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I live in the inner west of Sydney and try to grow as much food as I can in a tiny space. The garden is a wonderful little green space that changes with the seasons. This blog is about the garden but also plots my efforts to live simply - buy less, grow more, love lots, build community, tread lightly and eat good food.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

What to plant in autumn

This year Sydney has had months of hot weather. I've been patiently waiting for the temperature to drop as my mind is wandering, thinking about the cooler season plantings. It is finally starting to cool (only a tiny bit, but still) and so the list for my autumn and winter plants has begun. Here are my top picks.

1. Lettuce - although I grow lettuces throughout summer, I have to choose ones that don't bolt to seed (flower) and also plant them in semi-shaded positions. Lettuce really like the cooler months though, when you can plant them in full sun and grow them quickly.


2. Kale and silverbeet - a big fan of leafy greens (mainly for my smoothies and greek cheese and spinach pies), these are great planted throughout autumn and winter.


3. Coriander and tarragon - it is almost time to say goodbye to basil (in a month, the whole lot will be turned into pesto) and plant coriander seeds. The tarragon from last year has re-sprouted (I had forgotten that it was there)


4. Broccoli

5. Radishes 



6. Leeks



7. Spring onions  - I only recently discovered how fantastic spring onions are in the garden. They are easy to grow, long lived and like many herbs perfect for the home gardener as you usually only want a couple at time.





 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I've been bitten by the preserving bug!

Many of you reading this will already be preserving experts, but for me, I've only just joined the preserving club. It is surprising that I haven't been into preserving up to now given that most of my garden is edible. I've thought about it, but must admit that memories of grey, unappealing jars of unidentifiable produce displayed at a country church stalls kept me away. 
This all changed when my sister bought me a book for my birthday. It is called Cornersmith, and has come out of a trendy cafe and picklery in Sydney's inner west. I have been following Cornersmith on Instagram and love their calls for local excess produce. The introduction to the book explains the philosophy of the cafe, picklery and book - family, local produce, simple living, good food, community. Funnily enough I have never been to the cafe. I will someday. But for now, I am loving the healthy but not health-obsessed recipes and the idea of preserving my green tomatoes and chilies, making jam from my persimmons, chutney from my eggplants...is so exciting! 
The usual end of summer chilli glut. I often end up freezing them, but preserving is so much more enticing
The end result after following the instructions in the Cornersmith cookbook. Easy recipe, worked just as described. Although I guess I'll tell you how it tastes in a few months