Saturday, 12 July 2008


While I was out in the garden today I was thinking about all sorts of lovely things because, on such a cool, fresh and windy kind of day, all thoughts about deep and meaningful stuff seem to just blow away and are replaced with treasures, instead. Whilst some people may want to read about these treasures, I am not going to write about them now...instead I want to tell you what I was doing.

***Winter in Adelaide is weed time and, although I let weeds grow anywhere there is irrigation in summer - so I can pick them for the chooks - in winter I try to keep them under some sort of rough control so that any little vegetable seeds that germinate have a reasonable chance of survival. So much self-sown vegetable seed germinates in these damp months that I often can't find room to sow or plant the other things I want to grow. Today it was silver beet, or chard as some people call it. I have more than I can possibly use but I can't bear to pull it I either pot it up and give away or let it grow for the time being.

It is interesting that all the silver beet seems to have germinated more or less at once. The previous few weeks saw hundreds more fennel germinate and before that it was a certain chicory and daikon radish and even earlier in the year it was parsley and lettuces. Really, if I never sowed or planted anything ever again there would quite a bit of variety there, year after year, by itself. This, to me, is the perfect state to reach in the vegetable garden...a kind of harmony and a feeling of mutual respect between myself and all those seeds. So long as I don't disturb the soil too much, life will spring forth and provide me with food. It is an ever so nice balance. Even when I add compost to the soil, the compost has lots of those seeds in it too, because I make the compost using mostly scraps from the garden, and my compost is not so hot that it would kill them. I like the fact that my compost isn't too hot, for just this reason; if I was better at making it I wouldn't have so many self-sown vegetables - ironically.(The photo is of the Chinese seashells)

Apart from weeding, I hunted around yet again for somewhere to plant out some of the dozens of broccoli seedlings I have raised from the seed I originally got from Kath. Such viable seed I have never had the pleasure of sowing before but it does mean I have broccoli seedlings everywhere and, since everyone I know grows this one now, I can't find anyone to give them to! I came across an area I had been setting aside on which to make some more compost but bare ground should always be filled with plants - that's my theory - and so I scraped away the semi-composted mulchings I had put there a while ago and planted 10 or so broccoli, in two furrows, with a 9" ridge of the fine mulchings on either side of the rows. It is beautiful soil down in this spot because I often make the compost heap there so I will be interested to see how they grow. I also transplanted some of the silver beet seedlings to under the pear tree while it has no leaves. Vegetables are everywhere in my absolute obsession with them may verge on slightly insane but I think sanity is about as useful as goodness, when it comes to making the most of life and its opportunities!
***At lunch time I picked some things for the salad. They included: cos, oakleaf and miners' lettuce leaves (I rarely pick a whole plant), mizuna, chervil, tip shoots of the Egyptian broad beans, sorrel, finely sliced fennel bulb...maybe something else, I can't remember exactly. Perfect; wonderfully perfect, actually, to eat that 5 minutes after picking it all. When people talk about the deterioration of health in western countries I can't understand why everyone isn't growing this kind of easy meal right there, at their back door. After all, that is the fastest food you could ever get..our whole table was filled with goodies from the garden, just for the 2 of us! (Plus, some of our favourite new cheese - the local Paris Creek 'Nuage Blanc' which should be eaten at or after the best before date and a little French blue cheese called Saint A.....oh no, I can't remember how to spell it!)

***The other night I cooked a fabulous 'soup' from a French book I have....It wasn't so much a soup as...well, nothing I have really ever had before....I will put the recipe on Gardeners' Gastronomy. As well as having it for dinner, I had it the next day for breakfast and again for lunch!

***I need a good name for this trip I am going on...any ideas? Very soon I will put here a rough schedule of where I will be going and when, on my garden bloggers is all pretty well finalised.....sort of!


Jumbleberry Jam said...

What an excellent day! I thought silverbeet was your name for what we call "spinach" here. I'm relieved to hear it's what I know as "chard". So, now I'm wondering if anyone grows spinach? And what about collard greens? Oh, how we love them in our house. Have some babies in our garden who aren't going to get any bigger (thanks go moths and heat), so we'll cook them with rice for lunch today. It's my toddler's favorite meal :-)

Unknown said...

Excellent post!

Rachel said...

fantastic! I'm rushing out into my backyard now to pick greens for a salad dinner! ;-)

me said...

Hay kate

I enjoyed wandering around your garden with you and hearing what you grow. The chinese sea shells look interesting are they a root?

I have been trying to think of a title for your trip and being a scrapper you would think I could come up with something.

I have tried taking all the words that are yours on your post the whole travel thing to come up with something but no title springs to mind.
I then took all the travel words I can think of, but still nothing

Now I have a couple of suggestions but feel they are not quite right and maybe only you have the answer to you title.
but these may in some small way help you to choose.

Where on Earth is Kate?

Kates Great Garden Galavantings

Kates Garden Get Togthers

I might come back later with some more.

If by any chance when your in oxford you have any spare time I could always drop by and pick you up, I'm sure I cant teach you anything, but I could learn so much from you. My life is pretty uncertain at the moment if you read my blog you will know why, but we could always do a raincheck later it wouldbe great to meet you.

love Cassie

me said...

Now global wasn't a word that came to mind

some one did say to me

kates world tour

I told them it had to be catchier than that

so just one more that you might get some inspiration from

Kate's Global Garden Gatherings

well at least I tried lol

Maggie said...

Where on earth is Kate sounds good to me as well as Kate's Global Gardening. Good choices Cassie.

Anonymous said...

It is weed time in the UK,too! We are having such a wet summer, the weeds keep coming!

me said...


I like that kates global gardening but where on earth is Kate is really growing on me lol

top veg I'm in the uk and yes its weed time alright dont they just dance in sunshine and rain.......... I spent several hours weeding yesterday morning and couldn't believe the pile I pulled out.