Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 241

This is a late post as I must have been distracted by a busy week and forgot to add this one.  

It's actually a good thing I guess.  Last weekend we spent a wonderful morning in the patch with the girls.  Seeing these images this morning gave me a great smile as it reminded me of how great it was.  

One of the things we absolutely enjoyed growing last summer was tomatoes.  I think its one of those crops that no matter who you are, you'll enjoy growing and picking your own tomatoes.  I remember last year we actually bought the tomatoes early in the season.  Even the lady at the nursery commented on that we shouldn't be growing them at that time of year.  Strange...she was selling them!  We ended up with a bumper crop and we are still enjoying the tomato sauces we made even to this day.

So it was with great excitement that we planted some tomato seedlings about a week ago.  We are keen and if we lose them to a frost so be it.  If the gamble pays off again we'll have another great crop early in the season.  

However we thought we'd start an insurance plan and have some fun with the girls.  We bought some tomato seeds and some seed mix and spent the morning with the chooks running around our feet, teaching the girls how to plant seeds.  

They are so easily impressed and it slows you down to enjoy such a simple thing as planting a seed, giving it some water, sun and attention.

The girls had a great time learning about seed growing and they water the seeds daily with their water sprayers waiting, watching for something to pop up out of the soil.

The seeds we planted were three styles of heirloom tomatoes and basil.  They were all mixed in the one seed packet and were died in different colours which was another fun thing for the girls as they were planting red, blue, yellow and black seeds.

So if you have children in your life.  Grab a seed and a pot and a bit of soil.  Take the time and plant a seed.  It will slow you down and who knows, you may also plant the seed of learning that may benefit your children's children in the future.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 240

We have some exciting news today about the AP System.  Inspired by a comment from a reader way back on Day 25 we have put 2 new poles at either end of the patch and raised the roof of the shade cloth.  

This will make it a great spot in summer and keep the water cooler.  So big thanks to Bob.   Read Bob's comment here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 236

5.2mm of rain has fallen in the last few hours, topping up the tanks once again and giving the rest of our backyard a great soaking.  I had to dash out in the rain to grab some produce for tonights meal and some herbs for tomorrow.

I have a new local butcher who stocks goat meat.  I haven't had much of a chance to try it, so inspired by a co-workers recipe I am marinating a shoulder of goat in white wine, EVOO, Garlic and some amazingly fragrant herbs from the patch.  We'll slow wet roast it tomorrow and see how it goes.  

I picked parsley,  rosemary and thyme and they smell beautiful.  The rosemary has beautiful purple flowers at the moment as well.  It must be nearly spring.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 234

What a magnificent day.  Spring is definitely on the way.  Just a tidy up of the patch today and this week we installed something new.  It will make it a nicer place to be over summer in the patch. I cant reveil it just yet but it is something someone suggested as a comment here in the blog a few months back.  As soon as its completed I'll post up a picture.

So for now I have a few pics of what's growing.  Its really taking off.

In the foreground we have lettuce and the background is bok choy.

Heaps of Beetroot.

Very happy to see a couple of Cauliflowers coming along.

Cabbage, but I cant remember the variety.

Leeks... we have heaps.  A big bowl of potato and leek soup is on the cards I think.

And last but not least, the silver beet.  It's been great over winter but I'l be glad to see it gone. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 229

Leek, Silver beet, Cabbage, Coriander, Parsley, Thyme and Rosemary.  That's the pick from the patch today and I had no idea what I would do with it.  A quick look in the pantry and six eggs and salt and pepper and a meal was devised.

Cooked in a flash and we had the most delicious frittata I have ever tasted.  It was like a fresh salad and the herbs danced on in our mouths.  I can't begin to describe the freshness and its days like today that I think it's totally worth it.  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 224

I had a very inspiring email today from a lady who lives in the USA and reads our blog.  

It's great to receive feedback from readers so please if you are a reader and can spare a few seconds to write to us or leave a comment it would be great.  

I wish there was a way of telling just how many people are out there.  Whoever you are, thank you for taking the time.  We genuinely hope you are enjoying the updates as we go through the year and Lori, I will endeavour to take the time to post up the recipes.

On to todays pick from the patch, we still had some of the cabbage we picked left over from the other day.  I actually went to the fridge thinking we'd have to feed it to the chooks but it's easy to forget just how fresh our produce is.  It is only 2 days old, not weeks as supermarket produce.  It still had an amazing crunch.  But what to do with cabbage?  
We have heaps of silver beet in the patch so I googled and came up with a Sautéed Cabbage and Spinach recipe.  Easy enough and I'd just substitute the silver beet.

Here is my adaption of the recipe.  Its actually very nice but make sure you don't overcook it.  The greens should still have a good green colour and the cabbage a slight crunch.

1/4 of a shredded cabbage
Equal amount of shredded silverbeet
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon of butter 
a couple of pinches of salt
a couple of pinches of sugar

In a saucepan over med-high heat, heat oil and butter, add and cook cabbage, salt, and sugar, stirring frequently, until cabbage is tender-crisp. Add spinach; cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.
You can see here it still has lots of colour.

We grilled a chicken breast, sliced it and placed it over a good sized mound of the sauteed cabbage and silver beet.  Oh and yes! Our chickens are still safe.  

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 221

Well its been awhile and its been very cold.  They patch is humming along though.  The growth in the last week or two is amazing.  We had some strong rain which filled the tanks to the max and this has meant we have a strong overflow which is really causing the water to be very aerated.   The trout are going nuts and eating heaps and the plants are growing at a great rate.  We have got so much going that it wont be long until we are back in the swing of things.  I can almost smell Spring.

But tonight I went out to the patch and I found a cabbage ready for picking plus a Cabbage Patch Kid.  Our daughter Matilda is starting to come out and get involved.   The girls just love picking in the patch.