, ,

The last few days have been rather blissful to say the least. With no requirement to go to the office, I found myself pottering in my garden, enjoying the warm weather and tuning the wireless to the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India (and what a match it was!). By late afternoon the sun drops low, my work is complete and it’s time to crack open the ice cold orange whip (beer), a reward for my hard labour. The chores I’ve busied myself with haven’t been the most enthralling but necessary nonetheless. Weeding, trimming, planting installing window fly screens and chopping wood for the almost finished wood fired oven. Chopping wood you say, Ro? Yes I bought a new chainsaw. I’m 10% more manly….make that 15%, it is a STIHL after all. Argh Argh!!

The kitchen garden is producing now with onions, potato, garlic, carrots, lettuce, sorrel, and leeks. And let’s not forget the endless supply of fresh culinary herbs that seem to be taking an extra large helping of plant steroids this time of year. Basil is in season, and I couldn’t be happier. At the moment my plants are big enough to be using basil as a garnish on everything from pasta to my favourite summer feed of bruschetta pomodoro, which I have for breakfast almost every day of summer. Soon I’ll be making this simple meal with my backyard tommies. That day is always an annual celebration, the first tommies on toast straight off the vine. Summer is truly welcomed on that day. For now though I’m content with making tortilla, with my potato, onions and eggs. The meal that truly proves that we can be semi self-sufficient. Another great breakfast of late is leeks cooked in butter and scrambled with eggs. Leeks are just divine this time of year, especially when it’s simply a matter of walking out to the back yard, plucking a leek, washing it and giving it a quick pan fry in real butter. The taste……wow.

For those folk that love pumpkin, I urge you to plant some now (if you’re in the southern hemisphere). Even if you don’t have much space, like me. Last year I made a timber frame out of pine wildlings that I thatched together to fashion a sort of rough lattice, which was a support to train the pumpkin to grow upwards instead of it’s natural desire to grow across. The result was a success with the French variety Potimarron, climbing towards the sun and bearing stunning orange fruit that I discovered to be the best tasting and most dynamic of all the pumpkin. This year I’ve taken the pumpkin training to a higher level with 6 plants now being strung up using a similar technique. We should get enough pumpkin to keep us well fed over the cooler months. As will the kilograms of potatoes that we have growing out at Grace View. The first variety of which we will be digging up this weekend. Tortilla explosion here we come!!!

I hope your garden is giving you as much produce as mine is.