Friday 30 May 2008


Recently Deb gave me some turnips she had grown and, to tell the truth, I have never grown them or even cooked them before, steering as I often do, away from the English food my mother always cooked. Don't get me wrong, she is a good cook and I got my love of cooking straight from her, but there wasn't so much variety back when I was kid and those darn English settlers insisted on growing only what they knew back in the old mother country! Sorry Ian and others! Luckily now we have other choices of seeds to grow and produce to buy, that is grown locally....Back to the turnips.




First, I sauteed them in butter and olive oil, turning them to coat and brown. I used plenty of butter - if you are going to cook a good, English meal, you need plenty of butter, I reckon. Otherwise it would be like fish and chips without lots of salt - a bit pointless!




Soon they were browning up and the I put in a good 1/2 cup of white wine and the same of water, scraped the brown bits off the bottom and it was looking good. I put the lid on for about another 10 minutes.




When the rest of the meal was ready to serve, I threw in the chopped turnip leaves - something my mother would never do! - and boiled the excess liquid off. Actually, I also added some chopped bok choy from my garden too. Next time I would thicken that yummy liquid a bit or use more liquid, chop the turnips up more and serve it as a soup. Excellent winter lunch that would be.

Give it a bit of salt and pepper and there you go, my first turnips. Deeelicious! Thanks Deb. I will grow some for myself, I think, along with Deb's parsnips and carrots which are all now coming up and growing fast in my garden.

Thursday 29 May 2008


Right down at the bottom of my steep block is an area we levelled many years ago and here I grow things that don't need much attention. Basically this means pumpkins in summer and broad beans in winter.It is divided into 3 bays and I let the weeds grow all year round in at least 1 bay, for the chooks. Years ago this used to be just very stony, hard clay with lots of enormous, very bad weeds. The garden group and I periodically go over it and remove the stones but otherwise it has been a combination of sheets of coconut-fibre underlay over the trampled weeds, topped with peastraw and left until it has all rotted enough for the chooks to be let in and work it over.
You can see in the photo how beautiful the soil is now - completely cleared of weeds and fertilized by the chooks over the last 2 months or so. All I do now is rake it level and sow my broad beans. Chooks are excellent workers and time-savers! And mine never stop laying, all year round.
image Today I put the chooks into the second bay and it won't be long until this is cleared and fertilized by them and ready for another crop - maybe globe artichokes, I am thinking, as they take up a lot of room in my crowded vegetable garden at the very top of my block, about 100m away. Up there I have also sown a small, Egyptian variety of broad beans especially grown for falafel. I hope it is far enough away to stop cross-pollination! The house and the rest of the garden are in between.
My broad beans saved from last year are now lying in the damp soil. I am sowing them later this year so they don't get so tall and floppy before they flower - an idea from Malcolm Campbell.
image Here is the third bay which is now a green manure crop of oats, lupins, self-sown broad beans from last year and something I have forgotten! I still cannot get lucerne to germinate. Eventually I will dig this in and leave it to rot away before giving the chooks a bit of a go in here and then sowing pumpkins in spring. You can also see the border of arrowroot(more visible in the other photos) that I grow to pick and feed the chooks during summer when green feed is hard to find.
image In the hour or so I spent down there today, in the company of the friendliest chooks around, they did a great job of getting on with clearing the weeds in the second bay, converting them into eggs and leaving their manure behind. While I was working away I was practicing my Italian, saying all sorts of crazy stuff out loud to the chooks. Luckily my neighbours are a fair distance away but I am hardly likely to care anyway and Italian should be said in a good, hearty voice! Ciao!

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Tumbeela Native Bushfoods

Lot 47 Beaumont Road,
South Australia, 5245, Australia

Walk among the fields of lemon myrtle trees and taste and smell Australian native bush food at its best. Come and pick your own, it's a sensory experience like no other. Taste our mountain pepper berries or freshly picked riberries. A wide range of bush food products and gifts are on sale including our exquisite, nationally acclaimed lemon myrtle. A choice selection of bush food plants is available for sale.

Full tours are available for 6-20 people and small picking parties are welcome. The Tumbeela setting, featured in ABC's Gardening Australia, is idyllic, nestled quietly in the Adelaide Hills south of Mount Lofty and five minutes from Hahndorf.

Bush Tucker, Fruit Picking, Shopping.

I took these photos in December 2006 at the lovely Stirling Markets, 4th Sunday of each month.
There are a few more if you click on the photos link or click here.


Watch this, please, it is so beautiful. Don't pass it by in your rush to read, read, read. Just sit, breathe and open your eyes and your soul. Then take it with you all day or night, in your heart, and share it with others.

I am not going to write anything else until I can see, from Feedjit, that people have been there and absorbed this little piece which says so much to each of us (or maybe its just to Maggie and me!).

Monday 26 May 2008


A lovely concept for children's public gardens is this one called The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden and is in Singapore, I think. I love the sign which says that any adult entering this garden MUST be accompanied by a child! This little girl is filling a watering can from a manual pump - a nice idea so kids can use the water but they must work for it!

It is written up on a site set up for young gardeners to blog about gardening, by the National Parks Board of Singapore but it hasn't had any entries since November 2007. What a shame.


You know there is that song that goes..."I don't like Mondays..." well I do like Mondays, especially today. Yoga was particularly difficult but I love a challenge, especially once it's over! Then I went around to Barb's for a chat about what she is going to do with her new garden area when the the building is all finished. Barb knows how hungry I get after yoga so she had a wonderful soup all ready for me when I arrived and a nice roll with lashings of butter. If you want to get the best out of me, feed me first! I have only known Barb little more than a year but we have a connection that means a lot to both of us! She puts up with me going on about things, on the one hand, but holds me dear in the other! She is a special kind of person.

Anyway, I wish I had taken my camera because somehow Barb's vegetable garden is so much better than anyone could imagine. It is so limited in space but everything flourishes and there is so much variety; I think I will move in to the shed just to be near it. There are special vibes, I am sure, that Barb grows secretly somewhere and splashes around her garden when she hears me arrive because it feels like a very special place, to me. Much more special than my place or any other vegetable garden I know, except maybe Glenys'. It is not anything really to do with how it looks or what is growing there or the person - it is the feel I get when I am in it.

On my way home I had to call in to the Pool Shop to get some dreaded chemicals to stop my pool being green after all the rain. Me? Chemicals? Well, these are the only chemicals I buy and I hate them. Any way, I get on well with the bloke who owns the shop - we usually joke a lot together. Today he told me some things that made me feel he really needs something meaningful in his life. He was very unhappy and not his usual cheery persona at all. I don't know why but men often tell me about their feelings, I think it is because I have time and I bother to ask them about themselves; and there we were, alone in his shop, talking about his life and how rotten he feels since he separated from his wife.He would like a pet but can't have one in his unit. In the course of the conversation he said he loves cooking and so I tentatively suggested maybe he might like to grow some herbs (as a way to have something to look after). He likes salads and Asian food and he has a north-facing balcony - perfect I said and suggested how to get started with just a little bit of this and that; I didn't want to scare him with overload!

After I had paid for the chemicals, got the advice on what to do with them and so on and was ready to go, he said "...yes, herbs and some lettuce...I think I will start with lettuce." He was forming a plan and getting quite skippity-doo about the idea. I hope he makes a start. And I can always call in again soon for something I don't really need, to see if he is OK. I don't even know his name.

Sometimes people just need a few minutes of a stranger's time to sort out their thoughts and so often these days people don't want to get involved with other people's lives. This is why everyone should have access to a community garden plot and a space to connect with strangers. Just by listening, sharing stories and offering and receiving help in the most natural and non-binding of ways, with our hands in the soil, we could all benefit without even trying.

ps Why hasn't anyone commented on the post I made with the 4 YouTube videos?? Please, watch the first video, if nothing else, and read what I wrote underneath the boxes. This is my main passion here, on earth. Am I the only one who feels this way?? 2010 International year Of Biodiversity

Sunday 25 May 2008


It was an absolutely perfect day today for a drive down to Pt. Elliott to Beach Organics and a tour of Barry's 10 acres, minutes from the sea.We spent 2 hours with Barry and I was particularly interested in the story of how he came to be selling small-producer Indonesian spices, salts and peppers, blended to appeal to certain up-market buyers such as restaurateurs and gourmet cafes. After travelling there in the 1970's he came home feeling he wanted to do something to help the poorer people of Indonesia and considered becoming a volunteer of some sort but years went by, as they do. A few years ago he revisited some rural areas there and decided to help the people by importing their beautiful and often unique spices into Australia, buying direct from the individual growers.This business is growing and he is supplying some quite special ingredients to top-class restaurants all over Australia as well as selling small amounts to people at the Willunga farmers' Market and to us today. I bought some fermented cacao beans, which can be eaten like chocolates but with a sharpness and delicious lingering flavour. Here is Barry with his barrow, some of his spices and the view of the sea, between the trees..
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Barry grows a limited range of vegetables as he says people just won't buy things that are a bit different. He uses his chooks effectively as workers as well as egg-layers and has mobile electric fencing to keep out foxes. He rotates his vegetables all over the place; for example, currently he has broad beans planted between rows of fruit trees. He is also revegetating the area with native, local plants and takes good care of his land.
Thanks Barry and see you at the Willunga Farmers' Market soon.
Then we drove down the way a bit to this tranquil waterway for a picnic. It was so beautiful to see and hear running water again after so much dryness during the last year. Roger fired up the choofer to boil the billy for tea and we all shared the food we had grown and cooked. The reflections of the bushland in the water were stunning and, standing there alone, I absorbed the colours of the light on the water, the lush green of the fresh growth and the tranquility of the atmosphere like a  sponge that had at last been rehydrated and given life again.
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We then headed off to see Meg's 44 acres nearby and had a lovely walk across the paddocks and the creek-bed to the site chosen for the house and, more importantly, for the vegie garden! They are revegetating the waterway and taking a lot of trouble to restore the land to its natural beauty. The 3 kangaroos in the bottom right photo came by to see what we were doing. image 
The site for the future vegetable garden.
I have put more of the photos here.Some are mine, some are Maggie and Bob's.
  Check out those reflections! 
It was great to drive through the Adelaide hills and down to Port Elliott when everything looks so fantastic. I think everyone enjoyed the day; I certainly did and it was nice to spend time with the 15 of our members who came today.

Saturday 24 May 2008


Here are some real news items about what people are doing in the world to help themselves reduce their dependence on foreign foods, oil, agri-business and to improve their nutrition at the same time.
International day for Biodiversity in Africa
Read this article too, from 'Biodiversity International'
Seeding Deep Democracy - Vandana Shiva
Seedsavers Australia trailer for 'Guardians of the Seed' Vandana Shiva - Reclaiming economy, culture and politics


Here I am sitting here writing this stuff at 8pm on a Saturday night and you may well ask why am I not out on the town or even why am I not watching TV with Roger or just relaxing. It is because I just had to get into this - it is THE most important thing in the world today, I think. That is making a big claim but I have written about it from various angles before and I will keep on doing it.(Wild Food Biodiversity, Sowing the Seeds of Civilisation, Saving Seeds, Saving Lives) I find it very exciting, but also frustrating,that people in countries such as Africa and India are getting on with these things while we in Australia and other western countries are way behind in our thinking. Maybe by 2010 and the Year of Biodiversity, we will have caught up (and pigs might fly too!).

Let me just assume that you agree with me that biodiversity is a good thing to have. For a minute, then, lets look at how it came to be, in the first place. As evolution was taking place over the last few million years, every organism created, whether from seed or egg, for example, has had a unique set of genes - unlike any other that has ever existed. Now that is a lot of genes and a lot of combinations of genes, when you think of millions of years and many millions of generations, for some organisms. Every time 2 individuals cross, a new individual is therefore formed. After all these years of this happening you can imagine that, like in the game 'Chinese whispers', the last individual created would be nothing like the original, thousands or millions of generations before. And sometimes this difference is enough to make a new species but sometimes, if only a few of the genes are different, it becomes a new variety of, for example, bean or apple or bacteria or fish etc. Each development has only been possible because of the existence of the many before.

Now, if we go on the way we are at the moment - destroying not just varieties but actual species at an ever increasing rate (read Greg's recent post about this) you can see that whole sections of the gene pool are being erased. Once they are gone, we can never go back to their forbears and re-evolve them. Those genes specific to those species are extinct. So, evolution gets big holes in it, like a web with whole sections missing and unable to be re-connected, ever. If varieties disappear in this way so the next generation of beans or apples or bacteria or whatever can only be formed from an ever-decreasing supply of genes, until the gene pool may be so small that no viable off-spring are possible and then the whole species goes. Or there are no genes available to allow for adaptation to changing conditions - maybe only cold-hardy beans are left in a world heating up, for example. Because beans evolved from other pre-bean life-form which has now evolved so much it no longer exists itself, we cannot get the heat-resistant bean back! We are stuffed, big time! No beans...then no bananas..etc etc.

To keep evolution going forwards so it can adapt to climatic changes and so on, we need to keep everything we can reproducing and throwing up new combinations of genes which will select for new situations. By doing a simple thing like saving seeds from the strongest / most productive / earliest/ latest/ fastest / best tasting etc etc plants in our vegetable gardens we are ensuring that all those genes are being kept alive. This year I want us, as a seedsavers group, to start mixing our seeds together before redistributing them again. For example, we all have Kath's fabulous broccoli that is fast, has a big main head and lots of side shoots of excellent quality. If I just grow a few each year, they only have the chance to cross with each other and this is OK for a while. But ideally, I would like to mix my seeds in with another 4 or 5 people's seeds from the same variety of broccoli, all in Adelaide, so the genes get some new input each year but are still being selected for similar conditions. Already I have done this by accepting and planting out some seedlings from Sally in my garden group, who grew Kath's broccoli last year and saved the seeds. Now that we grow some of the same varieties we can start to really make use of the size of our group for this type of endeavour.

Somehow I wish I hadn't started on this now because I am too tired to think any more (now its 10pm) and am going to retire to watching The Bill !! Trouble is, I can never go back and get the same thread going again another day, just like with evolution, you can't go back! Oh well. I have probably said enough anyway. Now the darn thing won't align properly.Sorry!

Friday 23 May 2008


Installing the new desk...Roger is left-handed and I am right and our old desk couldn't work for both of us so we got this second hand one (ha, ha...left, right, second..get it?) and Roger modified it so it would fit perfectly. Now he has a space on the left of the keyboard and I have a space on the right. All very peaceful again!

My mother's Irish Strawberry tree (arbutus unendo) is covered with flowers and fruits at all different stages of ripening. It is a beautiful little tree and has received no water for many years. It is happy in our alkaline soils and, being native to the Mediterranean regions as well as Ireland, it is very adaptable. The fruits are edible and OK but not that interesting.

Below is a photo of what Tony Scarfo calls a Cauli-Broc. This monstrous thing weighs over 2kg and cost me $5.50 today from Wilson's organics. For that I will be able to make several meals including soup, some sort of gratin and put some in a stir fry too. I wonder what Tony gets for it?

Why doesn't Tony have white fly and aphids?? I hate to admit it but the aphids at my place would weigh more than the crop! Where are all the ladybirds and lacewings? What is the problem ? Something is out of whack...I bet it's garden and nature getting up to mischief again and spending all night laughing at poor me!

I saw Tony again at the market today - before I bought the cauli-broc and we had a chat, him resting on his trolley and me with a handful of his beans. A really decent bloke is Tony.

Thursday 22 May 2008

New Mandala Walk Veggie Garden

Click here or on the photos link to see some before and after photos of our veggie garden.


This has almost nothing to do, directly, with growing food but if I hadn't done this walk I would not be the person I am now, with such a passion for the natural world and letting some things just be while treading ever so lightly on the rest.

Pattie at Foodshed Planet has written a good post about those terrible plastic water bottles that are the modern-day necessity for some reason and what the plastic does to your body. She mentions a steel alternative and one person commented, mentioning Sigg bottles. I have a funny story about an old Sigg bottle that Roger and I used when bush-walking.

Very early in our relationship we went bushwalking in Tasmania, in the days before any tracks and rules and bookings! We were very experienced at navigation and carried everything we needed for about 10 days hard bushwalking in a remote and challenging area, including 2 steel Sigg bottles for water. One night, in the Walls of Jerusalem, as usual we packed all our stuff under the fly of the tent so it wouldn't get wet (it rains a lot in the mountains of Tasmania; maybe we should have stayed there forever). During the night we heard an animal rustling around in our pots and pans - nothing unusual - and in the morning we just packed up everything into our packs ready to head off.

When you only carry absolute necessities you notice if something is missing and our best, bright red water bottle was missing. Oh no, we thought, it will just have rolled out and be lying under a bush nearby. It being high alpine terrain there was only one bush - the rest was wind-swept and dwarfed native pines, groundcover plants, moss and rock and so on - and the bottle was not there. We searched wider and wider - nothing. We never found it! Luckily there was a lot of water around - pristine ponds and lakes and rivers and we could do without a water bottle but it is a mystery to this day. Did a kangaroo put it in its pouch and hop away?Why would it do that? We didn't hear any kangaroos - they thump along the ground quite loudly usually. Did a little possum roll it so far away, with its nose, so far we couldn't find it? Unlikely. Odd, very, very odd; and there were definitely no people anywhere for miles.

That was a fabulous walk and was the beginning of my deep and unending respect and love of real wilderness. All other previous trips into nature paled into the background in the wild mountains of Tasmania, with only our wits and skills to keep us from the dangers of sudden snow-storms and ferocious winds, getting lost, deadly snakes and rugged, rocky cliffs. There is nothing so beautiful as drinking from a water-way knowing that there is no-one up higher than you, you are at its very source, almost on top of the world, in fact no-one within a week's walk of you, most probably. And we left our Sigg bottle there - I wonder where it is now.

Memories are nice things.

Wednesday 21 May 2008



The idea is to have a perforated tube permanently placed into a hole in the garden and to place kitchen scraps into it and have resident compost worms continually moving in and out through the holes, decomposing and distributing the waste out into the garden for you.

Hopefully I won't need to empty it ever - Deb has had hers in the same place for years - because the worms take it all out through the holes in their travels. It is a good idea to put this one near some perennial vegetables (or fruit trees) with deep roots, so they can get the most benefit from the compost down deepest.

I would put the lid up the other way but it would just get full of mosquito larvae in a bout 5 minutes. Maybe I will try it though in hot weather.

This is not my only worm farm. I also have a traditional one so I can collect the liquid to water my seedlings.

A few days ago I finally got around to making this easy worm farm. I had been looking for the right receptacle for years (not an exaggeration!) until I saw that Deb had used 2 pots joined together at their openings. Brilliantly simple, thanks Deb.

1.So here you can see the 2 large plastic pots, one inverted onto the other and then joined with wire.

2.What is now the top has had the whole lid cut off it and is then a tube.

3.Lots of holes are then cut all over all the remaining surfaces,including the bottom, leaving a band without holes around the top half of the top pot.P1020737

4. Dig a hole deep enough for all the holes in the the new worm farm to be fully below soil level so no flies or vermin can get in.( Later, when I cover this area with a layer of compost, the soil level will be nearer the top of the pot.) Place the worm farm into the hole and back fill thoroughly so that the soil is up against the outside of the pots so the worms can easily wriggle in and out of the holes.

5. Place a spade-ful of compost in the bottom, then some kitchen scraps or green leaves or grass etc the a shovel-ful of worms.( Mine have been breeding up in the traditional worm farm so I took some from there.)Add a bit of water to dampen - not too much.


6. Cover the surface with a small piece of hessian.(My mother recently gave me a stack of hessian she got from who knows where. Why is it that old people seem to have supplies of things like hessian, string shopping bags, terracotta pots etc?)P1020743

7. Find a lid. Mine is a glazed pottery saucer from another large pot. I hope soon to find something better, preferably with a handle or knob to make it easier to remove with one hand.


8. Let the worms settle in for a bit and don't tip scraps in until they seem to be getting through what you have put in at first. Once their numbers build up they will require more feeding but because they have access to the surrounding soil you can go away and leave them for a while without attention.

Monday 19 May 2008

Rare Fruit Society Update

I (Kate) am hijacking Maggie's post because I too went to the Rare Fruit meeting last night and I ate some of the fruit they put out on the tables after the talk, as usual. There are usually a few things I have never had before - they are incredible at producing all this fruit - and last night I had prickly pear, jack-fruit, different varieties of guavas,etc and....durian.

If you have never eaten durian my advice is DON'T. It smells like rotting flesh - worse even - and is banned on public transport and in public places, in the countries it is usually grown and so it should be here! I have eaten so many weird things when traveling in Asia and I will literally try anything and I have never ever eaten anything so foul as durian. It made me feel sick for hours. I couldn't get rid of that smell and disgusting tatse and thought it would haunt me all night but luckily it didn't. Some people at the meeting liked it - they must have different senses to me!

Check Rare Fruit Society web site for more details.


It is a day like any other and I have been doing ordinary stuff while the rain washes away the dust from the air and a mist drifts up the valley past my kitchen window, softening the light. We roasted chestnuts on the fire for moring tea, I have a fruit cake cooking in the oven and a Middle-eastern cookbook on the bench, open at a page ready for making dinner. There is a basket of lemons from a friend and a bottle of vodka for the next batch of limoncello, apples that I must deal with from my mother and the last of the pears from my tree, ripening on the sill. Life is good at my place.

While making the cake I was thinking about Burma and China, both in the midst of shocking humanitarian disasters. I can't imagine 7,000 schools collapsing and 10,000,000 Chinese people being affected, directly, by an earthquake. We know relatively little about the cyclone in Burma; they have put politics before the people. I was thinking, in particular, about the Chinese army - actually about the individual men and women - and how horendous it would be to have to spend weeks carrying out dead people and putting them in mass graves; about the noise and the terror and pain and how I can stand in my kitchen and make a cake...and feel so inadequate.

I turned on the radio to think about something else and I heard a brief chat with a local singer called Beccy Cole before she sang one of her songs. She had been to Iraq to entertain the troops and when she came back she received a letter from someone saying they were taking her poster off the wall because she was supporting the war. There was no address to write back to so she wrote this song, called Poster Girl. Watch it or read it below.
'Poster Girl'.
You won't listen to my songs anymore
You ripped my poster off the wall
Cause I'm a singer that went to the war
You see no good in me at all
Pardon me if I believe that I haven't got it wrong
And Before you turn your back on me....
I'll sing you one more song

Cause I shook hands with a digger
On the wrong side of the world...
With a wife at home that holds her breath...
With a brand new baby girl

And the Digger fights for freedom
In a Job that must be done
And I let go of his hands so proud
To be an Aus...tral...ian

If unlike me you feel no pride at all
then go ahead and take me off your wall
cause I prefer to be a poster girl
on the wrong side of the world

And I'm just the girl who sings the crazy songs
Not qualified to sit and judge
I've been right and I've known I've been wrong
But I'm for peace and for love
And I admire the burning fire that causes you to fight
I only wish the wrong of the world
Had the same right....

Cause I listen to the wisdom of the Aussie Brigadeer
He spoke of widows and of orphans
And the need to dry their tears

And He leads the fight for freedom
In a job that must be done
And I've never been more proud to say
That I'm Aus...tral...ian

If unlike me you feel no pride at all
Then go ahead and take your wall
Cause I prefer to be a poster girl
On the wrong side of the world

Maybe I'm naive to think we all could get along
But sir I read your words and all I ask...
Hear my song

I shook hands with a digger
On the wrong side of the world...
With a wife at home that holds her breath...
With a brand new baby girl

And the Digger fights for freedom
In a Job that must be done
And I've never been so proud
To say I'm Aus...tral...ian

If unlike me you feel no pride at all
Then go ahead and take your wall
Cause I prefer to be a poster girl
On the wrong side of the world

I'm so proud to be a poster girl

on the wrong side of the world

I doubt anyone could listen to that and not be moved, on many levels. So many terrible things happening all over the world, so many people doing what they can to help, so many injustices and manipulations. All these are slightly removed from my everyday life but they are there, out in the open and reach into your heart in this song. Then there is that thing that comes with national pride - wherever you live and whoever you are - and I always find it surprising that that is what gets me every time, despite myself. Lastly comes the personal pain of misunderstandings. Beccy must have felt pretty hurt when she read that letter and not to have been able to personally respond would have been so frustrating after all she had experienced in Iraq. Sometimes all it takes is to stop a moment and think, for understanding to come.

The world is meant to be a sphere with no sides; but it is more like a raw diamond, with some facets shining, some rough and wild and others sharp and will cut you like a knife.

Sunday 18 May 2008



Ian from Kitchen Garden in France sent me an email which ended with

"Food is good. Grow it fast and then eat it slow!"  I love it!

Ian is on a roll now - here is his next creation, hot off the press:

"Food is good. Cook it fast and then eat it slow."




If you read this blog regularly you will probably have picked up that I love salads - not stodgy things like potato salads with mayonnaise or pasta salads either but assorted fresh, green, tasty leaves dressed only in dew or rainwater with crisp little bits like daikon seed pods at their green stage, slices of raw, crimson okra with those tiny, juicy pearl-like seeds, or yellow fennel flowers giving a hint of aniseed. Here is my list of things to grow to provide you with a continuous supply of salad ingredients through the seasons.

SALADS FOREVER - pick any time of the day or night

lettuces loose leaf sorts such as: cos, oakleaf, purple-coloured varieties too
mild Asian greens eat at the small leaf stage - bok choy, mild mustards, edible chrysanthemum leaves, mizuna, almost anything else
sweet potato leaves small to medium sized ones are best, growing tips are crimson.
broccoletti tiny sprouts - green and purple
broccoli smallest leaves
sorrel even though they taste sour alone, in a salad they are beautiful
water cress leaves
water spinach leaves
herbs mint, basil, fennel fronds, chives, garlic chives, chervil, dill etc
pea shoots when the peastraw sprouts or sow masses of seeds in beds especially to pick the shoots
broad bean shoots when the broad beans get to about 6" high, nip off the tops and eat or sow as green manure and keep eating the tips
broad beans tiny raw, or medium size thrown into boiling water for 30 seconds then chilled
beans sliced tender, raw beans
peas sugar snap, Chinese snow peas, any tender-podded peas
asparagus raw or thrown into boiling water for 30 seconds then chilled
celery slice thinly or eat chunks separately, smothered in peanut paste! Great snack
capsicums yellow cornos is best I have ever had - eat like an apple or in salads, red is also good, Mini Mama is an F1 which is cute and can be eaten whole
carrots thin carrots tossed on top are so sweet
chicory young leaves are bright and crisp and juicy and not too bitter
cucumbers yellow (most crisp and juicy one I have grown), Lebanese, any other
flowers fennel (yellow), nasturtium, calendula (orange/yellow), chives (mauve), chervil, dill, chicory (bright blue), chrysanthemum, day lilies, lemon verbena, pineapple sage (bright red), radish etc
okra raw pods sliced thinly, or just eat whole like an apple
pomegranate red seeds
daikon crisp green seed pods are not strong like the root
spinach baby leaves
beetroot baby leaves, especially 'bulls blood' which are dark red
rocket wild rocket self-seeds year round and adds a spicy hit. It is one of the only things I don't really like to add in large quantities.


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Young watercress Crunchy yellow capsicums Fennel flowers
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Sweet potato vine Beans Pimento capsicums
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Red Cornos capsicums water spinach Young cos lettuce
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okra flower crimson okra pomegranates

I wish I had thought more carefully about sorting the list of salad ingredients. Maybe one day I will arrange them into seasons. Compromises, compromises, where do they end?