Posts Tagged With: no dig vegetable garden

Have you ever tried kale?

You may have heard that kale is one of those super foods that will do wonders for you.

I have never tasted it.

As you may know I created a small raised vegetable patch. (check it out here) One of the vegies I put in was kale. But, oh dear, the caterpillars took a real liking to it. (check that disaster here)

Well it has been an ongoing battle and the caterpillars seem to be winning.

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The silver beet behind the kale is doing very well, completely caterpillar free, and we have had a number of meals from it.

So yesterday I decided to admit defeat and buy some kale…

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This is the curly kale, a different type to our smoother leafed variety in the garden.

Well! Have you tasted kale?

For the first meal, after checking through Google and my on line Taste Recipes, I decided to lightly steam it, as I do with the silver beet. Not good, it was rather tough and chewy. Quite an earthy sort of taste.

Next I found a recipe for a kale and herb pesto. Using the food processor to finely pulverize it and adding garlic, herbs and parmesan cheese then mixed with a dribble of oil and lemon juice. It was more of a success used as a topping for a hearty bean, tomatoe and quinoa casserole. (How healthy is all that!!!)

Tonight I tried making kale chips. I have read that they are the latest in food fashion. The verdict? Not bad, but Jack found the crumbly texture stuck in his throat and he had to gulp down some water. I thought I had maybe overdone the dash of soy sauce which made them rather salty.  

So I think I will stay with the silver beet, spinach, cabbage and broccoli for our greens, and not feel too bad about the caterpillars munching on the kale in the garden, at least they are leaving the other vegies alone…

Has any one out there had more success with kale? If so what is your secret?

This is just to add a little sunshine for my friends in the north…

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Categories: Australia, garden, Goldcoast, kale, photos, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , | 69 Comments

How does my garden grow?

It is a week since we built the no-dig garden bed. Did you see it in progress? (Here it is).

I’ve waited patiently for the heat from the compost to cool down. It is cooler now and rain is forecast for the weekend. A good time to put in the seedlings.

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Jack calls this a cradle for my babies! The crows and magpies thought I had built it for them to play in, so this fooled them and keeps them out.

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The netting is easily lifted to get into the bed. The green plastic wire at the back will eventually have beans growing up it.

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I planted these silver beet yesterday and they seem to have settled in OK, so now I am planting the other lettuce and rocket seedlings.

These are sunflower seedlings I carefully nurtured from seeds. This bed gets the full sun so I’ve put the old screen door over them for protection for a couple of days. I love sunflowers and these will grow to 5 feet, all being well…

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The seedlings are slowly taking over. Front right is the box I grew the sunflower seeds in. Still a few waiting to be planted out. On the seat I have some kale and rocket seedlings. Kale is one of the new super foods, even though the kale plants are still babies I pick one of the leaves as I wander by and nibble it. Maybe it will turn me into super woman (she says with a grin… )

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The first crop of lettuce have just about reached their use-by date. Home grown is so tasty, we have salad almost every day.

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This is the herb corner. Basil, coriander, oregano, parsley, rocket, chillies and at the end of the line a mini capsicum.

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These little beauties are just bite sized and I’m waiting, rather impatiently, for them to turn red.

This is a lovely time of the year. It is hot but cools down in the evening, that is when I love to be out in the garden.

Here are some flowers that add a splash of colour at the moment.

The clouds are rolling in, maybe we will get some rain, but I hope we don’t get the storms that hit Brisbane last week. (click here to see the storm) The poor folks in Brisbane are still struggling to clear up and another storm would be catastrophic. We are only 100 kilometres south of Brisbane but didn’t get any of the hail, torrential rain and winds that blanketed that area.

Categories: Australia, Burleigh, garden, Goldcoast, no dig vegetable garden, photos, Queensland, travel, tropical garden | Tags: , , , , , | 27 Comments

The joy of creation in the garden.

I have been inspired by the gardens at the different houses we have been house sitting at.

At Geraldton, Naomi made raised beds from old water tanks and had a flourishing veggie garden on pure sand. (Take another look at it here and be inspired) Malanda had a large organic veggie garden fuelled by copious horse manure and lots of love. (Check it here)

So I came home determined to create an organic veggie patch.

The garden, now, is a crowded tropical paradise, lots of shady areas, so were am I going to find a place for vegetables? Then last week Jack pruned back some of the natives along the road front and suddenly the morning sun flooded along the front of the palms. But palms are voracious thieves stealing all the water and nutrients that veggies need. So I will use Naomi’s solution and make a raised bed.

First a trip to Bunnings, the local hardware store to do the homework. A 2 metre x 1 metre, ready-made corrugated raised bed would cost $99, ouch… I could buy a lot of veggies with that. So to plan B, make our own.

We bought 9 Planks @ 1.8 metres, 3 of them cut in half for the sides, and 4 battens for the corners at a cost of $14.

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Jack assembles the structure then paints the inside with a special paint that will stop any of the chemicals from the tanalising treatment seeping into the soil.

While he does that I clear the area where it will go in front of the palms.

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The blue box is filled with tough rhoeos that will be going to a new neighbour who loves receiving my rejects. Notice that large bromeliad right in the middle of the patch? It will have to come out…

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I will have to find this a new home.

Now to bring the bed around. I am going to create a no-dig garden.

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In the base goes cardboard, old carpet, papers that have been soaked in a bucket of water and other organic rubbish.

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The compost is ready and it goes in next.

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Followed by a liberal sprinkling of chicken manure. Then more compost.

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Lucerne mulch gives an added boost of nutrients, then more cow manure.

In the 28 degree heat the sweat is dripping off me by now, but it is nearly finished.

mixed garden bikes buses pc 038_3264x2448Finally top off with sugarcane mulch, and give it a good watering. Jack has built it with the corner battens raised so I can put netting across to keep off the birds. Crows are a real problem.

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Now I will wait for it all to settle for a week before putting in the seedlings.

Finally I want to share these photos of the Poinciana in full flower. It is about 9 years old and this is the first year it has  flowered so well.

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Categories: Australia, Burleigh, garden, Goldcoast, no dig vegetable garden, photos, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , , | 44 Comments

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