Goings on around here

Although this blog has been horribly neglected since I started working more in July, my garden has been getting some attention. It’s a bit wild at the moment, need to pull out a few things and start planting more. The asparagus has gone to fern, but it’s giving us a big basket of greens each day and artichokes, broad beans, fennel and a very, very large variety of herbs.

I used Summer savoury and majoram in this terrine of ox tongue and pork that I made for my meat guy’s family. There was lots of brandy and mace, and sauteed garlic stems picked about 1 minute before they hit the chopping board. The pistachios I had wanted to put in were old and tasteless (not from the Co-op) so I used biodynamic almonds (from the Co-op). I think the skins left a little bitterness, but other than that I would say that this is pretty much one of the most delicious things I have ever made.

Here’s Jethro at the gate to one of the main veggie beds. Behind him to the left is my gardening bench, a clawfoot bath and a barbecue. There’s another big bed on the other side of the yard.

This one has lots of rainbow chard and some celery,

raspberries that are starting to fruit,

mizuna, lots of lettuces and some garlic hardening of before we pick it.

There’s also rhubarb, beetroot, kale, Jerusalem artichokes, peas and sunflowers.

Owy’s hops are doing well this year. The old fridge behind them has some Black Russian and Green Zebra tomatoes with chives and basil.

In the other bed a pear tree shades the herbs, so they stay really soft and delicious. Lots of varieties of Sage, as it’s my eldest son’s name and he demands we buy every variety we see. Pineapple sage has the best flowers, but not yet.

And there are a lot of artichokes, all from one original heirloom plant from Diggers, divided and divided and divided:

We have so much mint it’s a little bit frightening, and horseradish carried home from Tammi’s house in March after the Eat.Drink.Blog conference. In the gap next to the fence I’ve started growing Jerusalem artichokes to choke out the nasty wandering ornamental thing coming through from the neighbour’s garden. We’ll build up the J-chokes there and gradually take them out of the main part of the garden. It doesn’t matter if it takes a long time.


#1 Pavlov's Cat on 25.11.10 at 11:59 am

Bewdiful. But somehow I’m having trouble imagining you being frightened of mint.

#2 Zoe on 25.11.10 at 12:21 pm

It’s very, very high and very, very wide …

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#4 ampersand duck on 25.11.10 at 12:32 pm

Wow, looks fab. Must come around when I can get out of bed. In the meantime, I’m lying here smelling all the nice smells of your garden in my head.

I have a vague horror of J-artichokes, because they were rampant when I first moved here. I dug them all out, but I might have well left them, since it’s all horribly overgrown again anyway with useless things…

#5 Dr Sista Outlaw on 25.11.10 at 2:10 pm

You haz artichoke heads already? I only have little green wispy leaves. On the other hand, tell Sage that we have beautiful passionate purple sage flowers growing.

#6 dylwah on 25.11.10 at 3:21 pm

Looks good Zoe. Most of my garlic came up today, the Hbomb helped me grade it with all the exaggerated care that a four year old can muster, “the bulb goes here, and the stem along here”.

Dinner for some of Dr Honey’s workmate on the w/e included carrots, ‘tatos, broad beans and salad greens from the garden, quite satisfying.

#7 another outspoken female on 25.11.10 at 7:38 pm

Scary mint could make a massive mojito!

#8 FDB on 26.11.10 at 2:46 am

Indeed, AOF. I like the way you thdrink!

Or a Mint Ox – my own patented meat cocktail.

Recipe available on request.

Devil Drink apparition in 3…2…1…

#9 FDB on 26.11.10 at 2:59 am

Zoe – tongue, pork and nuts eh?

Could you cook something a little more salacious next time?

Lovely looking beds too. I envy your space from my North Carlton nook of a garden.

That said, the alternating sun and rain we’ve been getting so far means that with a total of 2 waterings (plus one on the initial planting out from seedling trays), I now have 4-foot high, unbelievably healthy looking tomatoes going.

#10 Bells on 26.11.10 at 9:12 am

it’s looking amazing! So inspiring. Thanks for the tour!

#11 Lucy on 26.11.10 at 12:59 pm

Zoe, you and that camera are having a Very Good Time; the pics are beautiful.

Plus I now know that the plants winding upward on the back fence are hops, which is kinda cool. Ta very much.

More mint ideas, please! I have a 6 X 6m patch that is breast-high…

#12 Pavlov's Cat on 26.11.10 at 2:08 pm

we have beautiful passionate purple sage

Spotted any Riders?

#13 FDB on 26.11.10 at 2:53 pm

Passionate purple sage -
Passionate Purple Sage

#14 Zoe on 26.11.10 at 10:03 pm

FDB, it was actually tongue, neck, pork and nuts :) Naomi, we have been eating artichokes for a couple of weeks, but the plants are in their 3rd or 4th year, and they start to bear more heavily.

Have to work on the mint ideas – Eat Your Books says I have 662 mint recipes in my cookbooks, so there must be something!

#15 Jessica on 30.11.10 at 10:34 am

So jealous of your garden! I wish I could have one here in the city!

#16 dylwah on 03.12.10 at 7:44 am

first ripe tomato for the year, not bad for melbourne.

#17 dylan is not dylwah anymore on 03.12.10 at 7:06 pm

oh and i have dropped the drinking moniker

#18 category3design on 16.12.10 at 9:17 am

Mint Julep. In a tall glass smash up a bunch of mint with sugar and icecubes and pour bourbon over it. Sip through a straw while you admire your garden.

#19 Steve on 24.12.10 at 2:17 pm

Hey Zoe-have a lovely Christmas-Cheers Steve

#20 seepi on 01.01.11 at 9:25 pm

Aha – so that wierd thing taking over the middle of my vegie garden is horseradish…

I have artichokes going crazy too – mine are massive and I cant’ give them away. They do turn into lovely big purple flowers tho.

Broad beans and lettuce have been my only successes of late. But they were great. Now holding out for tomatoes and figs.

I love how a garden really marks the year into mini edible seasons.

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