Garden Share Collective June 2014

The Garden Share Collective


Welcome to my contributions as part of the Garden Share Collective. I love the concept of bloggers being able to support, inspire, advise and educate each other in so many  areas. The following is an extract from the co-ordinator of The Garden Share Collective

The Garden Share Collective is a group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills. Creating a monthly community to navigate through any garden troubles and to rival in the success of a good harvest we will nurture any beginner gardener to flourish. Each month we set ourselves a few tasks to complete by the next month giving us a little push to getting closer to picking and harvesting. The long term goal of the Garden Share Collective is to get more and more people gardening and growing clean food organically and sustainably. 

Each month I will be posting on things such as planting, harvesting and jobs that need to be targeted in the coming months.


I find that June is more a planning than planting time. Apart from a few succession plantings and some seed for spring flowers in the greenhouse, not much is going in. I have however, today started some kale seed, I have been using far more than I thought I would! Trying to get timing right is crucial with planting things to avoid frost damage when flowering happens to crops such as peas etc. As winter starts to fully set in, the “Must Do’ job list starts to grow and just seems to get bigger.


It is great at the moment, I seem to be able to pick lots of odds and ends to go into all sorts of dishes. Last night I posted about how important it is to have essentials at hand to make it easy to whip things up without needing to be dependant on supermarkets etc.  At the moment I am harvesting broccoli, Jerusalem artichokes, celery, capsicum, chillies, tomatoes, leeks, the occasional strawberry and autumn raspberry, silver beet, kale, lettuce, spring onion, various herbs, picked my first beetroot from this crop tonight ad of course harvesting some eggs from the chooks! I still have some tomatoes on plants in the greenhouse and I have been holding off picking so I can say “I’m still picking tomatoes in June”! The taste isn’t great, think there is a reason they are summer crops.


Tomatoes in JuneThe ‘To Do’ List

The english oak is about half done with shedding, the pin oak out the front has just about finished so dealing with the leaves is a priority. I blow them all into one area, run over them with the mower then layer them into bins made from wire, lined with black weed mat. Layers go in with some blood and bone and lime as well as some green stuff like grass clippings. I then put some weed mat on the top and wait for nature to do its thing breaking them down into leaf mold which is a great soil conditioner. I’ll end up with 3 of these bins dotted around the yard.


Other jobs I have tagged so far  are:

  • Sort out worm farm-take some castings out to free up one layer.
  • Plan and prepare site for where peach tree is to be planted
  • Transplant blueberries from wine barrel into garden bed, plant tamarillo into wine barrel.
  • Plant flower seedlings into front bed. Add compost to each as planted.
  • Check seed library
  • Stake brussel sprouts
  • Check for plants susceptible for frost damage and stake steps to minimise

I’m sure I will be adding to this frequently I have already thought of a few more!



Jerusalem Artichoke Trial No 2

Bit more success this week! One of the recipes I found in my quest for learning about Jerusalem Artichokes was this kale and JA gratin recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, it seemed good as I had kale ready to harvest as well.  I had bought a 2kg forequarter of lamb from Wayne The Great intentionally unstuffed as I had something I wanted to try in the back of my mind. Because we are now ’empty nesters’ I cut the meat in half and put 1/2 in the freezer for another day. I unrolled the joint, made a stuffing of sour dough bread crumbs, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper and some mushrooms. Stuffing in, re-rolled the lamb and prepared the remaining accompaniments.

Lamb forequarter stuffing IMG_4245The harvest today included kale, beetroot, parsley, rosemary, the first oranges of the season, jerusalem artichokes, lemons and eggs.IMG_4247Dinner was roast lamb forequarter (shoulder) with lemon, rosemary and mushroom stuffing, kale and jerusalem artichoke gratin, roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, roast beetroot and snow peas. The gratin ended up with some mushrooms in it as well because they fell out of the fridge and I couldn’t be bothered putting them back in. It was a real juggle tonight trying to manage cooking everything. Put the roast and veggies into the cast iron casserole but had to leave the lid off  so it fitted into the ‘toy oven’. Of course my bread dough then decided it was ready (after a 24 hour slow rise) to be cooked, so I had to take the cast iron cooker out, put it in the BBQ along with the gratin and put the bread in the oven to bake. Twas time for me to sit and relax!

Mmmm, will it fit?
Phew! Didn’t chance the lid too.

IMG_4258 IMG_4260 Made a gravy from the pan scrapings, blanched  the snow peas and served. Not the prettiest plating up but it is Sunday night TV dinner! Mr ATMT actually said it was the nicest roast he’s ever had. Now that’s saying something!

The Reno Update.

After some serious issues with paint blistering and peeling, we are finally getting somewhere with the original fly wire doors. Sensible people would probably have had replicas made to match the design but us no, have had them rebuilt, but painting has proved to be an issue taking far longer than it should have. Getting there now though!

IMG_4235The Anaglypta wallpaper we are putting in the hallway has arrived so now I have to take a deep breathe and ‘man up’ to applying it. Decision was that it should be me  due to Mr ATMT’s more heavy handed approach! Stay tuned for updates.



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