Saturday, January 30, 2010

garden meanderings

About those artichokes, ahem. It may not look like many in the basket but it took ages to trim them down to almost nothing with a small knife and have another go. Too late I looked up Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle, Julia Child) full of loads of ideas. Too late I read my trusty Koanga Garden Guide (Kay Baxter) and found out they were a seasonal harvest. Somehow I imagined they would flower on indefinitely and I could play around with them but looks like that might be this years bounty and now they are boiled and sitting in french dressing in the fridge and they don't look good. As for eating them, I'm on my own. Sorry Jen, I'm going to need some direction.
(Saw this wheelbarrow while we were in Waimate and it just took my fancy. What a workhorse.)

One thing about growing vegetables you quickly get into a seasonal rhythm because unlike the supermarket, in the garden things aren't normally available all year around. Or if they are, like potatoes, they are changing all the time. New potatoes at first that are good for boiling whole, potato salads etc. As time marches on the skins get tougher and won't scrape off anymore, now they need peeling. Later still the starches in the potato change, they are drier and can now be mashed and baked and make great roast potatoes and chips.
Well runner beans are one of those few things that you can just pick every other day for weeks. There will often be both a flower and a full grown bean on the same spray.

This magnificent example is at Mum's place growing behind the clothesline. I took a lot of photos of thrifty, creative gardens in Nelson; this would have to be the smallest. Note to self: a small garden is easier to maintain.
The vegetable garden is in such disarray at the moment that I've taken to my own flower garden at the house with new enthusiasm. I can get great results in a short space of time and everytime I look out the window I can enjoy seeing the difference.
I have ventured out to the vegetable garden to water the broccolli which has little heads peeping through. There are a few particular times when plenty of water pays off for yield and this is one of them. If something is producing continually of course then it's going to need continuous water too.

So getting back to those potatoes which are turning a little starchy.
Spiced Indian Potatoes
Scrub and boil them whole for 15 mins then cut into cubes. Oven: about 200 C. Grease the tray. Spread out one layer deep. Drizzle over a little oil, finely grate fresh ginger over and sprinkle on spice mix: 1 t cumin ground, 1/2 t cumin seed, 1 t salt, pinch of cayenne. Mix and bake about 25 mins. Enjoy. Posted by Picasa


  1. Oh yum. I'm looking at those spiced indian potatoes before I've even had breakfast and they're making me hungry.
    Hey why not bottle your artichoke hearts, you know, like those jars at the supermarket that they charge about a million dollars for? You could have them on pizza in the dead of winter and feel all summery again.
    I do love the details in your posts. Mum's scarlet runner bean really made me laugh as did that wheelbarrow.

  2. oh that wheelbarrow is just gorgeous - and the solo runner bean, you have to say mum will get her gardening fix no matter how little space she has to play in. I'm sure your flower garden is looking splendid - oh to be able to garden - I just haven't the interest or patience and it won't be cultivated.

  3. Hi Miri many thanks to Bill for hanging the painting. Also Kate and Edwin ( the english couple - you went to their place with me one night)are having a holiday in Naseby soon. I suggested they might be able to visit your place. They would find it interesting. Would that be ok with you?