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Nearly Summer In Season

The paw paws have been prolific this year.  We’re eating one a day most days, but they’re starting to slow down from now on.  The strawberries weren’t as good this year as last year, mostly because I got too busy in winter to plant out a new bed or mulch up and compost the old one, so they were a bit neglected and they paid out on me for it.  But this year looks like being another bumper year, like 2010, for mangoes. The trees are so laden, I’m thinking about green mango recipes. Our grape vines are also laden.

I live too far north and low for good stone fruits – we get some from a thick skinned seedling peach tree, but I’ve cut out most of the stone fruit. It’s just more work than a good permaculturist can justify to keep the fruit fly off.  But we do get some at the local Farmer’s Market coming from the northern Tablelands, which is nearly in my local zone as the crow flies, just 600 metres or so higher.

Blueberries are also just about to come into season and I’m lucky enough to live in a good blueberry growing region.

As far as vegetables go, it’s already well and truly summer in my garden.  No more brassicas – broccoli, kale, cabbage – but all the curcubits – tromboncino, squash, cucumbers. We’ve had lots of asparagus over the last few months, even having to rescue it regularly from wallabies that will go to extreme lengths for asparagus. But it’s time now to let it grow out. Rocket and flat leaf parsley are the main greens.

I’ve dug all the spring planted spuds now – this is the last of them.  Then no more potatoes until the autumn harvest comes in in May. This year I seem to have beaten the tomato viruses that plagued me year before last.  Last year I went very easy on tomatoes so as to rest most of the beds from them.  And it has worked. I’ve been harvesting Principe Borghese,  Roma, Yellow cherry, yellow pear, and Brandyvine  – a big bowlful every day. Beans are all bearing well. So far it has been mostly Rattlesnakes, bearing continuously and copiously for a couple of months now. But I also now have  Blue Lake and Purple King to choose from, and snake beans very soon.

My garlic is in, not so many as last year, and beetroot, for some reason, are doing well this year.

So that’s what I’m  basing my cooking around at the moment.  I’d love to hear what is in season in your garden.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Liz November 30, 2012, 11:08 am

    OK I’ll stop worrying that my blueberries are being slow if the season has yet to reach you then I have a while to go yet. Beetroot has done well for me this Spring too. Great that you have parsley – mine all bolted and the new plants are yet to fully establish – when do you sow seed? Or do you plants self seed – if i let mine do that I’d have too big a gap without parsley.

  • greenfumb November 30, 2012, 11:31 am

    The bandicoot didn’t get all my rattlesnakes so I’m a happy woman, I can pick them twice a day they’re growing so fast. He seems to have gone now anyway.

    How nice to have all those tomatoes already, I had a few that over wintered but the spring ones are only just ripening now. Our blueberries weren’t very good this year but the raspberries are fantastic, can;t believe how much better they taste than bought ones.

    I ordered your book on ebay in August and it only just arrived yesterday, will have a happy weekend reading it.

  • Linda November 30, 2012, 11:50 am

    Hi Liz, I sow a new round of flat leaf parsley most months from the winter to the summer solstice. Just a few plants each time, but they tend to bolt in the lengthening days so you can’t rely on them to last. Ones planted in the shortening days after the solstice will tend to last all the way through to next spring. That’s why you get a gap if you just rely on them self-seeding – they all want to do it at the same time in September-October.

  • Jessie - Rabid Little Hippy November 30, 2012, 6:50 pm

    We’re a LOT further south than you so spring (and snatches of summer) are here but the last of the frosts are only 2 weeks past. I’ve got a garden full of very small tomato seedlings and capsicums and a bed yet to plant out with more tomatoes. My zucchini and pumpkin seedlings are doing well and the beans are coming up fast. I’ve got scarlet runner, purple king, borlotti and cherokee wax butter beans planted so I should have some pretty coloured beans soon enough. I’ve not managed to get my peas in yet – still building the garden and getting ready to move in – but I’ll hopefully get the bed in this weekend and I’ll plant out my peas then. Better late than never hey. I’ve also got corn in and I’ll plant some more out this weekend. My watermelons aren’t doing so well but I’ll see if they’ve survived on Sunday. If not I’ll chalk it up to disturbing their roots and too much shade and try again next year. I’ve also got a tonne of sunflowers in, some are up, others not yet which will feed the chickens when they ripen. My spuds are going great too. I’ve planted them in apple crates so I can stack them up nice and high, then harvest via a removable slat on the bottom of the box. Means we can reuse the soil on other beds, replant the spuds in the same boxes without fear of breeding disease and also guarantee being able to harvest each and every one of them (I ended up with kipflers that still come up 4 years after I last harvested them in our current house – it’s a pain). I’m hoping we can harvest some early spuds for Christmas lunch.

  • englyn December 1, 2012, 12:34 am

    This is my first year having a veggie garden! Still feeling my way around what to plant when and working that around busy other things in life… most of my outrageous successes so far thanks to seedlings from my mother-in-law who is awesome. I still have more curly kale than I can cope with and my zucchinis become enormous while I’m not looking. Beetroots are good and I ate a huge one for dinner, I really enjoy the leaves too. The peas and broad beans have finished and I’ve only just got around to planting more beans, but they all seem to have come up along with the cucumbers and the cool rainy weather this week will have helped. I have some impromptu plants that are probably butternut pumpkin self seeded from compost, plus a pattypan squash, that are starting to take over the path, but not flowering yet. I have a monster self seeded tomato that’s turned into a bush about 1.5mx1.5m that I’m looking forward to the fruit of, if the caterpillars don’t get it before I do. Some blueberries ready and some peaches not yet ripe. My parsley completely bolted, glad it wasn’t something I did. I’m a bit worried about the rhubarb which is also enthusiastically flowering… Still have some carrots to harvest.

  • Kitchen garden December 4, 2012, 2:06 pm

    So jealous of the mangoes. Too cold here. And just to make it harder to bear lost the entire apricot crop to a river rat!

  • Linda December 4, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Jealous of apricots. I remember Tasmanian ones – so amazingly gorgeous. Don’t think I will ever eat apricots north of Victoria.

  • Lara December 9, 2012, 2:26 pm

    Have you ever made Green Papaya salad? You can use green pawpaws too. I can send you a recipe if you need one.

  • Linda December 9, 2012, 2:37 pm

    I’d love your recipe Lara.

  • Lara December 10, 2012, 7:41 am

    Took a private cooking lesson on our honeymoon in Thailand – best thing we did the whole trip!!
    You may need to double if using pawpaw as they are usually a larger fruit.
    Green Papaya Salad
    NOTE: papaya must be totally green without a blush of yellow anywhere
    Grate papaya after removing skin.
    mash in mortar & pestle:
    6 small cloves garlic
    1 chilli (remove seeds for less spicy)
    3 tsp sugar (pref cane)
    1 tsp or 1/2 cube chicken stock
    1 Tbsp fish sauce
    juice of one large lime
    *mash well at this stage
    Add
    a pinch of grated papaya
    1 tomato diced
    1 cup green beans in 2-3cm pieces
    a handfull of roasted peanuts
    Roughly combine in mortar & pestle, then add to remaining grated papaya.
    Enjoy!

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