Saturday, March 01, 2014

Garden share collective - March: Pick a peck of pickled peppers

Hello there, thank you for visiting and for reading my blog post for March as part of the Garden Share collective, hosted by Lizzie Moult over at Strayed from the Table.

The past month has been mainly maintenance in the veggie garden, oh and harvesting, some harvesting and did I say harvesting? The weather is pretty hot too, temperatures are getting into the high 20°C's and have even topped 30°C+. Sorry to those in Aussie, this is positively chilly for you and for everyone else in the throes of winter keep warm!! Spring is just around the corner.
With the heat of the sun comes thirsty plants so watering regularly is a must. We aim to give everything a really good soaking every couple of days or so rather than everyday, it quite time consuming. We do have some irrigation, as in soaker hoses, laid out but to be honest it doesn't beat the shower head on a hose.

These lettuces have bolted, as have others have elsewhere, some don't do so well in this heat. These were grown from seed here, we have two lettuces we bought from the garden section of a DIY store and they have been amazing plants and are still producing leaves, go figure! These bolted ones have been pulled out now, so we don't waste water on them, our supply of water comes off the roof as in rainfall, so best not to waste it.

The herb garden is filling out nicely

 some of the basil plants have flowered and as pretty as they look they got a haircut, the energy goes into growing leaves instead.

 I'm thinking of ways to save these leaves, maybe chop and add to butter then freeze, anyone tried this at all? How do you preserve your herbs?

These are new...look like scissors I know...boring...

..but they ain't just ordinary scissors, no sirree....
they're herb scissors....ta dah!
You can chop as you snip, exciting stuff eh? I must get out more.....

If you think that was exciting, look what arrived in the post this week, a bean slicer!
  If it had arrived earlier I might not have sliced the tip of my finger off!
There is now 2.25kgs of sliced, vacuum packed beans in the freezer....

and counting, they're not done yet!

any past their best or don't meet quality control don't get wasted...
nom, nom, nom
Tip: When picking runner beans be careful not to get tangled in those climbing tendrils! I almost garotted myself  when one growing above caught around my neck! It's left a big red line, it's been there for 4 days now! Gets itchy when I get hot too, cream is helping.

Having all this wonderful homegrown produce is lovely but when there is such a glut you can't eat all of it on a plate, well you could if you wanted to. There is however only so many runner beans, courgettes and cucumbers a girl can eat, so I don my apron and get pickled!
Well the surplus veg do, although I have on the odd occasion been ever so slightly pickled,
especially with the home brewed wine!

So this last month added to the pantry are...
 Bread and butter pickles

Spiced pickled runner beans
A Delia Smith recipe

Runner bean chutney
A Nigel Slatercrecipe

I'm still picking strawberries and I've managed another batch of jam, which didn't really set and is more like a sauce BUT it's bloomin' delish on fresh strawbs and ice cream!

Some views of the garden..
Starting to pull out things past their best and lettuces that had bolted
Finally I have some beetroot to pick and I'll be cooking them later so we can take them away with us.

We're getting a steady supply of a variety of tomatoes

Small chillies, capsicums, more chillies and okra

Cucumbers taking over the world and courgettes blocking the path

Corn growing tall

Raspberries ripe for picking

And I reckon that will do for this month.

This post is a scheduled post and should have (I can only hope) posted all by itself.
We are in fact way up in the Far North on a weeks holiday. The garden will be watered by my friend and neighbour so we don't have to worry there. 

When we get back we will start thinking of planting for Autumn & Winter veg, something we've not managed for a few years as we've been very disorganised on that front. 
I'd be interested to hear what those of you in the Southern hemisphere plant for the forthcoming seasons, successes, failures etc and recommended varieties.

I'm off to pack and get organised, I'll see ya'all in a month for the next Garden share collective.


PS The girls just wanted to say Hi, which sounds a lot like Baa-aa-aa-a


  1. Wow - that's quite a garden you have there Sue. Can only imagine what it will be like when you return! Where do you find such great scissors, I could do with some of them cheers Wendy

  2. A bean cutter - who would of thought. I want one now! I have planted so many beans over the past month of all different varieties and look forward to harvesting and freezing them. Slicing them first looks like the way to go.

  3. I know I sound like a broken record,but I so enjoy seeing your posts of fresh veggies,flowers,sunlight and green things! We are having sub zero weather here in NH,and are covered in snow. Your pics make me feel the warmth of the sun :)

  4. OK, that's one heck of an amazing harvest month. Love seeing all those preserving jars filled with the bounty. If I've got any basil left over I make pesto and freeze it in small plastic bags. It keeps really well, and is such a treat in mid winter. One year I froze it in an ice cube tray, and then put the pesto-cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer. They were great tossed into a pasta sauce or soup.

  5. Wow, what an amazing harvest. My favourite way to 'preserve' basil is to make pesto and freeze it in small plastic bags. Tastes good as new when it's thawed. One year I froze it in ice cube trays, then put the cubes into a bag. They made a tasty addition to pasta sauces and soups over the winter.


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