Garden Share Collective -March

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It’s time for the March post of the  Garden Share Collective hosted by Lizzie at Strayed from the Table. As I write this we’ve just had the first day of Autumn and a lovely one it was too. The tempo of the vege garden has changed very subtly over the past couple of weeks; a slowing down, a gentler pace. I’ve been busy harvesting, preserving and cooking as well as thinking about the winter vege garden (yes…still thinking….not a lot of sowing).

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The eggplants are churning out gorgeous, glossy fruits that are being roasted along with figs and potatoes and topped with fish.

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The spring onions, limes, chilies and coriander are making great stir fries….

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….ah yes the chilies. They are as stunning as ever! I’m trying the Habanero mix this year. However, the really interesting action in my vege garden at the moment is seed harvesting. It’s my first ever attempt and I love the whole process. I started with the sunflowers ‘Golden Toasted’….

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….which I’m going to soak overnight then roast with various spice mixes (watch this space).

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I’m very busy harvesting thousands of calendular seed which will become part of my Wildflower Mix that I’ll merrily throw around in the paddock to create a Wildflower meadow. I’ll also harvest the ‘Porcupine’ variety and my spice bed is bursting with potential Wildflower goodies like Anise Hyssop and Bergamont Bee Balm. I’m still waiting for the Caraway seeds and Fennel

……the white umbrels of the Caraway will look stunning in a meadow. In the meantime look what I managed to collect from my fennel…

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….gourmet fennel pollen. I was so disappointed when my Florence Fennel bolted but I got a great tip from The Garden Deli. The pollen in the bowl came from one head of flowers so you can see it’s pretty labour intensive to get a decent amount! Apparently all the best restaurants are using this little spice so I’ve been sprinkling it liberally over roasted veges and using it in meat rubs for that mouth watering aniseed taste. My garden never ceases to surprise and delight! And all for the cost of a packet of seeds.

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Herbs are really rampant right now; parsley, thyme, fennel and tarragon. It’s such a treat to be able to pick huge handfuls for cooking.

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My first ever post was about quinces and here they are again. A funny, knobbly fruit but it makes the most stunning jelly and gorgeous peach and quince crumble. And do you know what other little treasure I found in my garden?

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It’s a redcurrant. I thought it was poisonous! However, the lovely NZEcoChick visited the other day and assured me that it was in fact an edible redcurrant. I’ve been busy looking up ways to use this bounty. More autumnal bounty….

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…with it’s spiky little coat it’s one to watch when it starts falling to the ground! And of course my beloved figs…..

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They’re a month early this year. These are Brown Turkeys. When they’re ripe they go purple.

To Sow:
Definitely time to sow some winter veg:
Silverbeet ‘Rainbow Lights’
Beetroot (so I can make more chocolate and beetroot brownies!)
Perpetual Spinach
Broccoli Sprouting ‘Winter Rudolph’ and ‘Tender Stems’
Onion ‘Red Bunching’
Pak Choy
Winter Lettuce

To Do
I’ve still got lots more preserving to do including a big batch of tomato relish, quincey things, redcurrant things and of course….more seed harvesting!

Enjoy whatever you do in your garden and do pop over to Strayed From the table and check out what others are growing too.