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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Autumn in the vegetable garden

The weather is still warm at our place.  The mornings and evenings are feeling like autumn but the afternoons feel like summer.  It is also very dry and the only plants surviving in my garden are those planted directly under an irrigation dripper.  In between my vegetable beds the earth resembles fine, red powder.

My pumpkin harvest may not see us right through winter but I am grateful for what I have here.  


My thyme is happy and healthy and it is enjoying a revival in my kitchen.  Lately I have been scattering it over almost every vegetable that I cook as well as pizza and roast chicken. 



Hardy, dependable kale continues to flourish. I feed some to my chooks and I feed some to my family.  I recently tucked a sneaky layer into a lasagne and received no complaints.


Small but sweet yellow capsicums.


This 1952 Yates Garden Guide was a recent op-shop find for $2.00.  The basic gardening information hasn't changed much but the trends from the 50s are entertaining to read.  For example, crazy paving was all the rage in the garden planning section.   The book also recommends the vegetable garden be situated away from the main garden, some distance from the house.  I think today most people like to keep their vegetables close to the kitchen, I know I do.


I have been lucky enough to have a self-sown  tromboncino pop up outside our actual garden, underneath a young apple tree.  When plants appear so willingly it feels like a bonus and I am happy to still be harvesting this versatile vegetable. 


My lime tree is loaded with juicy fruit.  Anything that requires lemon in my cooking is now substituted with lime juice.  Do you have a favourite use for lime?



The fruit on my young Buddha’s Hand is turning from green to yellow.  Although the tree is small and not particularly lush it has produced around 8 of these fragrant but unusual fruits.  Fellow blogger Anna from The Littlest Anchovy has written an informative post about the Buddha’s Hand if you are interested in learning more.


My mother in law has a big garden full of interesting things.  When I spotted this autumn colour near the wood pile the camera just had to come out.  


Are you gardening or cooking or taking photos at the moment?

Do you find comfort in your garden?  As life gets busier I find my vegetable garden one of the most calming places to be.

38 comments :

  1. The things you have shared are looking good for the lack of rain Jane. I could smell pumpkin soup (my favorite way to eat pumpkin!)looking at the photo of yours.
    I am enjoying the autumn roses in my garden and watching the oranges turn on my tree.

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    1. Hi Kate, yes pumpkin soup will be great...especially if the weather ever cools off? x

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  2. Nice to stumble upon your blog this morning Jane. I found 7 beautiful pumpkins on our kitchen drain on arriving home. I did throw a few seeds out there but at the last look only flowers, so a nice surprise! They came from a pumpkin grown by a friend. Nice how these things go round. Those Buddhas fingers are fascinatiing and what a haul of limes. Yum.

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Annie. Surprise pumpkins, what a bonus!

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  3. Am currently on my weekly market high where I'm so grateful to purchase such luscious vegetables from local farmers. One has also invited me to visit their family farm and take photos, yay! I'm definitely cooking and taking photos, will share more next week. Love the autumn colours in your last photo. And I have jumped on the Kale bandwagon - made my husband a kale/spinach breakfast yesterday, briefly fried in olive oil with sulfur-free sultanas and pine nuts sprinkled over. Pop-eye Power Food for our day!

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    1. Thanks Lucent, I look forward to hearing about your farm visit. Kale sure is Pop-eye power food :)

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  4. Yes I take comfort in my garden. It's a lovely place to be, especially when everything grows well. I'm catching up on blog posts, enjoying a late lunch of chicken & lettuce soup. It seems to taste even better, as all the ingredients used were grown right here, by me.
    Have a lovely week!
    Sarah x

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    1. Your soup sounds perfect Sarah-Jane!

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  5. jane, your dark kale is so healthy! i was not very successful at that one, so it is wonderful to see what it can grow to.
    things have slowed down in my garden as winter approaches. i have some small seedlings in but it's difficult to give them full attention when it's darkish when i get home.
    but yes, apart from when things do go wrong, gardening is a wonderful balm to the spirit.
    thank you for another wonderful look around your garden. so inspiring and so lovely to see a different home garden (even if the lime tree makes me green wiht envy).

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    1. Thank you e, I wish I could send some limes your way :)

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  6. I'm hoping to plant the kale you sent me sometime this weekend -- I had some rejigging to do out on the balcony paddock first though. I cannot believe you're growing Buddha’s Hand - how exotic! What have you used it for thus far???

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    1. So far I have used the Buddha's Hand zested over stir fry pork and vegetables and just last night I zested it over a tomato based lamb shank pasta dish. It adds a real zing!

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  7. Good evening Jane! Gorgeous photos as always and I'm very envious of your pumpkins, mine took off too late in the season and won't really ripen.

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    1. Thanks Michelle. Some of mine were too late also. I am not sure what causes this?

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  8. The Buddha's Hand fruit is amazing; so unusual.
    Thyme is popular here too at the moment. Beautiful on pizza and focaccia.
    x

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    1. Thanks Zara. I hope you have a lovely weekend x

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  9. My herbs are looking good too Jane, and our lemon and lime trees are loaded. This is the first year we've let our Myer bear fruit, and they are so full of juice - half a lemon is giving me a cup full!
    I am off to the post office this week, please forgive my tardiness x

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    1. I am very patient Kylie! A girl can never have enough lemon juice I say x

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  10. I am with you. These days all I want to do is spend time in my garden working the soil with my hands seems so rewarding. Those pumpkins look good, I am currently sitting on our couch which is next to 30 jap pumpkins, I still have more to pick but our tiny shed probably wont be able to store to much more.

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    1. I like the idea of 30 pumpkins near the couch Lizzie! No matter what happens you have enough food there to survive on for some time :)

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  11. It's always good to see what's thriving in your garden Jane, particularly as so much of it seems so exotic! Quite a bit of my thyme died over the winter - a combination of rather enthusiastic pruning and a lot of snow - but the soft new growth is growing well.

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    1. Thanks Anne. Exotic or useless? Sometimes I cannot be sure :)

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  12. Dear Jane, love what's growing in your garden... those Buddha's hands are fascinating, and how about that book! What a find! Yes, I take great joy from my garden... and, like you, I love thyme. I'm growing the lemon variety. ; )

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    1. Thanks Lizzy, I need to find some lemon thyme I think x

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  13. gorgeous photos as usual jane..i was very disappointed to only get one pumpkin this year..they just weren't setting even though i did a bit of artificial pollination and i have plenty of bees in the garden..but the poor pumpkin show was made up for by the zealous fecundity of my cucumbers, zucchini, beans and eggplant so i'm not complaining..what plans do you have for your lovely pumpkin crop?

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    1. Thanks Jane. I will store these pumpkins and if the weather ever cools down in our part of the world I will make soup, roast pumpkin and maybe pumpkin scones. I have also been experimenting with a roast pumpkin dip :)

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  14. Jane, I love your garden, thanks for the tour! I wish our lime trees would grow! Adore tuscan kale - we're just putting plants in now, as they seem to like winter in our beds (summer is too buggy) and I love that you say you're "lucky" to have a volunteer trombie. I won't hold you to that, I now know how those things grow.. ;-)

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    1. You are right Celia, we are drowning in trombies again now too! x

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  15. A lovely tour of your garden, thanks Jane. I adore thyme and tend to bung it in everything - it goes very well with pumpkin too. I especially loved your autumn woodpile shot. Our autumn colour at the moment is a little confused because of our silly hot weather. Red leaves on the trees, red bellied black snake in the hen house and red flames from the raging bushfire 8 kms from our farm.

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    1. I hope the fire didn't get too close to you Amanda! It was still very warm here too until a day or two ago.

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  16. Oh my, what an accomplishment! It must have been overwhelming seeing how your garden grows and multiplies all the time. Great job! Not everyone can have a garden as great and awesome like the one you have. Congratulations and keep up that wonderful garden of yours. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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  17. wonderful colours to wake up our senses Jane. Well done. x

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    1. Thank you Sarah...I would love a tour of your garden soon x

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  18. Jane I'm so envious of your beautiful lime tree. It dawned on me to yesterday that I no longer have access to two lime trees that different family members owned and gave me a steady supply of beautiful limes. Over a ten year period, and now it's....stopped! Green gold they are!

    As for the kale, always a quiet high five to myself when I sneak some kale in without complaints :-)

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    1. I laughed at the high five comment...I agree! I am just about to try drying some limes from a Middle Eastern recipe I have found.

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  19. Thanks for the shout out Jane!! Your B- hand is so impressive. I have one growing now and it is about an inch long - like a squidlet!

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