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Category Archives: Produce

vegetable gardening on a balcony

I bought some lovely homegrown plants the other day from the Farmers Markets, and I am looking forward to harvesting more seasonal produce from my urban, balcony garden.

It’s amazing just how many plants that you can fit into such a small space, but these seedlings will be very welcome in to my ever increasing potager – Kitchen Garden.

vege gardening

Lettuces,  red sorrel, fennel, English spinach, broccoli, cavolo nero and rainbow chard have now been added to my Kitchen Garden.

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Broadbeans

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Broad beans have the shortest season of all beans.  Broad beans are best when still small, sweet and only just cooked.

Buying
When purchasing broad beans choose young pods with a vibrant colour and a similar size to allow uniform cooking. Discard beans with brown patches, or ones that are floppy and limp. If in doubt, ask to open a pod and look at the beans inside.

Storing
Store in the crisper section of the refrigerator for a day or two. Alternatively pod beans, blanch in boiling water and freeze in plastic bags for later use.

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Pasta with broad beans, lemon and Parmesan…..delicious!

Preparing
If you have very young broad beans, once podded they can be boiled briefly and enjoyed as they are. For most broad beans we recommend double podding.

This means taking the podded beans, cooking them briefly in boiling water and refreshing under cold water. Then remove the pale green skins from the beans. This is easily done by inserting a small knife or thumbnail into the skin and creating a slit. Then push the vivid green bean halves from their skins. Discard the pale green skins.

This is double the work, but it is also double the flavour.

I recommend you take advantage of the short season and enjoy broad beans to the full.

Summer produce

December

Apricots

Asparagus

Butter Beans

Blackberries

Blueberries

Capsicums

Carambola (Star fruit)

Celery

Chat Potatoes

Cherries

Corn

Cucumbers

Currants (Red & White)

Dragon Fruit

Figs

Garlic

Grapes

Lettuce

Limes

Lychees

Mangoes

Honeydew Melons

Nectarines

Oranges

Passionfruit

Peaches

Peas

Pineapples

Radishes

Raspberries

Strawberries

Sweetcorn

Tomatoes

Watercress

Watermelon

Zucchini

 

 

 

January

Apricots

Asparagus

Avocados

Butter Beans

Bitter Melon

Blackberries

Blueberries

Capsicums

Carambola (Star fruit)

Celery

Chat Potatoes

Cherries

Corn

Cucumbers

Dragon Fruit

Eggplant

Garlic

Grapes

Lettuce

Limes

Lychees

Mangoes

Honeydew Melons

Nectarines

Okra

Oranges

Passionfruit

Peaches

Peas

Pineapples

Plums

Potatoes

Radishes

Rambutans

Raspberries

Strawberries

Sweetcorn

Watermelon

Zucchini

 

 

 

February

Avocados

Bitter Melon

Capsicums

Celery

Chat Potatoes

Cherries

Chillies

Corn

Cucumbers

Dragon Fruit

Eggplant

Figs

Garlic

Grapes

Lettuce

Limes

Lychees

Mangosteens

Nectarines

Okra

Oranges

Passionfruit

Peaches

Peas

Pineapples

Plums

Prickly Pears

Radishes

Rambutans

Raspberries

Squash

Strawberries

Sweetcorn

Tomatoes

Watermelon

Zucchini

 

 

* Listing courtesy of Harris Farm Market

January produce….

Fruit:
Apricots, avocados, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, limes, lychees, mangoes, melons, nectarines, passionfruit, peaches, pineapple, raspberries, and Valencia oranges.
Vegetables:
Asparagus, beans, capsicum, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, sugar snap peas, radish, sweetcorn, tomatoes and zucchini
Summer certainly has some of the very best produce, and is my all time favourite range of tropical fruits…… I swear that I feel like a fruit-bat some days the amount of luscious, ripe, sweet smelling fruit that I consume! My current favourites are; mangoes, black skinned figs, peaches [white and yellow] watermelon, limes, grapes, cherries, raspberries, pineapple and passionfruit.
I also have been devouring endless salads, especially since I can just reach onto my balcony and pick fresh basil, tomatoes, shallots, dill, celery and throw together something very quickly without visiting the greengrocer.
Some of the recent salads I’ve eaten include:
  • Celery, dill, smoked chicken and mayonaise
  • Peach, goats cheese, basil and crisp proscuitto
  • Fresh figs stuffed with gorgonzola, drizzled with Vino Cotto on a bed of rocket leaves
  • Waldof salad- apple, celery, pecan and grape with mayonnaise
  • Tomatoes with torn basil leaves and fresh mozzarella
  • Watermelon, feta, mint leaves and black olives
  • Avocado, watercress and fresh raspberries

My balcony vegetable garden progress

IMG_3144 IMG_3143 IMG_3139 IMG_3129 IMG_3138 IMG_2900 My balcony vegetable garden progress

Lettuces and dill have now finished all consumed! The celery has been used regularly, the tomatoes have had a steady crop over the past few weeks, the shallots still have a while to go and the mint has been used many times in fruit salads, cocktails and desserts and the basil is thankfully recovering from my constant usage. The zucchini didn’t do so well, far to big a plant for the containers and powdery mildew was prevalent. …..All in all it been a very rewarding & productive small space!

Spring produce

Spring has finally arrived in Sydney, and this week we have had some very warm days already [ 35° Celsius / 95° Fahrenheit]  …perhaps it is a sample of the hot Summer ahead??!

It’s time that I start rethinking what lovely produce will be harvested during the Spring season and what meals I’ll be able to create over the coming months…… so many choices and such little time to cook!

 

September

Artichokes

Asian Greens

Asparagus

Bananas

Broad beans

Beetroot

Broccolini

Chat Potatoes

Chillies

Corn

Cumquats

Dragon Fruit

Eggs

Grapefruit

Herbs

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Lemons

Lettuce

Honeydew Melon

Mulberries

Oranges

Papaya

Peas

Pineapples

Pomelos

Silverbeet

Spinach

Tangelos

 

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October

Artichokes

Asian Greens

Asparagus

Avocados

Bananas

Beetroot

Broad Beans

Cauliflower

Chat Potatoes

Chillies

Corn

Cumquats

Dragon Fruit

Grapefruit

Leeks

Lettuce

Loquats

Mangoes

Honeydew Melon

Mulberries

Oranges

Papaya

Passionfruit

Peas

Pineapples

Pomelos

Rockmelon

Silverbeet

Spinach

Watercress

Zucchini

 

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November

Apricots

Artichokes

Asian Greens

Asparagus

Avocados

Beans

Blueberries

Broad Beans

Capsicums

Carambola (Star fruit)

Cauliflower

Cherries

Chillies

Corn

Dragon Fruit

Garlic

Grapefruit

Lettuce

Loquats

Mangoes

Oranges

Passionfruit

Peas

Pineapples

Potatoes

Raspberries

Silverbeet

Spinach

Strawberries

Sweetcorn

Tomatoes

Watercress

Zucchini Flowers

* Listing courtesy of Harris Farm Market

Growing your own…..

Even though I live in a relatively small apartment in Sydney, I still want to be able to produce my own food. I thankfully have a northern aspect for my balcony and this Spring I have decided to become more self sufficient and grow my own vegetables and herbs in the limited space available. I also want to recycle if possible, so given these requirements I visited my local green grocer and asked if they had some spare polystyrene  cartons that I could use…..I walked away with 5, which was perfect!

I then bought some potting mix, compost and mulch and some plants and I was ready to start my own vegetable garden.

I tend to buy green vegetables, herbs and salad leaves every week and wanted to grow plants that would fit into my allotted space, grow quickly and supplement my grocery shopping.

I purchased seedlings of the following: heirloom tomatoes, globe zucchini, basil, celery, cherry tomatoes, dill, basil, shallots a and a variety of lettuces

 

 

 

 

I will be taking photos each week to monitor the progress of the plants and this should give me knowledge to work out what I will replant again next year.

I’m looking forward to harvesting the homegrown produce over the coming Summer months …and eating the rewards of my labours of my balcony vegetable garden.