Garden Share Collective. Cup day in the garden.

Holy Moley, 2 posts in one night! Mr ATMT is away so I am not doing much after coming in from  the garden once it was dark. Love daylight saving, we can spend so much more time nurturing our souls watching things grow and tending to them.

This months Garden Share Collective (Thanks Lizzie), is based on how I spent the day in my garden on Cup Day, the day we usually plant tomatoes in Victoria. I only got 6 tomatoes in but it’s a start! Many more to go.

I started painting the fence we have installed around the patch. I hated the look of new treated line so I am coating it with the same stain I used on the chicken coop. Intergrain Natural Stain Charcoal. Really happy with the look and the way the greenery just jumps out with the dark backdrop.

IMG_6243 Here are the first of the tomatoes, 6 in this bed, hopefully when I pull the garlic it won’t disturb the roots too much. this variety is German Johnston.IMG_6214 Broccoli is doing really well, this succession crop is being harvested. Now, where to find space for the next lot! There are also beetroot and lettuce in this bed with snow peas that are flowering at the end.IMG_6213I planted a succession planting of snow peas on the end of this bed. Butter beans are thriving and the beautiful miners lettuce and chervil I got from Herbalicious Nursery have  (are) performed incredibly well. The last couple of leeks are on the left. I also stuck in some eggplant ‘fingerling’ which did really well last season.

IMG_6210 These are the snow peas about to from pods. Can’t wait!IMG_6207Did some tidying up in the greenhouse, planted some cucumbers in there and in the wicking beds outside. So much more to do and what I should report on, it’s so rewarding seeing this stuff grow and harvesting it.

 

Can’t think of a title for this post!

I was trying to come up with a catchy title for this post but it just didn’t happen. I had toyed with Friends, food and ….mmmm, got stuck, fun, friends and ……. stuck again. SO here it is, the post without a title! We had a lovely evening at a friends home in the Dandenong Ranges on Saturday night. There is something soulful about getting together with people who you can relax with, share ideas with and most importantly, have so many of the most wonderful belly laughs that it hurts! I wanted to take an offering so with the batch of sourdough I was working on I decided to make a couple of sourdough bread sticks to take. Should have proved a little longer but it just had to go on due to time restraints. As most of you know, I have limited cooking facilities so these were baked in the outdoor BBQ with the hood closed. I was very happy with these, the crust was crunchy, the crumb soft with a good flavour, sort of came out with a ciabatta style structure. This was sliced and we ate it slathered with beetroot relish and brie cheese. Very nice! My friend had made some Georgian cheese bread which is similar to puri and it was lovely, rich, but soft and full of flavour. Sourdough ciabatta bread sticksThe bay tree I’m working on establishing as a ball top with a straight stem needed some straightening so I bound it up with soft tie and cleaned any side shoots off. It’s at the right height now so I pinched the top out and will keep trimming to get the desired result.IMG_5622 Mr ATMT started extending the veggie garden path to where it will finish at the old stables. Neatened things up and now just need to infill the pavers with toppings.IMG_5627My garlic is going really well, This lot is planted in a separate box in the garden,IMG_5629 And this lot is in the asparagus bed. I’m a little concerned that the asparagus hasn’t yet started showing and I have read that garlic and asparagus shouldn’t be planted together. Waiting game now to see what eventuates.garlicThe succession planting of the broccoli is coming on nicely,IMG_5647 I pulled the last scrappy beetroot and will make some relish from these as they aren’t pretty enough to serve whole. Couple of baby parsnips here too that I pulled to see how they are progressing.IMG_5650 IMG_5632I put an old sewing machine base in the vegi patch and plonked a surplus sink onto it. This is proving to be a great asset as a workbench, potting bench and I can chuck stuff into the sink and hose it off before bringing it inside. I’m considering adding a foot pump or caravan sink type water tap to it to add to its use. IMG_5648 I’ve bagged the kale seed heads to keep the seed,IMG_5637 Such a lovely afternoon the workers downed tools and enjoyed the sun too!IMG_5635The backyard is shaping up nicely. Mt ATMT top dressed a few patches in the grass and put down some new lawn seed. Last time he’s says, it will have to fend for itself now. Let’s wait and see how that pans out!

In My Kitchen

Golly, it’s nearly too late for this month’s IMK post, a blogging forum graciously hosted by Celia at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial.

I’ve been house sitting for my daughter while she was away and taking advantage of having a ‘real’ oven. See my post “A quickie” to see how I coped with that!

So, in my kitchen this month,IMG_5361Is a vase of lovely spring flowers, and my new cast iron dutch oven. Is it wrong to buy a pot because it matches the tablecloth I bought in Sumatra?IMG_5363Is a big pot of stock simmering in the slow cooker. Smells great! I’ve found this is the best way to make stock and we never run out any more.IMG_5334Is a big basket of freshly picked oranges, kale and broccoli. It is just about the end of the crop for all three so I’m making the most of them. Tonight’s dinner will be leek, broccoli and mushroom risotto. The broccoli have been absolutely sensational this year. Harvesting from next planting is still a few weeks away yet.IMG_5365On the fridge is the next page of the list of instructions we found left by Sheila for the housekeeper. We think circa 1960, first time I’ve ever heard of spare keys being kept in a pin cushion!20130630_142902In my kitchen is an old cheese/butter cellar. This is built under the floor of the kitchen. It’s about 500 deep and 400 wide, there is a hole covered by mesh on the lower section where cool air from under the house enters into the cavity keeping things cool. You access it by lifting a bit of wood on the bottom shelf of a base cupboard. I’m hoping to incorporate this into our new kitchen design by using it as the bones of a cooling cupboard. This was very common way of keeping perishables apparently before refrigeration was commonplace.IMG_5368This months view out to the oak tree. Amazing that the new leaves are so well established in such quick time. It’s almost as the last autumn leaf falls the new ones pop out. This tree is a great haven for birds of all kinds. It is hilarious watching the pecking order. First come in the lorikeets, then the corellas, rosellas, then galahs push their way in and then back to the lorikeets. Today, I caught a couple of Corella lovebirds up there preening over each other.  I just couldn’t live somewhere where there were no trees!

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Beginnings and ending crops.

Last weekend I picked the first broccoli of the season and knew I would have to get back out there in the next few days to pick the next lot while at its peak. Didn’t get out there until after work tonight, I have been so busy that I almost haven’t thought about the     ???…..??? (area where I grow my food) mmmm, I need a name for my veggie patch. Back to that later! Tonight I picked two good heads of broccoli, basil, last little eggplant, a good capsicum and some tomatoes from the greenhouse that are almost finished.

Autumn harvestI’m hoping to stretch out these tomatoes a bit longer so I can boast that I was still picking tomatoes in June! Every time I get home from work and go straight into the ???….??? I feel all the stresses from a usually busy, full of crap day just easing their way out and clearing my head. See those little critters in the front? Yep, Autumn raspberries!

Broccoli & Autumn Raspberries

I was very gracious and shared them (well 1) with Mr ATMT, to which he was VERY grateful. I must admit they don’t have that lush, sweet, full of flavour taste of the summer variety, but nevertheless I was happy!

So I need to come up with a name I can use as a reference when talking about where I grow things. Things like, ‘the patch’, the plot’, ‘the allotment’ have all been used to death and Mr ATMT suggested ‘The Tink Tank”. Sort of works for me, my name is Tink and it is like having a therapy session when I’m out there, I often come up with all sorts of ideas and plans whilst working away. What do you think?