Monday Harvest – June 4, 2012

Wet and wintery that’s how Melbourne is at the moment.  Fittingly my first harvest is a cold weather one – the first of this years broccoli crop.  Although I could, in theory, grow broccoli pretty much all year round here I tend to only grow it during the cooler months.  This is partially due to space considerations, partially because of the aphids which tend to attack during mid to late Spring and partially because I have yet to find a variety that enjoys our summers (although I do imagine they exist).

This is a very small head of Calabrese – hopefully a great many side shoots are yet to come.

In contrast to that rather insubstantial harvest the tamarillos are still plentiful, with another 30 or so harvested this week.

With the start of winter I did a bit of garden maintenance.  I pulled quite a few of my remaining basil plants (I think the remainder will go this week) and froze the leaves of the Italian variety.  I find that the variety of Thai basil I grow loses its flavour on freezing.  I have bought Thai basil (for culinary purposes) in the past that doesn’t but I’m not sure what the variety was.

The other plant I pulled out was my last tomato.  Rouge de Marmande was my best performing variety this year and I was sad to see it go but it was looking very sorry for itself indeed.  Most of these remaining tomatoes had a trace of colour on them so I’m confident most will ripen inside.

I have yet to pull my eggplants, but I imagine with the cold weather we are having that will be a job for the coming week.  Ditto the capsicums – they are last years plants and I think getting them through a second winter would be asking too much.  I will overwinter the chillies though.

My daughter, Miss 5, is currently addicted to Masterchef and as a result is keen to cook regularly.  This became her salad course.  She combined celery, chervil, parsley and lettuce and then dressed it with a pomegranate molasses dressing and sprinkled it with pomegranate seeds (she is very partial to pomegranates).  It was remarkably successful.    The red in the basket is a tamarillo – I don’t have a producing pomegranate plant….yet.

My final harvest of the week is another first – my first Tahitian Lime.  Very exciting.  I didn’t do anything nearly as interesting as Barbara Good did with hers, mine just went into some guacamole (another of my daughters cooking projects) but was delicious nonetheless.

For more veggie ogling head over to Daphne’s Dandelions – there’s sure to be more than enough for anyone.

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42 Responses to Monday Harvest – June 4, 2012

  1. becky3086 says:

    Looks like a great harvest to me. I won’t have nearly that much to harvest today.

  2. How awesome that your daughter is making such creative, healthy and tasty dishes. 🙂

  3. Daphne says:

    I had to laugh at the comment of how exciting the first lime was. I was feeling the same way about the first broccoli, peas, and scapes this week. We gardeners get so excited over our firsts. I’m sure the rest of the world would think us crazy for it, but oh the excitement.

    • Liz says:

      My partner does think I’m completely mad….have you ever noticed the way people roll their eyes slightly when they use the phrase “keen gardener”? Perhaps this is why….I do love it though.

  4. Norma Chang says:

    You are heading into winter and our gardening season is just getting into gear. I cannot wait to harvest my first tomato. Your daughter is a very creative cook.

  5. Funkbunny says:

    Lovely harvest (and pics). I noticed that you were having trouble growing coriander and dill when you left a commment on Daphne’s. I have heaps of both of those herbs, but no broccoli. Strange!

    • Liz says:

      Now that is weird. I think my dill has been getting some sort of disease as the plants germinate OK, grow for a while then die. Coriander – very impressed I find it particularly temperamental.

  6. kitsapFG says:

    Hurrah for Miss 5! That sounded like a great salad and what a great focus for her to have.

    Those of us still in the ramp up of spring, have real envy over the peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and that lime!

  7. You can grow broccoli year round! I am jealous. We love broccoli. I need to figure that out, but with summers of 100+ for at least a month, not sure I can.

    • Liz says:

      That is hot! To be fair my summer broccoli has never been up to much but hope springs eternal – or so they say….

  8. Barbie says:

    Yummm! Lime, and chilis, and Wait a minute- no pomegranates! Blasphemous I say! I have 2 trees, but so far only 1 produces. I can’t wait for the second one to kick it up. ;-D I’m with Miss 5, I love them.

    • Liz says:

      I have bought one but I’m not sure if its shed its leaves for winter or I’ve killed it – it lost them fairly early…. If it doesn’t survive I will buy a new one in Spring. They should grow pretty easily here I think.

  9. How do you freeze your basil? Do you chop it up first?

    • Liz says:

      I usually freeze whole leaves but then thats how I usually use it too. It discolours when you freeze it so the discolouration caused by chopping it wont matter much. It is fairly easy to crumble the frozen leaves though – saving on cutting time.

  10. Julie says:

    Congrats on the lime! And the broccoli looks lovely, my spring broccoli is not happy. First was a cabbage worms attacked and now the leaves are looking sunburned. I think I’m going to have to grow it only in the fall/ winter. Enjoy all those dishes your daughter is making!

    • Liz says:

      It was lovely – just a little scarce. I have some more coming on but it looks like a different variety which is strange as I’m pretty sure I only planted Calabrese.

  11. Mark Willis says:

    Please can you tell me what is different about a Tahitian lime? Presumably it is OK to use it with Italian Calabrese, French tomatoes (Marmande), Thai Basil, and all the rest?! (Aren’t we cosmopolitan in our food habits these days?)

    • Liz says:

      Yes, I do find the limes very multi-cultural – they go well with anything. They differ from the more common West Indian limes by being able to withstand cooler witner temps so are more commonly grown in southern Australia. The actual limes are yellow/ green rather than the deep green of the other varieties. They do taste a bit different but I think you’d probably have to taste the varieties side by side to really notice.

  12. Mary says:

    What a beautiful harvest! We are just at the beginning of harvest season here, so mostly greens, but I can’t wait for the garden to be in full bloom!

  13. I’ve never seen tamarillos before. Gorgeous!!

  14. KL says:

    Sorry for the dumb question but how bad is your winter – do you get snow there in Melbourne? Congratulation to your daughter for her success. Miss 5 means 5 years old and she likes eating vegetables? I have heard that kids don’t like eating them nowadays.

    • Liz says:

      No snow, and where I am no frost either (although parts of Melbourne do get frost). The temp today is 14 C/57F which is a typical winter day.

  15. Allison says:

    For wet and wintery, everything looks gorgeous!

  16. Liz says:

    Ah yes – I did have to run outside to photograph during the brief period we got some nicer weather.

  17. The salad basket looks very inviting, I love your celery. I don’t have any luck with celery out here, I guess it’s too hot…

  18. Beautiful pictures! Good to know that thai basil should not be frozen.

  19. Nina says:

    Oh, to have a budding Master Chef in the house! My son is 25 and boiling water is a challenge.

    I’m so impressed you still have eggplants AND tomatoes, mine finished long ago but the whitefly helped them on their way.

    Wet and wintery is right – we’ve had floods locally and it was touch and go getting to work and wondering if I’d get home again.

    • Liz says:

      I’ve just been hearing about the floods on the radio – I hope the damage isn’t too great. My hope is that she will continue with the cooking but you never know with kids….

  20. Andrea says:

    Tomatoes in June!! now that is something……..
    Now you haven’t killed your Pomegranate tree they are deciduous and grow into beautiful small trees. I have a couple growing and actually just planted another two which is strange because i have never eaten the fruit (my daughter does) i let the birds feed on them.
    Love your colorful photo of your harvest,( you could make some beautiful gardening calanders for Xmas pressys featuring your photos) gorgeous eggplants and just a wee tad jealous. Congrats on your first Lime, hope its the first of many more!!!

    • Liz says:

      Yeah I thought they were decidious – it was more that its leaf loss co-incided with a period in which I may or may not have watered it…

  21. Susi says:

    Such a great variety of veggies. Everything is so colorful!

  22. Diana says:

    Do you intent to leave one calabrese going through summer next year? I have one calabrese grown from end march last year and left to grow in summer this year still producing shoots till now. The calabrese plant is hugh. About 70cm tall at least. I was surprised it grows through our hot and dry summer here.
    You have so many variety of pickings in your garden at this time of the year.

  23. Diana says:

    Thank you for the email, I will keep contact with you later.
    Head a bit fuzzy today.

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