Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy new year.

Super splendiferous happy veggie gardening for 2012 everyone. May your bugs be few and your harvest be bountiful.
I'll be celebrating tomorrow by eating the first sweet corn for the season. All hot and buttery. 

Cheers and happy new year


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Brain fade or memory full?

It seems my brain has gone on holidays along with the season. I've racked my brain for the last two days and have come up empty for anything to write about.

Pretty huh?
If it's not that it could be that I'm distracted with the new iPhone 4s that I got from Optus just before Christmas.

Or it could also be that I'm distracted with making plans to get myself to the Snowy Mountains to climb or walk to Mt Kosciusko. You're looking at a thoroughly inexperienced traveller here. So far I've managed to get myself from Toowoomba to Brisbane with only a vague idea of how to get from there to Canberra and then on to the mountain. Aside from the planning to get there, I also have to fit in some training so as I can make the walk in some style.

Either way about all that I've been able to manage is watering, weeding and some mulching and liquid fertilizing.

It's raining from a storm here as I write this so it looks like I'll get a few days off from watering.

Now that I'm sitting here writing I'm beginning to think of a few things I can write about. So it looks like I'll get a few post out of the old brain yet. Yay!

Cheers, I'll be back in a day or two


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My favourite tool

I couldn't get by in my veggie garden without my Dutch hoe. What tool could not do without?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Today's harvest

Today's harvest. I'd already eaten half the carrot. Heaps more coming on too.

The zucchini and yellow button squash have small fruit on them and there's potatoes everywhere, more beans, oh and I ate my first Burke's Backyard 'Santorini' tomato. Boy are they a tasty little tomato. You can also see my very first Yellow Taxi tomato after nearly 18 months of trying. Nearly all the potatoes are self sown so I'm not sure what is under the ground but they have different coloured flowers and the leaves vary from bush to bush.

Plenty of new seedlings have burst through as well. there is, leeks, lettuce, zucchini, squash, more radish, some self sown golden beetroot, water melon, parsley, some pickling onions and some spring onions. Oh the Chinese cabbage and the pak choy are up too. Some fennel seed I planted seems to have failed so I'll need to replant them.

It's hard to imagine but as I'm picking this Summer harvest I'm already working out what and where I'm going to put my winter planting. I've never had great success with Brussels sprouts but I'm going to have another go this year. Eventually I'll find a variety that likes it here. 

Any way I'd better get going, taxi tomorrow and heaps of veggie gardening to do on Tuesday.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just watch the video

Just watch the video. It's self explanatory.

Coming up.

It might just look like a row of lettuce seedlings to you but to me I see a whole lot of summer salads coming up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

1910 Rhubarb Chutney

1.5 kgs of Rhubarb cut up and ready to be turned into chutney

And an hour and a bit later.
My Rhubarb's growing well and I saw a recipe for rhubarb chutney so as they say one thing lead to another.

I didn't dissolve the sugar enough and most of it sunk to the bottom of the pan and toffied itself there but it still turned out alright.

I've only had a small taste and with 1 teaspoon of extra hot chillie powder it certainly has a nice kick to it but you don't lose the rhubarb taste or the sweetness from the sugar.

I'll leave it for a month or so and give it a good taste test but I think this will be a keeper.

Here goes the recipe

1910 Rhubarb Chutney
  • 1.5kgs chopped rhubarb
  • 500g onion' chopped
  • 500ml vinegar
  • 750g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp mixed spices
  • 1tps ground cloves
  • 1tps cayenne (optional)
  • 1tps curry powder

  1. Combine all ingredients and boil for one hour, making sure all sugar is dissolved before you reach boiling.
  2. Bottle and seal in sterilized jars
  3. Leave for a month or two to mature before use.
  4. And that's it. Here is a link to the recipe I used. 1910 Rhubarb Chutney from Best Recipe's


Chutney Stewart

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Basic Coleslaw

Raining a little here today so I'm just sitting back and listening to the seedlings grow. Also have nectarines on the stove cooking, getting ready for a nectarine chutney I'm going t try. And that'll be interesting to say the least seeing as it will be a first for me. Nectarine recipe I'll be trying.

My Basic Coleslaw

Lots of extra carrots but just as tasty.
I'd dare say almost everyone would have their own favorite coleslaw recipe but just in case you don't here's one I use with much success and enjoyment.

Stuff you'll need

  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 carrot grated (sometimes 2)
  • 2/3 cup mayo ( I like the whole egg mayo)
  • 1/2 sour cream
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (apple if you like)
  • 2 tbsp veggie oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar (I use castor sugar) (or to taste)
  • I also grate radish 1 or 2
  • A diced onion as well

Toss cabbage in a large bowl with the carrots, onion and radish. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients  Pour the mixture over the cabbage and carrots and toss to coat thoroughly. Bung it in the fridge until you're ready. There you go a s easy as falling off a log.

I find if you half the above recipe you'll have enough for about four people or in my case three people and some left over for a chicken and coleslaw sandwich.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's a squishy problem

 A couple of posts ago (FYI, Tuesday, November 8, 2011) I let you know about the nasty 28 spotted ladybeetle and thought I'd share an odd 28 spotted ladybeetle experience I had today.

It all started early this morning while I was working in the veggie garden when I noticed a couple of 28 spotted ladybeetles sunning themselves on one of my potato bushes and having a good old munch on my potato leaves as well no doubt.

 In the past I've never bothered with them because I'd only ever see one or two on a plant and think 'they couldn't do that much damage' and would then be surprised at the damage that was done. Today though I thought ' I'll fix you ya little buggers' and I squished the few I saw but during the day when I walked past the same potato bushes I'd notice a few more and then I'd squish them too.

  By the end of the day I'd squished 44 of the buggers off five different potato bushes and now I can see why so much damage occurs. What I haven't worked out though where they hide or where they come from or why I only see two or three at a time because I gave each plant a good looking over after I'd removed the obvious beetles and never found any sign of any more but and hour later I'd go past and there'd be another two or three on each plant. I can see I'm going to have to keep up my squishy vigilance if I am to keep on top of this spotty problem but there remains a few questions that I need answers for..



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Leek 'Lyon - Prizetaker'

Not mine, but I hope they look like this when I'm finished
There's a rain a comin'. Well at least it been forecast to. And when there's rain a comin' and I have a day off, Sunday that is, that can only mean one thing. It's a seed planting time.

I'll have my work cut out for me tomorrow because I want to get all of these planted so as I can take advantage of the coming rain.

  1. Leek 'Lyon - Prizetaker'
  2. Watermelon 'Sugar Babe'
  3. Zucchini
  4. Squash yellow button
  5. Spring onion
  6. Pak Choi
  7. Chinese Cabbage 'Nagaoka F1'
  8. Fennel 'Florence Finale'
  9. Radish
  10. and some Marigolds
As usual I have a ton of weeding to do as well as spreading blood and bone around the other half of the garden that I didn't get done before the last rain.

Cheers then to a busy and productive Sunday


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lettuce rejoice.

Working like mad again (I'm self employed. It's the only way I can get a Christmas bonus and a few days off) and I've only managed a few hours in the garden on Sunday afternoon but I still managed to find out something interesting.

You see I've tried getting some lettuce seed up and running but my strike rate has been appalling which it usually isn't.

 As I'm a reasonable seed starterer I began to suspect the seed although they were supposed to be viable and not out of date.

Therefore in order to see if it was me or the seed I went out and bought two varieties of 'fresh' lettuce seed and planted them as I usually do and 'hey presto', wouldn't you know it, within four days I had lettuce seeds germinating and sprouting all over the place.

So if you every find yourself puzzled as to why you are having trouble getting seeds up try some fresh seed first.

Cheers and happy sowing