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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Summer in the vegetable garden

Welcome to a little tour of my vegetable garden.  February is probably the most difficult month of the year for the garden at our place.  Soaring temperatures and dry conditions test out even the toughest plants and vegetables.

This is my main vegetable patch, completely un-styled!  Currently it is an unruly tangle of zucchini, pumpkin, watermelon and cucumber vines with eggplant, kale, capsicum, rhubarb and asparagus all jostling for space amongst the big vines.  I have young pear, quince and apricot trees growing along the fence.



My friend Sarah recently gave me this beautiful okra pod which was dry and full of seeds.  I have not grown okra before and after Sarah telling me it is a great match with lamb I couldn’t wait to plant it out.  Four days after sowing the seeds directly into the ground they had popped up, impressive!  I look forward to watching them grow and then experimenting with them in the kitchen. Do you have any experience with okra, either growing or cooking?



I recently harvested these pumpkins.  The smaller pumpkins are Queensland Blue and the larger ones are Blue Hubbard, I believe.  The biggest Blue Hubbard weighed in at 13kg and I am definitely going to need assistance to cut it.  As with most of my vegetables, I purchased this seed in a mixed heirloom pack from the Diggers Club.
 

A cook can never have enough basil and this one I purchased as Greek Basil.  It has survived the summer well and I have used the sweet little leaves mainly in salads or scattered over pizza.


This is my lemon grass plant.  It is a hardy clump of razor sharp leaves with the fragrant lemon scented stems found wrapped within the leaves towards the base of the plant.  You can smell the refreshing lemon the moment you cut the leaves.  This is something I don't use as often as I should...taking this photo has reminded me to use some in my next stir fry.



This hammock swings in the shade between a mulberry and an olive tree at the bottom of our garden.  In reality the kids have spent more time in it than me but it looks very restful and is a great place to escape to on a hot afternoon.


My tomato crop has almost finished.  From early December through to mid January I picked approximately 52kg of tomatoes, made up of a mixture of varieties.  I was quietly happy with those results. 

What is happening in your garden at the moment?

14 comments :

  1. i'm really impressed with what you've managed to grow in such an arid climate..those pumpkins look absolutely magnificent jane..

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  2. Wow, your veggie patch is INCREDIBLE! Well done! Oh, I dream of the day we have space for something similar... How wonderful to be able to grow so much of your own lovely food :)

    Katie x

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  3. What an amazing garden - I'd be making tonnes of iced-tea with all of that lemon grass. Yum. I've heard Okra can become quite slimmy when cooked, but not really sure "how" to avoid that. I'm sure Mr Google would know.

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  4. WOW what a garden! It looks fabulous - and those pumpkins! what monsters!

    My Greek and middle eastern sides of the family love okra. Its usually cooked in a tomato based sauce with cumin and cinnamon spice blends to go with BBQ lamb or in a lamb stew. I can fish out some recipes if you like? Okra is meant to be slimy too, its an acquired texture, but if you like eggplant in an Asian braise I'm sure you would like okra.

    Greek basil is fabulous isn't it! I love the pepperiness of it and the small leaves are so practical - not to mention the hardiness!

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  5. Thank you all for dropping in! Thanks also for the okra tips...I am looking forward to trying it!

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  6. What an incredible garden - so much variety. It's incredible your basil is doing so well. I would imagine it must be very difficult to grow basil in Broken Hill. I grew lemongrass once. It was prolific! I had to keep wondering how I would use it all up. The fruit trees will be wonderful when they grow up and I imagine will produce some lovely shade over your veggie garden. Sadly, I don't have a garden but it's on my wish list!

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  7. Gorgeous Jane!! We've had a terrible summer in the garden, over 50 days of rain and not much sun, so this late Feb sunshine is starting to make a difference. Can't believe how huge your pumpkins are! :)

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  8. Your garden looks amazing Jane and the new fruit trees showing promise already.

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  9. That's a fabulous haul. I am jealous.

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  10. Your garden looks fabulous Jane...no wonder you have such a wonderful array of home grown vegies :) and those pumpkins are going to keep you busy once you get into them...I can just see it now pasties, scones, bread..how delicious! What fun. x

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  11. Thank you all for dropping into my vegie garden...growing food is such fun!

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  12. Loving the shots of your garden.... how come I keep missing your beautiful posts!!! Can I subscribe in email, Jane?

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  13. Oh, I just saw that I can, will pop in and do that now!

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane