Until I started blogging and regularly read about North American winters I thought Melbourne got cold. Not as cold as the UK but cold nonetheless. Now I realise that actually our winters are really extremely mild and actually quite pleasant (I type that raising my eyebrows slightly, as I shiver and wonder whether I should turn on the heating). Our mild climate means we are able to grow great produce all year round. These are the highlights of Melbourne in June.
1. Broccoli – June usually sees the first of my broccoli crops. Plants grown from seed sown in late January/early February usually mature in June when their main heads are ready for harvest. A delicious way to start winter.
2. Limes – My Tahitian lime is my best performing citrus. It has set more fruit than any of the others (perhaps it is more shade tolerant) and many of those fruit are ripening now. Luckily there are also good avocados around at the moment, and coriander grows well in Melbourne’s winter so guacamole is a seasonal staple. It’s interesting, Lime is a flavour that if pushed I would say I would associate with summer yet the bulk of the crop actually matures in winter. Time to google wintry lime recipes I think.
3. Leeks – I’m absolutely loving our local Farmers market. It visits a local school twice a month and my favourite thing about the market is a fab stall which sells beautiful leeks for $1.00 each. That’s cheaper than the supermarket for fresh good quality produce. A definite winner in my book.
4. Celeriac – I’m a bit excited about my celeriac growing attempts. This is my best plant and I think I will harvest it over the next few weeks. Should be lovely with some lentils. My favourite celeriac recipe is the one for Celeriac and Lentils in Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion and I reckon this one will be used in just such a dish.
5. Carrots – Another thing I bought at last weekends Farmers Market were some beautiful locally grown baby carrots. The kids love them and they are great both roasted and eaten fresh. I find carrots much tastier at this time of the year. The carrots that I have grown over summer in the past have tended to go a little bitter and green. Carrots definitely seem to appreciate the cool of June, especially those grown in areas that get frost.