Monday Harvest – April 9th 2012

About 2 years ago I planted a lemon tree amongst the Australian natives in the front garden.  Since then I have been diligently taking off all the fruit to let the tree concentrate on growing.  All the fruit except one that is:

I have to admit it’s harvest was slightly accidental – I was gently admiring it when it came off in my hand.  I haven’t used it yet – I’m trying to think of an appropriate dish to use it in.

Another of my new harvest items was also harvested accidentally – I was moving a few pots around and in the process of shifting the horseradish I realised it had colonised part of my path.  These roots had come out of the pot and were growing down the path – presumably looking for a point to access my beds.  I’m glad it didn’t make it – I think I’ll make a sauce for some beetroot with this.

I made Chicken Savoyarde this week and the recipe called for leeks, lots of tarragon, carrots, and celery.  The beans I served with it and the chillies and cucumber I picked because they were ready.  Incidentally the carrots are from a colour mix packet of seeds – I have to say I just can’t get excited about coloured carrots (other than orange that is) I do think the orange varieties tend to have the best flavour.

Otherwise this weeks harvests have been more of the same.  Chillies (of course), a few tomatoes, eggplant and celery – the two later ingredients went into the caponata I wrote about last week.

The figs are nearing the end but I harvested about 10 this week – this particular lot came in with the washing.

We went to the Royal Melbourne Show last September and while there Miss 5 dug some potatoes from one of the exhibits and as a reward she was given some to take home.  These are the first ones I bandicooted from the resulting plants.  I’m not sure how many more I’ll find when I dig them up properly but I’m pleased that they are producing at all as I planted them quite late, they don’t get much sun at all and they have been swamped by sweet potato vine, so all in all something of a result!

It wouldn’t be the same without harvesting some Rainbow Chard each week – this week I made chard and ricotta gnocchi which was a great success – Mr 2 was especially keen.

And finally a passionfruit which not only concludes this post but is probably also the last that my old vine will produce.  However all is not lost as in the sort of beautiful symmetry that nature sometimes provides, my new vine flowered for the first time this week.  I hope its ready to be as productive as the last one – it has a lot to live up to.

For other harvests from around the globe the place to be is Daphne’s.  Head on over now.

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35 Responses to Monday Harvest – April 9th 2012

  1. I was intrigued by your use of the term ‘bandicooted’ Liz, as I had never heard it before. Quick Google and I learnt about the odd little creatures- the Bandicoot -which is a native to your shores but whom I had never heard of… Do you get many of them around and do they do any damage to the plants?

    • Liz says:

      After I published the post I reread it and wondered if anyone would know what on earth I was talking about. ‘Bandicooting’ is a term used in Australia for feeling around in the dirt to harvest potatoes prior to digging up the whole crop. Whilst I presume it is based on the way a bandicoot digs looking for food I have to admit having only seeing them very rarely. I have only ever seen them in forested areas but perhaps they inhabit some more urban areas as well – just not Melbourne.

      • Thank for that Liz. I shall have to try and drop it into the conversation next time I’m talking about potatoes with friends and see if I can impress them with my new word…Probably not…they know me too well!!

  2. Nina says:

    I love your blog, Liz and I look forward to your posts. You are very generous with sharing your gardening knowledge and recipes. Thank you. 🙂

    Like you, I love growing and eating chilli and I have more than I know what to do with, at the moment! Other than turning them into sambal oelek or freezing them, do you have any other wonderful ways to preserve them? Apart from several other varieties, I have an abundance of fat, juicy jalepenos that are unlikely to turn red as autumn sets in. They look wonderful hanging off the plant, they are so shiny and green, but I expect I will need to harvest them soon so as not to waste them. I’ll chuck them in the freezer if all else fails, but if you have an inspiration for me, I’d be grateful!

    • Liz says:

      Hi Nina, Thanks for your comment I really appreciate the feedback. You don’t say where you are but I’m assuming Australia (or somewhere with a similar climate) from the Autumn comment. The first thing I would say is that I wouldn’t give up on them turning red just yet. I’ve had chillies ripen into July some years, so they have plenty of time yet. Having said that I do need to give some thought to preserving green chillies. I have made Thai curry pastes with them previously and frozen those but that doesn’t taken huge volumes. I would have thought you could pickle them but I have yet to try that. Garden Glut put a recipe on her blog that might be worth a try: I still have quite a few on my plants to so if I get an opportunity soon I’ll see what else I can come up with.

      • Nina says:

        Oh, sorry! I forgot to say, I’m in the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland (Victoria, Australia for those from the other hemisphere 🙂 ).

        I follow Garden Glut too, and I saw the pickled chilli recipe but I don’t know that I’d be able to put them to good use. I’d enjoy them but the boy, on the other hand, doesn’t really eat anything pickled (but loves chilli in any other form).

        I’ll throw some in the freezer and take your advice and wait a while to see if the rest turn red and see if you come up with another great idea! If not, no harm done, I still have chilli in the freezer from last season. I can’t help but grow the stuff!

        • Liz says:

          Oh the pressure….he he he….I thought all boys ate pickles in fact I’d assumed that pickle consumption was somehow related to the Y chromosome – clearly not. I’m thinking some sort of chilli pesto but then again you’d need to freeze that too to preserve it. Hmmmm I do enjoy a challenge.

  3. You are disciplined picking off the fruit to allow the tree to grow – something I always know I should do but … I don’t … I just can’t do it!

    • Liz says:

      I don’t spend huge amounts of time in my front garden – so it is very much a matter of out of sight out of mind….

  4. Mark Willis says:

    Liz, you have posted some absolutely mouth-watering photos (again!). I had to chuckle when I read that you had planted your lemon tree “…amongst the Australian natives”. I had visions of the tree surrounded by Aboriginals!

    • Liz says:

      Its interesting how much Aussie lingo I’ve used in this post – the term “Australian natives” would always be read as plants here but I yeah I can see how it may bring up different images.

  5. Beautiful harvest.

    You mentioned on my blog that different passion fruits have different purposes. Can you tell by color of the flower?

    • Liz says:

      Yes, you should be able to tell from the flower but I’m not an expert by any means. If you go to this post:, and scroll down you will find two photos of passionflowers next to each other – the one on the left is from the rootstock and I wouldn’t eat the fruit from it. The one on the right is the flower that will produce edible fruit. If your flowers are different again then perhaps post then on your blog and hopefully someone will know or I will do a bit of research for you.

  6. Daphne says:

    What a beautiful harvest. Good luck with your new passion fruit. I love them, but can’t eat them.

    • Liz says:

      What a shame – at least they’re not as common in the states are they? so you won’t have to actively avoid them.

  7. Diana says:

    I probably can’t resist letting trees to concentrate on growing, probably will harvest all the fruits. You still have many to harvest. Many of our potatoes that we harvested last summer are starting to sprout again.

    • Liz says:

      Mine are too – I have replanted quite a few in the last few weeks – I’m trying to see if I can avoid buying potatoes for a whole year – so far so good.

  8. Dave says:

    Mmmm, fresh horseradish! I planted some in a half wooden barrel so (hopefully) it won’t escape. I will also try and use the term ‘bandicooting’ from now on when I dig early potatoes. I usually call it ‘robbing’ or ‘stealing’ – which makes me sound like a felon!

    I always enjoy looking at your lovely mix of harvests.

    • Liz says:

      It does seem to love spreading its roots doesn’t it. I wooden barrel sounds liek a great idea – I suspect the pot I had it in really was a bit small so the need to escape was greater than if it had had more room.

  9. kitsapFG says:

    What an inspiring harvest this week – lots of variety and lots of beautiful color in those chilis!

  10. Rick says:

    Figs, passion fruit and citrus. I’m jealous again. You are able to grow such a wonderful variety of fruits and veggies in your part of the world. Your other harvests look great as well!

    • Liz says:

      I am very lucky – my garden has a great micro climate meaning it doesn’t frost while at the same time it does get cool enough to grow stuff that needs a bit of a chill to develop.

  11. What a delish looking assortment you have harvested this week!! Yummy!!

  12. mac says:

    Beautiful and delicious harvest, love those red habanero peppers, they are so cute and lovely, do you use them in anything? I’m afraid of the heat, but just love how they look.
    Thanks for clarifying “bandicoot”, it’s a more genteel than “steal” or “rob”as Dave says.

    • Liz says:

      This particular variety aren’t very hot at all – I’d call them medium heat I guess. I make sambal from them and it is about right, hot enough to add spice but not too hot to use.

  13. Norma Chang says:

    I agree with you, the orange carrots are tastier than the other colors. I too learned a new word today “banicooting”. Like the sound of it.

    • Liz says:

      I think sometimes I need to learn not to get too seduced by the exciting desciptions in the seed catalogues and just buy what I know tastes good.

  14. I knew a bandicoot was an animal, but had never heard it as a verb. I bandicooted some yams for Easter yesterday. I grow them in fabric Gro-pots in our driveway. They were way too small, but tasty anyway. You have some great photos of your yummy looking harvests. I liked the photo of the eggplant, celery and red peppers the best, but adored the lemon. The first one is always special. Here’s hoping for many more for you.

    • Liz says:

      I’ve never tried to grow yams – sounds like a fun thing to grow – I do enjoy things that grow as tubers because bandicooting is a lot of fun.

  15. maryhysong says:

    What a beautiful and varied harvest! I won’t have chilies, cukes or eggplants for a long time yet!

  16. Julie says:

    Congrats on a beautiful lemon harvest! I sometimes have the problem that I’m so excited about a harvest that I’ve been waiting for that I let it set around and lose its freshness while I’m trying to decide on the perfect dish… silly, I know! The rest of your harvest looks fabulous too.

  17. Louise says:

    Nice lemon! You wait next year they will be coming out of your ears. My darling husband who is on garden minding duty at home skyped me the other day to say that he has too many lemons falling off the tree to cope with!

    Love your celery. I tried growing celery for the first time last year, I think I got too enthusiastic about tying them up to blanch them and then insects found a cosy spot to over winter inside. Result? Not great. I’d like to try again, do you tie yours up to blanch? Or do you just let them rip free and untied?

    The celery (qingcai ?? ) in China is amazing. It is thin and green and not very juicy, but the flavour is worth it. The other day I ordered a dish I love called beef stir fried with celery ( niurou chao qingcai ??????and it was just the best Chinese dish I have had since being here. It also had lots and lots of ginger…

    I might adopt a Chinese approach to celery – it early and green, dont blanch and stirfry.

    • Liz says:

      I don’t bother blanching mine at all – I’ve always liked crunchy green celery so thats what I grow. I just let it grow how it wants and use it as a pick and come again crop, it lasts from late summer until Spring when it bolts. The Chinese approach isn’t a bad one to adopt either though.

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