It has been a hectic week. With the Heritage Harvest Festival taking up lots of our time, things have fallen behind. But it is all for a good cause! Firstly, quite a bit of our this weeks harvest went to the Festival to be used in the Workshop I took on how to Ferment Food. However, I did get to bring it all home again, as Sauerkraut, ‘KefirKraut’ and Citrus Kale & Kohl Rabi Ferment, so I shall not complain :).
We have also been a bit slightly off colour the last couple of days – no doubt due to all the late nights and rushed meals leading up to the Festival and after, but we are picking up, especially thanks to our herbal medicine garden.
What we have managed to harvest this week, is a bit of a mixed bag;
2 lovely Savoy Cabbages
1 gorgeous Broccoli head
2 pieces of Sprouting Broccoli
a huge bunch of Kale leaves
a handful of Asian Radishes
2 re-grown Cabbage heads (as a bunch of mini cabbages)
a couple of handfuls of Capsicums & Chilli Peppers
a bowl full of very ripe Tomatoes – which we have already made into a healthy Raw Vegan Soup
plus another big bowl of nearly ripe Tomatoes (we had to pick them a bit early or they would have got storm damaged)
a bowl full of baby Patty Pan Squash (we also had to pick these early as they had got too wet and frost damaged and were starting to rot on the vine)
a small bunch of leeks
a few handfuls of potatoes
a great haul of beans and peas
and a few other bits and pieces – like the Sugar Beets I grew as a trial run;
As you can probably see above, we use all of the Broccoli – the head, the stems, and the leaves. You can use all of any type of Brassica to eat. If the stalks are tough, peel them and chop up the soft insides.
I never blanch any of the food. Blanching removes nutrients and means the food is not as healthy. It is better to freeze your produce as fresh and as fast as you can, to preserve the goodness contained in it.
We use bio-degradable “green” bags to store our produce in the freezer in meal size bags. We keep a list on a whiteboard of what produce we have in the freezer, and list all that we put in and remove what we take out to eat. This way we always know what food we have got on hand.
AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR, SOME THINGS ARE STARTING TO LOOK A LITTLE SAD. IT IS TIME TO REMOVE YOUR PAST THEIR BEST SUMMER CROPS AND MAKE WAY FOR AUTUMN & WINTER VEGETABLES…
BUT, YET OTHER THINGS ARE LOOKING HAPPIER AND HAPPIER AS THE WEATHER COOLS AND THEY CAN REALLY START TO GROW GREEN & JUICY! IT IS A MIXED BLESSING AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR…
We recycle plant pots and tags from when we used to buy plants. Now we virtually only grow from seed. We also gratefully accept recycled plant pots and tags from friends who garden! Especially as I often grow more plants that we need, so that I have some to give away to others who are trying to get their gardens going.
We keep Brassica’s under mesh nets to stop the White Cabbage Butterflies attacking them. These are available cheap from M10 or TWH in NZ. They are fantastic, as they keep the insects out, they protect from the harsh Southland sun, but they also let the water through and what is more, they even have a basic level of frost protection.
I hope this inspires you to get into your garden and get growing! It is easy to feed your family on just 1/4 acre. All you have to do is get some gardens made or dug and start planting. And, just remember to keep on planting seeds every 2-3 weeks.
© 2014-2015: “Garden to Kitchen” with Suz – All content on this blog is Copyright.