Planting season – at last

It has been a quiet few months down at the allotment due to the heat of summer (many days over 30c degrees) and then flooding rains. Until the last few days there has been water sitting around over at the farm and the mosquitoes are breeding like mad. I could show you a picture of the bites on my leg.  Naaah!

Suffice to say those critters are fierce enough to carry off a dog.

Anyway, enough of that. The ground is now drying out and, finally, we are all starting a new planting season over at the allotment and it’s good to see.

I feel as if I’m a bit behind with the planting due to the soggy ground earlier in the month so I took myself over to Bunnings garden centre to gather myself a few seedlings and they are coming along nicely.  Still small but I expect them to be impressive veggies in no time – they are getting the royal treatment with a Seasol (seaweed) feed to get them started and weekly watering with a liquid fertiliser.

Broccoli

Broccoli “Green King”

Silver Beet

Silver Beet

I bought myself a punnet of mixed lettuce seedlings. Here’s one, still tiny but off to a good start.

Lettuce

Lettuce from a mixed punnet

Happy gardening. At last!

Rain, mud and fungi

It’s been raining heavily in Brisbane for weeks. Plenty of rain and mud down at the allotment.  I am lucky enough to own a pair of really good rubber gardening shoes so I can still enjoy a visit to the farm without getting my feet wet.

With the ground being so wet there is not much I can do in the allotment so I’ve been working on improving the footpaths. Plenty of nut grass was running a bit wild along the footpaths so I’ve been digging that out, then I cover the cleared ground with an anti-weed mat. You can do this with old carpet or a thick layer of wet newspapers. Then I cover with wood chip.

When I went to the farm yesterday this is what was growing in the wood chip pile next to my allotment.

IMG_2427

IMG_2428

Good to see something’s growing well over at the allotment, but I won’t be frying it with my bacon and eggs.

A morning making Basil Pesto

It’s wet and soggy over at the allotment so I took a morning off yesterday to visit ‘Lottie’ friends Peter and Maria who have a sweet basil bush that thinks its a tree.

Maria and Pete's sweet basil bush

Maria and Pete’s sweet basil bush. 

Thanks for the pic Pete.

So I was invited to go over there and make basil pesto. We cut down branches of the lovely fragrant leaves, stripped the leaves into a big bowl and set about making our pesto.

I have found that making pesto relies very much upon your taste buds, and how smooth you like it blended, but this is the recipe we used.

  • two cups of leaves (pressed down)
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts (or chopped walnuts)
  • a clove or two of garlic
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • a good slug of olive oil.
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese (if you plan to freeze the pesto leave the cheese out and add it when you are ready to use the pesto.)

We put the first batch through the food processor, in which case you need to just zap it a few times or you end up with a puree. (Guess how I learned that!)

With the second batch Maria used her large pestle and mortar and that gave us a much more rustic mix which we both agreed was really good.

Pesto crunchy with chopped walnuts

Pesto crunchy with chopped walnuts

I made another batch using the food processor but I was not so heavy handed with the it. Just a few pulses until I had a nice crunchy mix.

I should add here that some folk would prefer more of a smooth puree-like mix, but we also wanted to eat it on the top of a slice of crusty bread, as well as mixed with pasta. That’s the wonderful thing about making your own pesto. You’re in control – just as long as you know how to control your food processor!

We only stirred the parmesan cheese gently through at the end of the process – leaving cheese out completely of the batch we were going to freeze.

It was lovely working with the basil and before I left Peter and Maria presented me with a nice big bunch to take home so that I can ‘strike’ a few plants for my allotment.

It’s sitting on my window sill.

Sweet Basil cuttings

Sweet Basil cuttings

Thank you for a lovely morning.

Beelarong Open Day set for March 10th is cancelled

Bet you thought I’d fallen off the end of the world.

In truth there has been very little to write about down at the allotment. I covered it with mulch through the heat of the summer months and, apart from my sweet potatoes, let it lie fallow. I was looking forward to getting on with planting in March but we have had so much rain recently that the earth is sodden.

Which brings me to the reason for this post.  A few weeks ago I announced the open day at Beelarong Community Farm where I have my allotment. It was planned for this coming Sunday, March 10th.

Unfortunately it has been cancelled due to the weather and the state of the ground. As gardeners we welcome the rain, we garden in the rain, we love the rain.  But we don’t really want to squelch our way through mud on what should be a fun day.

So when the new date is set a little later in the year I will let you know.

Looking on the bright side – with the ground so wet the weeds just pop out when you give them a little tug.

Happy gardening (eventually!)

 

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

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Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

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Passionate stories for lovers of words

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