yes, I know they look terribly, terribly dry – it was a very hot, sunny day, and I didn’t want to water until everything was in shade. Now, of course, it’s raining.

So today you get me nattering on about all the vegetables I hope I will have in a few months.  Because pretty much all I’ve done today is garden and then sing.  Tomorrow, there will be more singing, and also baking and hat-making for work purposes.  But I’m hoping that next week I really will get back into the swing of blogging – I’m missing it.

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The Food Garden

I’m a rotten gardener.  I have absolutely no attention span for things like weeding or watering, and when it comes to feeding plants, or mulching, or pruning, well, for one thing I’m not really sure how, but it actually doesn’t matter because even if I did know how, I probably wouldn’t ever do any of those things anyway.  And I’m really bad at staking tomatoes.

Plants in my garden need to be the kind which cope with intense, freakish levels of interest in their early stages (I’ve never *quite* dug up seeds to see if they were sprouting, but I have been known to gently disturb the earth above them, just to see if they were about to poke out of the ground), feverish watering and weeding in their first month of life, and total neglect thereafter.

Self-seeding plants are my favourite kind, and I do quite well with nasturtiums.  And we aren’t even going to talk about Jerusalem artichokes.

But when it comes to planting things that I might actually get to eat one day, my attention span can expand to as much as several months.  Continue reading



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Today is the shortest day of the year here in Melbourne – a mere 9 hours and 32 minutes from sunrise to sunset.  Tomorrow, the sun will set just one minute later, and in a month or so, perhaps it … Continue reading