10/14: a surprise raised vegie patch

I love a good surprise, and this one was no exception. Wanting to get back into a good habit of composting, I took a container of vegetable scraps to put in the compost bin outside the laundry and wow, I was bowled over (only metaphorically, thank goodness). With no attention over the last month or so, while we were travelling, my compost bin suddenly became a raised vegie patch. I can see both pumpkin plants and tomatoes in there.

creative compost

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I compost somewhat haphazardly, which is why in a couple of months I will be attending a free composting workshop run by the local council, which will no doubt provide some fodder for another post.

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331/366: rogue plants strike again!

Recently I did some serial planting in front of the rosemary bush, in which I planted some leafy green variegated plants and rosemary cuttings.

Suddenly there are rogue plants amongst them. I won’t get too excited, because last time this happened nothing actually eventuated. However, there was that one time years ago when I was very successful with a rogue pumpkin vine. I’d love that experience to be repeated. One can only hope.

250/366: gadget girl – wavy peeler

In 2008, on our trip to Thailand, we did a two-day class at Pum’s Cooking School.

We bought a great little wavy peeler there, which helps cut vegies decoratively.

It is very useful for shredding carrot for a soup or salad.

If you shred evenly down the entire circumference of the carrot, when you slice that carrot it has a beautiful edge like a flower, and presents well raw or cooked.

It works well with cucumber too.

As I was preparing the photos for this post, I was also getting breakfast ready, which made me wonder if it could work on bananas too. The shredded outer part could either just be eaten or used in a smoothie.

The good news is that you don’t have to travel overseas to get one, as they are readily available at Asian grocery stores right here in the Land of Oz.

201/366: new growth for supermarket spring onions

Once, years ago, in another galaxy far far away… No wait a minute, in another phase of my life, I was a Tupperware lady. In fact, I became a Tupperware manager and had a company car for two years. But that of course, is a different story.

I am introducing a new category to my blog, entitled GADGET GIRL, and from time to time I will tell you about different gadgets I use. At one stage I planned another blog covering gadgets, but realised I was spreading myself a little too thin, so why not incorporate some of them directly here? They certainly fit into the broad theme of “House and Garden”. Usually I edit my work a fair bit, although in today’s blog I am prattling on a bit, as I do from time to time, but it suits the name princessprattles.com.

At one of my demonstrations, I was showing the ladies at the party the fabulous  Fridge-Smart containers, which have little vents on them to control the amount of air particular vegetables require in the fridge.

For example, did you know that broccoli is a “heavy breather” so needs both vents open, while with celery both vents are closed. There is a magnet that tells you which is which.

Spring onions are obviously undecided, as they utilise one vent open, and one vent closed.
A lady pointed out that she doesn’t keep them in the fridge at all, but plants them in the garden, where they keep growing for ages.

I found out she was right, and have been doing that ever since, but this week my plans were foiled, as I bought a bunch from the supermarket, but some of the roots had been chopped off. Oops! Never mind, I managed to plant a few.

24/366: the very first vegie patch

Our first foray into growing vegetables took place in 1986, with a rectangular raised bed and tomatoes. It was situated way up in the back corner behind the shed, which used to be the place for locating the “vegie patch.” We were inexperienced so just assumed this was what one did.

Now I have decidedly different notions about where to plant vegetables. Why do they have to be up the back? They can be very attractive plants anyway, and if they are located a little closer to the house, it is more likely that they will be tended to and picked when ready. Also, rather than the obligatory rectangle, these days I prefer curves and softer shapes which are more aesthetically pleasing. I sometimes plant them amongst other plants in the garden, so it isn’t necessarily specifically zoned for vegetables. We have no demarcation disputes here, as it is an equal opportunity garden.

21/366: now it’s a rogue tomato plant

Looking at my little herb garden, I spied another rogue plant. This time it is a tomato seedling.

Again, this is probably due to my utilising compost when I created this little pot. It rests next to the patio which is not far from the kitchen. If the herbs are located too far away, you are less likely to use them.

Sometimes when you transplant something it ends up dying. I intend to leave this plant exactly where it is and see what happens. Even one resultant tomato would be a bonus.

18/366: the rogue pumpkin

About fifteen years ago, when we were still establishing our garden, I liked to dig the compost into the ground in various places where I was planning to put a garden bed. Our “soil” is mainly heavy clay, requiring a lot of work to make it suitable for planting most things.

The vegetable matter decomposed to help make a much lusher soil, but we were surprised when things started to grow. Because we have a large backyard, it was no problem to let this pumpkin have plenty of room in which to spread.

Even more special than planting your own vegetables is when they spring up like this. I was so proud of it I had to put it on a pedestal for its very own photo shoot.

7/366: tomato taste test

Having ripened for another day, I decided it was time for the taste test. There is something so magical about eating produce hand-picked from one’s garden. Fresher than that is impossible.

Using my gorgeous knife that I bought as a souvenir in France a couple of years ago, I sliced the tomato up, ready for some waiting crackers and cheese.

With the addition of a little salt and pepper, the snack was ready for feasting. Though I can’t really take much credit for the flavour, the resultant opinion: a unanimous “delicious.”