biodiversity in the garden, everyday

Wonder bowl

Ever wonder where your food comes from ? Thought about how much energy it takes ? Know the person who grew it ? Maybe the region it came from ?

Every now & again I do. It’s pretty cool to actually know a few answers to questions now & again.

So this photo was lunch today. Stir fried in 10 min and enjoyed with our new HelpX volunteer.

bowl of wonder.jpg

Left overs and backyard offerings. A tiny beetroot, corn, shallots, baby eggplant, pumpkin, radish and cucamelon within walking distance. Rice grown by Randalls – an Australian organic family farm, Chinese cabbage from our truly amazing and recently renovated Flametree Co-op (I also buy our tamari and olive oil in bulk here.)

So apart from lunch looking a little lumpy, it’s also got loads of colour, texture and energy. Eat a rainbow. try to give yourself enough time to enjoy it.

Super cool thing about hunting around locally, (see if you’ve got a local Food Is Free Table people drop and swap at in your area) is you get the flavour of independence. Sometimes things that aren’t mainstream. And most certainly foods that are in season for your region.

Try to make a little time and indulge yourself.

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explore growing, produce

Summer Daze

So far there’s been a few  consistent elements to our summer.

Watering  – heat – humidity – cucumbers – my desire to read – watering  – afternoon naps (so decadent !)

Tricky trying to get back into the rhythm of working outdoors in the heat of summer. My brain goes a little mushy and my family are all too aware of the adverse effect of elevated temperatures on my sense of humour. So the trick – get up early, do the essential stuff and celebrate the small wins.

Like cucumbers. It’s like watching the beanstalk Jack planted reaching for the sky. Good food, daylight, water and away they go.IMG_0521.jpg

These gorgeous cucurbits have superpowers ! They can hide from the untrained eye remarkably well. They take on colourbond fencing an mold themselves to available space. They are beautiful when cut on the cross section.

Best of all – they of all the good things of summer. Refrigerate before eating and even more refreshing.

Drink it – chop one up, throw it in the blender with ice cubes, a little water, mint and a smidge of honey – best summer drink.

Pickle it – using 1 part white vinegar, 1 part water, 1/2 part sugar (combine all and heat until sugar dissolves.) Whilst you’re waiting for the liquid to cool, slice up your cucumber, pop in a sterilized jar. Then pour the liquid over pop the lid on, let it cool a bit on the bench and stick it in the fridge. A great sharp flavour to wake up the tastebuds in a salad or on a sambo.

Transfrom it – into tzatziki with a beautiful plain creamy yoghurt and a drizzle of olive oil. The key here is to make sure you strain the grated cucumber for a fair while as you don’t want your dip being watery.

Go out and enjoy these elongated gems of summer, just try not to water the plant in the evening as powdery mildew could set in on the leaves.

Make a teepee from several plants and enjoy their shade and fruit.

harvesting the yield, seasonal eating, spring, start from seed

Growing full circle

Seeds are amazing little packets of potential. A handful could grow into a forest. There’s so many you can store in jars in the kitchen for eating later down the track. Heirloom ones that tell a story.

They complete their own magic tricks. Soaked overnight, they double in size – you’ve woken them from hibernation. Soak and rinse, soak and rinse – watch them sprout into edible vegetable tadpoles.

Some seeds you pop into a little growing medium & once they’re just above the ground  – ready to eat. (aka – microgreens) Then there’s other seeds developing into plants that  you can nibble on their tips (like snowpeas), some flowers are edible too (like snowpeas) – but remember – if you eat all the flowers, they won’t complete their cycle by setting fruit. In the the case of snowpeas progressing it’s so worth waiting for a few of the most amazing crunchy delicious garden snacks in the universe (NOTHING can beat the flavour of these little spring gifts – try eating only one….) snowpeas - end Aug 17

So around these parts, we love playing outside. We love to eat our microgreens. And the flowers (never fear – there’s plenty on offer for the insect life).

Just remember to do some homework to see what varieties are good for people. Extend that research to make sure you’re not eating chemically laden ones too.

So may options ! So many textures. So much diversity from a little handful of potential.