Saturday, 1 September 2018

Because You Can Never Have Too Many Seeds

My seed order from Diggers arrived a couple of days ago, I wasn't going to buy any seeds this year as I have more than enough, but then I decided that I really wanted to grow some Lemon Drop tomatoes again this year and because paying $6.95 postage for one packet of seeds made for some expensive tomato seeds buying more seemed like the sensible thing to do.

Along with the Lemon Drop tomato seeds I also bought:

Crimson Flowered Broad Beans - As the name suggests these beans have a beautiful crimson flower and I've wanted these for the longest time, so I decided to just go ahead and buy them, they will make a lovely addition to next year's garden, there's no room for them in the garden now.

Painted Lady beans - Also known as seven year bean these beans have a white and salmon flower and will be given there own bed where they won't be disturbed.

Sunset Runner beans - Another bean I chose because of the flower which is a lovely salmon-pink.

Golden Podded Peas - Discovered at a market in India, I chose these because of the pod colour, but they also have a very pretty two toned flower of purple and pink so they will definitely add some colour to the winter garden next year.

Juane et Verte Squash - I'm trying to broaden the variety of vegetables I grow and after seeing some Yellow Button Squash in the local fruit and vegetable market I thought I would try growing them myself, but couldn't find them anywhere, so I bought this variety instead, I found seed for the yellow squash in the Reject Shop two days after I made my order. Oh, well.

Golden Zucchini - I grow green zucchini in my summer garden most years, but this year I want  to add some more colour to the veggie beds and I think these will do the trick.

As for those Lemon Drop tomatoes, if you haven't tried them I suggest you give them a go as they add a lovely lemony tartness to salads. I think they just might be my favourite tomato.

Until next time, Jan.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Living Gluten and Dairy Free

In the middle of last year it became increasingly obvious that something wasn't right within my body, I won't go into details, but it was extremely unpleasant and finding the cause took months. It turns out that as well as being lactose intolerant I had also become gluten intolerant. Living a dairy free life is hard enough, but finding out that you also have to give up anything containing wheat or gluten is doubly hard as it is in just about everything.

So if like me, you have suddenly had to give up anything that contains gluten and/or dairy don't despair below is a list of some products that I have found that taste good and won't upset your digestive system, I will continue to add to the list when I try new products.

Gluten Free

BFree Sweet Potato Wraps (also make a Quinoa & Chia wrap, but it’s not as pliable. I haven’t tried the Multigrain yet.)

Pure Bred Hamburger buns

Helga’s Gourmet rolls

Toscano Gluten Free Pizza Base

While I really enjoy the breads listed below I don't like the fact that they come wrapped in two plastic bags. One isn't enough?

Abbot’s Bakery Soy & Linseed bread - this is the best gluten free bread I've found.

Abbot's Rustic White loaf

Helga's Soy & Linseed is also very good

Orgran Bread Crumbs

Genius Soft White  Bread Rolls

Woolworths Select Lemon & White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Woolworths Select Mint Slices

Woolworths Choc Chip Biscuits - Not only are they dairy and gluten free they are also egg free and soy free.

Leda Chocolate Chip Cookies are not only are they delicious, but they are also dairy free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.

Leda Arrowroot biscuits

Coles Gluten Free Banana Bread (boxed) It's very good, but a little too sweet for my tastes.

Coles Gluten Free Apple Pies (2 pack)

Barilla GF Spaghetti

Barilla GF Penne

Barilla GF Elbows

Changs Gluten Free Wok-Ready Noodles 

Kellogs Gluten Free Cornflakes 

Freedom Foods Muesli - Fruits and Seeds

Dairy Substitutes

Weiss Real Good Feel Good bars - Pineapple and Coconut, Mango, Passionfruit and Coconut. They also make a Dark Chocolate and Coconut that I haven't tried yet.

Nudie Coconut Yoghurt - Natural. It also comes in Mango and Passionfruit, Blueberry, Strawberry and Watermelon and Vanilla.

Sanitarium So Good Frozen Dessert - Vanilla Bliss and Salted Caramel and Almond. I love the Vanilla Bliss, it's so smooth and creamy. I have yet to try the Choc Almond or Chocolate Bliss, if you have let me know what you thought of them.

Nuttelex Original - It is an excellent dairy free substitute for butter and can be used in the same way.

Follow Your Heart - Veganaise - If you're looking for a replacement for mayonnaise look no further, it's not as sweet as traditional mayonnaise, but it tastes amazing. They also make a Garlic Aioli, which is pretty darn good.

Vitasoy Soy Milky Regular - My favourite soy milk

Bio Pizza Shred 

Follow Your Heart Parmesan Style Cheese - The best Parmesan replacement I've found.

Organic Provamel Soya single cream alternative

The best advice I can give to anyone reading this is to make sure you read labels thoroughly before you buy anything, you would be amazed at the products that have gluten, wheat and dairy in them even products that you wouldn't think would contain them, I found this out the hard way.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

A Return To Winter ...... Almost

We had some lovely rain yesterday morning and it remained overcast all day, but it was still very warm and humid. I wasn't expecting it to rain today, but it has and the temperature has dropped enough that I almost need to put on a cardigan or jumper. 

I wish the weather would stay like this, but I know that tomorrow we will be back to summer and that autumn is still a long way off, so I'm going to enjoy today while it lasts.

For those of you who still read this blog (does anyone?) I just wanted to let you know that I will be changing the name of the blog sometime next week to My interests have changed over the past twelve months and while I still enjoy gardening and grow vegetables,  it isn't such a big part of my life anymore. I will still be writing posts about gardening it just won't be the main focus of the blog anymore, instead I will posting about the everyday things that bring me joy, like a rainy, cool day in the middle of summer. Enjoy what's left of the weekend and I hope you will continue to visit to see how the blog develops. 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Bloomin' Lovely - Winter

I know its been a long time between posts, but seeing that this is a blog mostly about vegetable gardening and there hasn't been anything being produced in the vegetable garden there really hasn't been anything to write about.

Now that spring has arrived the plants in the vegetable garden are slowly starting to produce, but nothing of significance, so today I thought I would share some of the flowers that have been blooming in my garden over winter.

Jonquils, one of my favourite flowers, their fragrance always takes me back to my childhood and my mother's garden.

 Another one from my childhood, Snowdrops.

The calendulas have been blooming for months now and show no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Carnations make a lovely addition to any flower garden, this one  was grown from a cutting taken from a store bought bunch.

Looking like a mound of snow in the garden Alyssum are a favourite with the bees.

Marguerite daisy, the blackbirds have built a nest in this one and there was at last count three eggs in it.

White oxalis

And finally tiny pink flowers on one of my succulents, it is the first time it's flowered.

Hopefully I will be back in a few days with an update on the vegetable garden, I hope your gardens are bloomin' lovely too.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Growing Asparagus

Asparagus is easily one of my favourite vegetables, and the best thing is that it is also one of the easiest veggies to grow and will supply you with delicious spears for twenty years or more if properly cared for.  

Bare rooted asparagus crowns can be bought from most garden centres or nurseries, as well as online and are usually planted out during winter through to early spring. Choose a sunny position with well draining soil that  has been enriched with plenty of organic matter, well rotted horse manure would be a good choice if you can get hold of some, plant crowns at least 10cm deep and between 35 - 40cm apart.  

During the first year of growth it is very important that the spears are not harvested as this will weaken the plant, a light harvest can be made in the second year, and in the years to follow the spears can be harvested every two to three days (they grow very quickly) over a six week period. Any spears that appear after that time should be left to grow into fronds. Pick only those spears that are at least as thick as a finger, and 15 - 20cm tall, any spears smaller than that should be left to grow. Keep your asparagus well watered during spring and summer and fertilise with pelletised chicken manure once harvesting has been completed.

Asparagus can also be grown from seed, but it will be three years before any spears will be able to be harvested.  

Asparagus fronds will start to turn yellow during the winter and this is when they will need to be cut down to ground level and the asparagus bed covered in a good thick layer of compost or manure, followed by a layer of straw, this will give them a good start when they start to grow again in spring.
Asparagus fronds ready to be cut down.
See, easy, the hardest part is waiting until you can harvest, but it is definitely worth the wait.