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In Season in Mid Winter in NSW

I’ve been reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, (which is un-put-down-able) and thinking about how lucky we are in Australia.  Our soils are old and mostly not very good.  But a year round growing season is such a bounty. Not many parts of Australia get actual snow, and my garden is pretty near frost free. But even in cold places, there is fresh produce available from within the 100 mile zone, or at least from within the state, pretty well most places.

This time of year is a glorious season for leafy greens for salads and stir fries and sauteéd greens. The short days have convinced things that want to bolt to seed that the best strategy is to wait, so there are lettuces and rocket, endive and sorrel, aragula and parsley, coriander and dill, raddicchio and mizuna.  The cooler weather is favouring things that wilt in summer, so there is celery and silver beet and spinach. The cabbage moths are gone, so even if you are buying non-organic, you will have half a chance, as they come into bearing over the next month, of scoring brassicas (cabbages, caulis, broccoli, chinese cabbages) that are not drenched in insecticide  – the fast chinese cabbages are already on.

Parsnips are at their best now, after the first frosts, and here are also carrots and leeks and spring onions and beets as basics.

This is also the peak of the lemon season – if you are inclined to make Lemon or Lime Cordial, Preserved LemonsLime Pickle, or Chilli Jam now’s the time.  Mandarins are in glut and we have  tangelos and navel oranges and grapefruit . The local farmer’s market also has lots of avocados. The flying foxes got our custard apples, but the farmer’s market has them too.

Macadamia nuts are also in season now, and macas with their monounsaturated fats (like olive oil), protein, wide range of minerals, B vitamins, and phytochemical antioxidants  are really good for you.

Winter sea mullet are super cheap, and really fresh mullet are one of my favourite fish (and a really high source of Omega 3). Tailor are also in season and they are one of the best eating fish there is on the sustainable list.

So that’s the ingredients I’m basing my cooking around at the moment.


{ 3 comments… add one }
  • cityhippyfarmgirl June 24, 2011, 8:11 am

    I loved reading that book. I’m sure the line from her husband was in there “why eat bad food when you can eat good food?” which has implanted in my mind ever since. Lots of good things in season at the moment.

  • Clare June 30, 2011, 2:29 pm

    I too adored that book – I keep getting it off the shelf and dipping into chapters, it’s beautifully written and so practical about the things that work and the things that didn’t go so well. I just love the chapter about turkey harvesting!

  • Inner Pickle July 6, 2011, 10:53 am

    I LOVED that book. I read it while we still lived in Sydney and it was part of the whole impetus to pull ourselves up by the roots and move out of town. Totally inspiring. I’m a huge winter greens fan, I loved this luscious seasonal post!

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