A gardener’s weekend

This is what I got up to at the weekend.

On Saturday morning I found this bush growing beside the road. I’d love to know what it is.

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I picked up this marvellous cabbage from my local greengrocer at Merthyr Village. It was beautifully solid, and weighted four kilos. Perfect for making sauerkraut. So I crossed his palm with silver, hoisted it up under my arm and took it home.

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I started off with the idea of photographing the process as I went along, but there are only so many ways you can photograph a cabbage and still keep your readers!

And in any case, the process using the Nourishing Traditions recipe that I followed has already been beautifully covered by The Family Homestead blog under this link.

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You may be wondering about the blue ceramic crock sitting on the kitchen table ready to take the sauerkraut. I splashed out a year or two ago and bought this one specially made for fermenting vegetables from Green Living Australia. It’s my pride and joy but you can also use glass jars which are easy to come by (and a lot cheaper).

The recipe suggests using whey to start the sauerkraut off. I made some cottage cheese that morning from some organic whole fat milk that needed to be used up and used the whey from that, but you can just as easily get it by draining some yoghurt. It’s explained in the Family Homestead link.

It was a hot day on Saturday so I waited until the cool of the afternoon before I visited the allotment. I harvested a lettuce and a selection of green leaves for a frittata. Finished with a good hosing as the ground was bone dry. Then I got bitten all over with some little midges so I went home and had a good scratch.

Then I made a delicious frittata for tea with my green harvest, a potato, and a couple of special eggs from my friend Tatiana’s chickens. Just look at the colour of that yolk – now THAT’s a free-range egg.

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My home grown frittata

To top off my Saturday nicely I watched “Gardening Australia” on the tele.

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Sunday morning dawned with the promise of another hot day. I was going to spoil myself with spending the day at BOGI Fair. (Brisbane Organic Growers). The place was packed with eager gardeners and plenty to entertain us with heaps of stalls selling seedlings and just about everything a gardener needs or dreams about.

Clair Levander was the key note speaker at the Fair and I was lucky enough to bag a seat near the front, I learned plenty.

Then I did the rounds of the stalls and took a few pics.

This was a planter they were selling,

This was a tiered planter they were selling at one stall, absolutely packed with healthy herbs.

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They were selling these healthy looking seedlings at one stall. Unfortunately my pic doesn’t do them justice.

I liked the way this stall holder had used old tins and milk cartons as containers.

I liked the way this stall holder had used old tins and milk cartons as containers. Again, my photography let me down because I had to ‘lighten’ this pic – but I just wanted to show you that we don’t have to go out and buy expensive pots just to start off our seedlings.

Too much excitement for one day – I went home and had a good lie down.

Happy gardening.

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maria
    Oct 13, 2014 @ 08:11:16

    You certainly crammed a lot in on the weekend, Jean! That cabbage is a beauty…4 kg! Your frittata looks delicious and it’s given me another idea for using up my silverbeet bounty…although I think the grasshoppers or caterpillars have found it :-(. The Fair stalls of plants looked amazing…I would have been wanting to buy something from every stall! Lol. The stall using the recycled containers reminds me of my childhood….no plastic pots, just baked bean tins and soup tins for seedlings.

    Reply

  2. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Oct 13, 2014 @ 08:23:34

    Hi Maria. It was a lovely weekend doing all the things I enjoy. I have harvested so much silver beet and kale this season so I have been using frittata a lot.
    BOGI annual Fair is always a good day out.

    Reply

  3. unionhomestead
    Oct 13, 2014 @ 10:24:54

    Think that plant might be a Swan Plant (I google imaged it…have a look and see what you think). Thanks for giving the Nourishing Traditions Sauerkraut recipe the thumbs up. Have often looked at it and thought, “but what if it doesn’t work…” Now I’ll definitely give it a go…if teh white butterfly don’t beat me to the cabbages 🙂

    Reply

  4. Sarah
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 06:03:42

    I feel the same way after leaving my local farmer’s market- so much to see and so many great ideas!

    Reply

  5. tootlepedal
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 08:17:05

    That frittata looks tasty.

    Reply

  6. cathyandchucky
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 09:16:57

    Wonderful blog Jean 😄 my mouth is watering for sauerkraut now.

    Reply

  7. MrsYub
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 19:56:28

    Ooohh! All those seedlings!
    I have just attempted to organise my garden some what and put more seedlings in, and I KNOW I have no more room, but your wonderful pictures make me want to plant more!

    Reply

  8. narf77
    Oct 17, 2014 @ 07:19:48

    Your plant is Gomphocarpus physocarpus (aka Asclepias physocarpa) otherwise known as baloon bush or swan plant. Its a Southeast African native but like most things from South Africa it LOVES it here in Australia and can run to weed status. I had it all through my garden when we first moved to Tassie and pulled it all out as it just kept coming back and taking over the garden. I ferment lots of things including kimchi but have never tried making Sauerkraut yet. You don’t need whey to start it to be honest as cabbage is one of “those” veggies that carries it’s very own fermentation factory around with it in the form of bacteria so any vegans don’t need to stress about adding whey. Lovely healthy seedlings Jean and so many of them. Looks like you had a most productive weekend indeed 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 19, 2014 @ 03:54:16

      Thank you for the information Narf, about the plant, and the hint about whey.
      I started taking an interest in fermenting veggies when I found myself with a glut at the allotment. Although in this case I did purchase the cabbage – I just couldn’t resist it as it was such a fine specimen sitting there at the greengrocers singing it’s Siren Song.

      Reply

      • narf77
        Oct 19, 2014 @ 04:55:48

        I am the same Jean, I think I need a MUCH bigger garden to deliver what I want onto my plate and we do have to supplement our grocery list with veggies and a lovely cabbage is a thing of great beauty :).

  9. narf77
    Oct 17, 2014 @ 07:20:02

    (oops…balloon 😉 )

    Reply

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Jerry Coleby-Williams

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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

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Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

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

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