Preserve your harvest

At some stage most veggie growers have to deal with the question – how do you deal with the surplus?

I have just 16 square metres and I STILL get a surplus. This is great really, gives me chance to share with others (who don’t mind odd-shaped veggies or ‘lacey’ green leaves) and some left over to preserve.

I’ve done well at the allotment this weekend.

Another good picking of cucumbers to pickle.  Plus a nice bunch of sweet basil for a little jar of pesto.

I have already posted about my cucumber “Bread and Butter “pickles here and here at the end of November. (If those three cucumber plants keep going at this rate I’ll be drowning in these pickles!)

So in today’s post I’ll concentrate on the pesto. I started with a bunch of Sweet Basil but I also had a surplus of parsley which I decided to mix with the basil.  The basil had been going to seed giving it a much stronger flavour so I was quite happy to add the milder tasting parsley to boost the quantity of herbs required for the recipe.

I assembled the simple ingredients for this recipe. You will see that the recipe also requires parmesan cheese but I add the parmesan just before I use the pesto.  I read somewhere that the pesto keeps a bit longer if you do that.

Pesto ingredients with garlic

Pesto ingredients with home grown basil, parsley and garlic

And here is the result of my labours of the morning, three jars of pickles and one little pot of pesto. The joy of this is the fact that I produced so many of the ingredients myself (with Mother Nature of course).

What I didn’t mention is that I have a small red pepper plant growing on my balcony and I also added the peppers to the cucumber and onions in the pickle but they are obliterated by the labels. Nothing is wasted in this house.

I will store my little jar of pesto in the fridge as we are at the height of summer here in Brisbane. I plan to use it within the week, spread over a slice of crusty bread, drizzled over sliced tomato and mixed through a nice bowl of pasta with a good grating of cheese.

The result of my labours

The result of my labours. The little pot of pesto on the left.

Happy gardening.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narf77
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 20:11:40

    I am excited and it isn’t even close to being our harvest season yet! I love the look of your bread and butter pickles Jean and am going to see how my 6 cucumber vines go but I have a daughter who LOVES cucumbers so I might be lucky to get any to preserve. All 6 of them are absolutely covered in flowers and tiny little cucumbers so you never know. My eggplants haven’t started to flower yet but they are the smaller finger ones so hopefully I might get some eggplants towards the end of our summer season next year. We have capsicums and jalapeno chillies and a plethora of cherry type tomatoes (shorter growing season and a desire to have ripe tomatoes this year 😉 ). I won a copy of a wonderful preserving book on another blog and am going to be wading through it’s magnificent halls of fame to see if I can’t make some really interesting and tasty things this year to enliven the coming winter period where the best things we get in Tassie are spuds…spuds…a few carrots and onions and MORE SPUDS! I shouldn’t complain, the spuds are magnificent and we get all different kinds. I have my own spuds (king edwards and kipflers) growing in the compost bin along with all kinds of pumpkins and as you can see I am now officially addicted to vegetable growing no small thanks to you and this lovely blog 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Dec 31, 2012 @ 16:55:00

      Hi Fran. Thank you once again for your lovely comments. You are really taking off with your veggie growing. My daughter-in-law’s mother comes from Tassie and my DIL raves about Tassie spuds. Especially the kipflers.
      You should do really well with that number of cucumber plants. I planted three and even with the ones the fruit fly sting there are still plenty left for me. There is a limit to how many I can eat raw, that’s why I pickle them. I can’t bare to waste them. And of course when it comes to the allotment holders they are growing their own so they don’t need any more.
      My eggplant is taking off now after a bit of a slow start so I’ll have to get the recipe book out as I don’t have much experience with cooking eggplant. I know they are delicious in olive oil but I want to keep the calories down. Happy New Year.

      Reply

      • narf77
        Dec 31, 2012 @ 19:49:32

        Try making baba ganouche with the eggplants… I just watched Maggie Beer (old episodes of The Cook and the Chef…) make a roulade out of grilled eggplant, grilled capsicum, chopped kalamata olives and herbs all rolled up together like a swiss roll, chilled for 4 hours and then sliced through and it looked delicious! I love eggplant just lightly brushed with a little oil and tossed onto the bbq or grill. It is very “meaty” and along with mushrooms is the next best thing to add meaty texture for bbq’ing vegetarians. My eggplants had a really slow start too. They just didn’t seem to want to do anything and got enveloped by my tropical looking zuchini’s that have leaves that are 20 inches across! I just removed quite a few leaves and discovered that the eggplants have decided to start growing in the undergrowth! I agree with you about the calories…they sneak up on me when I am asleep… I have a sneaking suspicion that Steve oozes them out when he sleeps and they sneak over in the bed at night and attach themselves firmly to my thighs! I love the luxury of just heading out to the veggie garden and picking fresh veggies. I can’t believe that we haven’t done this in ages (grow veggies)…it is so soul satisfying :). Steve made some amazing pork pies at Christmas time and we used our own home grown sage leaves and they really stole the show. I love reading about what you can grow up there in Queensland…I am envious of your growing season and how well everything does but we don’t have fruit fly here in Tassie so that is one thing that we don’t have to worry about. I have a little moringa olifera that I am coaxing along and when it gets bigger I am going to plant it out…I will have my own little bit of the tropics if I can keep it alive 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Dec 31, 2012 @ 20:01:50

        Don’t start me on FRUIT FLY Fran. It’s easy to trap the males – but it’s the females that lay the eggs that cause the damage! I’m pleased that you don’t have it in Tassie though because you can grow such wonderful fruit. But it’s not just the fruit it attacks, it’s cucumbers, eggplant ….. I could go on.

      • narf77
        Dec 31, 2012 @ 20:27:34

        tomatoes…I know…I used to live in Western Australia… fruit fly heaven! I guess there are worse things than short growing seasons…

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Jan 02, 2013 @ 06:06:09

        Fruit Fly! I’ve told you not to talk to me about fruit fly. Don’t mention the war.

  2. lyndellmaree
    Dec 31, 2012 @ 11:31:02

    looks delish!

    Reply

  3. Live and Learn-Toss and Turn
    Dec 31, 2012 @ 22:50:13

    I don’t know if you’ve tried them, but I really like freezer pickles. They are easy to make and taste very fresh months later.

    Reply

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