My Edible Garden Springtime Update (the possum ‘wars’ continue)

Veg Garden Spring 16

There are many things I love about not being pregnant. Drinking wine in the evenings with my Irishman tops the list without question. But being able to bend down in my garden is definitely up there. It’s the simple things.

Since my last edible garden update where I shared a warts-and-all ‘tour’, I’ve been spending more time tending my veg.

So things have definitely improved!

Now that Spring is in the air around here (well at least it is today, I might be lighting the fire again tomorrow), I thought I’d share how things are growing…

My Salad / Greens Garden

At the moment my main goal is to grow enough salad and greens so we don’t have to buy any. Basically because home grown greens taste so much sweeter and more alive than store-bought veg. Plus they’re more perishable so having a handy supply in the garden means I’m less likely to waste them.

To kick start my Winter garden I planted a heap of seedlings from this old guy at my farmers market. He’s a real old Aussie who calls everyone ‘mate’. I love him.

Anyway, after planting my tiny lettuces, kale, spinach and chard (silverbeet) I was feeling like a proud mamma. So you can imagine how devastated I was when I woke up to find there had been a possum attack leaving my ‘babies’ decimated.

It. was. the. last. straw.

No more Jules-nice-girl. It was time for the big guns. Enter ‘the nets’.

All I can say is ‘why didn’t I do this sooner?’

Oh and ‘take that possums’.

Luckily with their new protection my seedlings (except for the Tuscan kale) recovered and we’ve had salad or greens in some form on the go. Not enough to cover all our needs but heading in the right direction.

Now there’s also some broad beans which are coming along nicely. Can’t wait to make this Addictive Broad Bean Pesto again.

I also have bok choy, more rainbow chard, rocket (arugula) and Asian salad greens in my future. Yay!

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Veg Garden Spring 16

My Herb Garden

So as my Dad says, ‘you wouldn’t read about it’. In my last garden update I shared my ‘crafty’ trick for out-witting the local possums in their hunt for flat leaf parsley. Basically just planting basil (which they don’t like) around the parsley. It worked for months.

BUT get this…

The very next day after publishing that blog post, I came out to find my parsley completely mauled by you-know-who. Who knew that possums read blogs? Or that they had such excellent taste to read Stonesoup?

Now that we’re netting positive, my herb garden has really come into its own.

OMG! I can’t tell you how much better food tastes with a variety of fresh herbs at my kitchen doorstep.

Ever since reading ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ I’ve dreamed of this little luxury and this year I’ve finally ‘nailed it’. I have masses of flat leaf parsley, chives, coriander (cilantro), chervil, sage, red veined sorrel, thyme and oregano. With mint and rosemary planted elsewhere.

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Spuds
Spuds

The Spuds!

One of my favourite times of the year in the garden is our annual family potato harvesting sessions. This year was especially fun because Fergal was really into it. There’s nothing like the ‘magic’ of pulling potatoes from the ground. Plus we had a surprisingly bountiful crop.

Since my boys (and man) love their spuds I decided to go ‘large’ with our potato planting this year. I’m experimenting with more exotic varieties to make it even more fun. Have planted Carlingford, Red Norland & Purple Congo (which keep their colour when cooked!).

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Veg Garden Spring 16

The NEW Strawberry Patch

Last year we had quite a few strawberries but either the birds or blue tongue lizards got to them before Fergal and I could. So this Winter we relocated the strawbs to a less lizard-infested part of the garden at the front of the house. And of course have added netting! Looking forward to some full-flavoured organic berries with lashings of double cream.

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Veg Garden Spring 16

My Modest ‘Orchard’

After sharing my orchard sad story last time, I’m happy to report there’s some great news this spring! My three remaining trees are all still alive AND the plum actually had blossoms recently so I’m hopeful this will mean there is some home gown fruit in my future. I have a net ready so don’t get any ideas birds of Wamboin.

From left to right there is rhubarb which you can’t really see, a Winter Nellis Pear, a Moya Plum and a Burre Bosc Pear. Oh and my favourite 3-year-old. So far so good on the growing boys project.

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Veg Garden Spring 16

Garlic City

One of my most successful crops last year was my garlic. Thankfully something neither the kangaroos nor possums enjoy.

It tasted amazing AND I got a little burst of pride every time I reached into the pantry to pull out a clove or two (or 40 for the time I made Lamb with 40 cloves of garlic!). We really loved that lamb so I planted 3 times as much this year.

Looking forward to being able to give home grown garlic as gifts in the future.

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Asparagus

An Asparagus ‘Surprise’

Vegetable gardening has an element of unpredictability that I love. Especially when you think something is completely dead only to find it reappearing months later.

Can’t tell you how excited I was to find these baby asparagus growing in with my garlic a few weeks ago. One step closer to having a huge asparagus patch.

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Veg Garden Spring 16

My Cumquat Tree

A lovely gift from my super thoughtful mother-in-law for my birthday last year, I just love this little tree. There have been ripe cumquats ready for picking for a while now, but I have been ‘saving’ them for some reason. Although now it’s starting to flower again it must be harvest time. Can decide whether I should just eat them fresh or poach them with spices.

Decisions, decisions.

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Do you grow your own food?

What are your latest triumphs and disasters? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

I have so much to learn!

Big love
Jules x

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