Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Go Mouli Go - Saturday 13 May

Go Mouli Go

Saturday 13 May 2006

Today was classic Autumn weather for this corner of the globe: rainy, then sunny then hail, then sunny. As a result, activity in the patches was sporadic and hurried. Little One used up the rest of last week's tomato bounty to make a fabuloso tomato-sauce base. Her expert Mouli action is pictured. Recipe is too simple, and comes courtesy of Jeff Jansz, the original TV 'chunk' (chef-hunk): seed your tomatoes (keep seeds of course), fry up garlic in some olive oil, add the seeded tomatoes with some sympatico herbs (i.e. parsley, oregano) and cook on low for 25 minutes. Final step is ze Mouli. To get the most out of the tomatoes you can also sieve the seeds to get extra juice, which you add to the mixture before cooking. This sauce base can be frozen. It is a great base (instead of canned tomatoes) for pasta sauces, including the classic bolognese.

Progress report
Not much to report here other than the amazing up and go of the lupins, planted in various plots to fix nitrogen in the soil: the seeds planted direct a few weeks ago have germinated and are growing like the clappers. Broad beans are flowering but not producing many beans yet. Broccoli has produced its first little head - such a delicate flower. Broccoli planted later is coming along, but slowly. Potatoes look very healthy. Basil has finished, in what seemed to be a very sudden finale - here one day gone the next. Mini capsicums still ripening on a few of the bushes. Rhubarb planted a few weeks ago is doing well.

Cauliflower seedlings planted a couple of weeks ago have germinated on my balcony in the city.

Enough lettuce for a salad and about 1 kilo tomatoes.

We planted
Chicory seedlings, wormwood seedlings, and onions. We plan to plant a stand of wormwood and use it to deter rats and possums - apparently torn wormwood leaves scattered around the base of plants helps repel them. Might also try to grow lots and lots of mint for this purpose but I guess the problem with that is containing it.

Next week we plan to build a mini plot for a potential new Land for Veggies team member, who is a young 'un. He may make a contribution here. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A wet weekend - Sunday 7 May 2006

A wet weekend - Sunday 7 May 2006

But so beautiful. The rain brings out the lovely damp growing smells of the patch. It's also mushroom season - wish I knew what was what in that department.

Things have definitely slowed down with the cooler weather. The broad beans stand proud and tall but haven't produced more than 10 or so beans. Broccoli is coming along slowly, growing like it's got it's mind on other things.

This weekend I planted chicory and spinach seedlings, using Little One's ingenious hothouses, being old plastic card indexes with clear lids. They sit on my balcony in the city - at night the I close lids over to protect them from frost.

Harvested around 3.5 kilos of tommy toe tomatoes. The tomato patch is looking dilapidated but still fecund.

The Thomas Street garden
This week I was inspired, and disheartened at the same time, by the story of the Thomas Street garden. The Thomas Street Permaculture Garden is an intensive edible garden developed on a rented quarter acre suburban block in Clayton (Melbourne Australia). It includes plants, trees, compost production, greenhouses, ponds, a worm farm and poultry. The Thomas Street gardeners recently received a notice from their landlord requiring them to either restore the garden back to its former state (lawn) or pay $2100.

What a travesty! Turning a lawn into a food garden should be rebatable exercise not an economic liability for gardeners. The Thomas Street crew held a fundraiser on Saturday 6 May. Check out the photos of the garden - it's truly inspiring - and the words of support from David Holmgren, one of the founders of the permaculture movement.

Marie Antoinette