Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Millions of peaches...Peaches for free

I was recently given a gift of peaches and plums from a friend who's daughter lives in Bathurst. Going on the size of this box alone you can just imagine how big the trees must have been.

The peaches were white cling stone with amazing flavour. If only they were slip stones they could have been even better. The plums were mostly just eaten with a few stewed.

I got to work on the peaches quickly as they were very ripe. Here is a little of what was made:

Plum and peach crumble

peach and almond cake

Homemade pasties with both dinner (roast pumpkin, caramelised onion, spinach and feta) and dessert (yeap peaches)

cooked which was very tasty

Upside down peach cake. Thankfully there have been a few birthdays this month.
What I forgot to photograph were the 'Salads including peach', 'Peach sherbet' and 'Peach chutney'. Not to mention those just eaten.

I am not so sure peaches will grow so well in Sydney but I do have a spot in the garden that might just work, and these peaches were so good I am thinking maybe. If only we didn't get such hot summers and a little more chill in winter. Something I will have to investigate a bit more I am thinking.

Thursday, 13 February 2014


Time is a sneaky thing it has a way of getting away from you and before you know it you find you have a million things to write about but have forgotten half of them... Sigh must be getting old?

Anyhoo I thought I would share my firsts of stuff I have growing. All of them very exciting and important because they were first.

Yes The very first golden tomato. Tasty with the ol Vegie burger

The first smoke ever on my Cotinus grace

Finally after sowing an either packet of the bronze sunflower I got one. Just outside my bedroom window which made me smile every time I opened the curtains

So with 3 of the same flowering gums you would think they would flower at the same time. No the flowered one at a time the closest one is almost finished now.

The first olives. Question is when do you harvest them???

And last but not least. This is my very first watermelon ever! Hope it is as tasty as it is cute
Once the gluts start I think you tend to forget the first brave souls who battled all the elements to make something of themselves. I just wanted them to be remembered. And I have even prepared the soil in readiness for some winter cropping firsts.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Time for some serious work in the garden

You know how it is when you spend your days looking after other people's gardens you don't always want to look at your own. In fact I look down at the ground to avoid the shame of what is really going on in the garden.

Don't get me wrong it is adequate and the garden looks quite good to those that don't spend as much time in the garden as I do. But see the weeds, lack of food and water as well as quite a few plants in need of haircuts faster than others. In fact I think if I didn't then I might not really be doing such a good job.

But some of the vegies are almost finished such as

The last of the summer corn
 And things are in desperate need of assistance

I might have to get some sturdier stakes for next year I think. But we are still harvesting at least half a dozen each day from each plant
At least the chilli is loving the heat
And the cicadas (my goodness the din they make is super loud this year)
Looks like the next few weeks I might have to get stuck into more planting... I just wonder if it is not too late for another crop of corn???

Sunday, 22 December 2013

A peach of a day

Ok so I should have written this on Tuesday but I couldn't find all the camera accessories so it is late as always.

Don't you love it when everything you do in a day just becomes magic? As Mr R would say 'it's a peach of a day'.

Flat peaches so so tasty
I have some Tuesdays off and this co-insides with Mr R (he has been working nights lately (4pm-2am) so we don't really see much of each other except on some Tuesdays (date day). So while Mr R slept I thought I could squeeze in a yoga class (and I am soooo glad I did).

Then I decided we should go on a picnic to Bobbin Head (a beautiful national park not to far from me). So what better thing but to take a home grown salad? I walked out and picked zucchini

There was also olives

While small now I hope for big things one day

Please ignore the weeds but there are Soybean seedlings and red onion also used in the salad

Add a few nuts, capsicum (i must plant some seedlings) and goats cheese a bit of dressing and oh my goodness....

Just add the venue and Mr R

The lovely apple tree Bay
So as Mr R works so late I expected that he might fall asleep (yes he did) so I grabbed a current addition of Australian House and Garden and who should I see on page 81??? Highfield... Gosh Louise you are famous!

But wait the day did not end here.... Nope I caught up with some of my most gorgeous and amazing school friends. This day could not get any better!

Sorry ladies should have waited till you stopped talking xxx. But how good do the cupcakes look???

Love.... Mobile phone camera needs updating

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Fancy a walk?

Thought I would take you for a quick jaunt in the front garden. This was where we had the large liquidambar but is now the sun trap of the garden.

I have thought how it would be best to get a photo of the whole front and haven't really come up with an answer yet. So instead you have individual shots instead.

The butter yellow zucchini are really producing well this year

And I think it is because of the bees. I planted a line of blue salvia as I heard bees are attracted to blue

Louise from garden glut grows amazing rust coloured sunflowers have a look here. So this year I thought I would try.... Mine came out yellow not that I'm complaining but they didn't strike terribly well which is surprising.

I am hopeful this year the rats don't find the corn as the harvest looks good

I used these

And these in a curry this week. Yay! Although I may have over planted with 7 plants I can feed the neighbourhood with eggplants

In a few years I might just be able to make my own olive oil. Sorry the photo is out of focus
Butter beans
There are still some problems where the stump of the tree was. As you can see the butter bean (but not the climbing beans right next door) are dying off. In fact one of my jobs this weekend is to pull the last 3 out. I am not sure if it is the soil as it has only affected these beans. I planted some of the same seeds at a client's place and while hers are not thriving (from lack of water I think) they have not died. So I am not sure if I should try again or use something else. It will have to be a legume as I wanted to get some more nitrogen in the soil.

Anyhow looks like I have some work to get on with so best get out there. Hope your weekend is filled with gardening fun.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Farewell Broadbeans

This year I decided to grow both the white and pink flowering broad beans both at home and at my weekly client. My client hadn't seen the pink broad beans and was a little sceptical. But they not only grew better but I think tasted better. I am not sure my client agrees but she was happy to have the beans.

Last week I figured the broad beans had reached the peak and had nothing else to give so with some sadness I harvested them and cleared them out of there frame. While I have put in two more tomatoes I always feel a little sad at how empty the frame (or now empty spot) looks after having something so full growing. But the new plants will hopefully grow to fill the space soon enough. Perhaps I should give them some more compost?

Dried seeds for next year and a bowl harvested
Peeled and ready for future feasts in the freezer
Here are some of them in a meal this week. Once quickly blanched they were peeled. Then with a little lemon zest, juice, olive oil, feta, mint and a little pepper they made a great side with wedges and mushroom/ricotta tart

Tell me do ever get so used to something growing in a spot that it seems like a loss once it is removed?
Add caption

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Birdy pests?

This morning I have some time to relax (love days off). So I decided to chop a pile of fruit for breakfast and though how good blueberries would go. They have quite a good crop which is great considering they were moved into the ground from pots. I was quite concerned about the sandy soils but I am feeding them with 'Kahoona' by the same people who do 'sudden impact for roses'. They seem to supply the correct nutrients for my acid loving blueberries.

Anyway I have managed a couple of bowls of tasty blueberries. And my cousins brought their children over on the weekend and they had quite full bellies after they were shown which berries to pick. SO there has been much love for my beautiful blueberry bushes.

The blueberries loved the rain
a gathered bowl of berries
Anyway back to bowl of fruit for breakfast....

Armed with a big container and the excitement that comes with picking your own produce (you all get that don't you?). I found lots of lovely blueberries like this

As you can see mangled blueberries. I strong suspect birds. But why couldn't they eat the whole berry rather than going from one berry to the next squishing them? You will notice they haven't touched the non-ripe ones (thankfully). Why did they have to do this to every single ripe berry???

Below I suspect are the culprits

Cute but destructive! Last time I feed them birds!

Must away I have to construct a net cage to save the rest of my berries