Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

Another Garden Update

August 31, 2013

Well, its been exactly 8 weeks since these seeds were sown and I must admit I have harvested a bit too, last weekend! The mizuna and rocket have grown enough to harvest for one salad at a time, and are very nice indeed at this time of year, because as of tomorrow (!!!!) its going to be Spring! I don’t think I’ve been as excited about Spring as I am this year, mainly because I have my own garden again after 13 months of renting, and also this is the first garden I’ve ever had in sunny Melbourne. Speaking of sunny, we got up to around 23ยฐC today which was really so restorative after the mostly-rainy week we had, and a wonderful reminder that Spring is literally only one day away.

Anyway. So tomorrow I am planning to make a (healthy) lasagna and have a salad of rocket, mizuna, & radishes on the side. Check them out:

Rocket 2

The rocket is actually starting to look like rocket, with its characteristic lobed leaves. And here’s the mizuna:

Mizuna 2

The red mizuna doesn’t show very well against the dark soil but its definitely there… perhaps if I remember tomorrow I’ll take a photo of the salad on the plate!

The spinach will hopefully be ready for harvesting in the next few weeks too… or I might have to take some microgreens because I seem to have a problem with spacing:

Spinach 2

And the carrots, while still a couple of months away from harvesting, are getting bushy by the day:

Carrots 2

And just for something different, there is some fruit planted in my garden as well, these strawberries are planted along the front edge of where the veggies are growing:

Strawberry leaves

And remember the poppies & snapdragons I planted way back when? The poppies have been loving the rainy weather, and have just started blooming this week:

Poppy

I’m going to save the seeds from these yellow ones, I just love them!

Last weekend, I planted another round of seeds: Mizuna, chives, dill, coriander, mignonette lettuce, baby cos lettuce, and two rows of Italian “Lollo” lettuce which are an especially ruffled variety that comes in both red & green. To my surprise a lot of the lettuce seedlings have already sprouted. Lettuce seedlings really do start out as the tiniest seedlings ever, I can see why many gardenersย  prefer to buy them as seedlings. But I am yet to find a range of lettuce as good as on Diggers or Eden Seeds in any nursery or garden centre. Besides, you buy a packet of seeds for half the price of a punnet of seedlings, they keep for years, and you can grow between 200 & 350 lettuces from each packet! Now that’s what I call value. I’m sure these tiny seedlings will get bigger by next weekend, as its going to be a warm and sunny week if the weather report is not lying to me!

Lettuce seedlings

Yes I do have a problem with spacing. I might try (more experimenting!) to transplant some to elsewhere in the garden once they’ve got their first set of true leaves.

I wasn’t the only one enjoying the sun today, my two cats were also thawing out outside with me today. Here is my old lady cat Puss laying next to a pot of Liliums which have also shot up over the last week. Its all starting to happen! So exciting ๐Ÿ™‚

Puddy cat

Carrots, and spinach

December 15, 2008

For once we had a beauuutiful day today, so when I got home at 4pm it was still sunny enough to work in the garden. I started on picking all my spinach, because it was starting to get flower buds! I pulled out all the plants (8 of them) and picked off all the good leaves, and put the rest on the compost heap. I got a whole sink full (first photo) and then went with my boss’s suggestion of chopping it up, blanching it in boiling water & freezing it in portions. I got 3 good-sized portions basing them on how much I use for a batch of spinach pasta or gnocchi. Thanks for your suggestion Harry!!

The second photo is my bumper crop of carrots that I pulled today. I have sort of been ignoring them for the last few months, since they seemed to be taking forever to get big enough to eat. After I cleared the spinach patch, I was weeding around the carrots which were next to the spinach, and I noticed some of the tops sticking out of the soil… So I pulled some & they were huge!! I ended up pulling most of them out & gave my second neighbour a bunch too. Where the spinach used to be, I have sowed some mesclun lettuce mix, and some more carrots. Click the photos to enlarge.

Pasta with Tuna & Spinach

November 25, 2008

spinach2

Since my spinach in the veggeie patch is getting gigantic (I blame the cool wet weather for the growth spurt) so I thought I better use some in tonight’s meal. I had a look around the kitchen….no chicken…no bacon…. what am I going to make! Then in the pantry I found two small tins of tuna, and I thought this might just work…

You will need:

Some tuna (I used chunks in springwater)

300 mL cream

1 onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine

Some spinach, some pasta, and some pepper to taste.

Method:

Put your pasta on to cook, and while it’s cooking make the sauce.

In a medium frying pan, cook the onion in a little butter until tender & slightly browned. Add tuna & white wine, breaking up the tuna chunks as it simmers. Reduce until there is almost no liquid left, and then add the cream and grind a good amount of pepper to season. Drain cooked pasta, and transfer back into the pot. Pour sauce onto pasta and stir through. Roughly tear spinach into managable pieces, and stir through the pasta (you may need to turn the heat on low). Cook until spinach is wilted. Serve & enjoy!

spinach-pasta

Spinach!!

November 18, 2008

Here is my first spinach harvest of the year! I am treating my spinach in the same way as my bol choi & mesclun lettuce, harvesting what I need instead of uprooting the whole plant. Hopefully that’ll mean I can harvest more over a longer period. This spinach I think is the English type, with smooth arrowhead leaves on thin stems, and the leaves tend to lay against the ground instead of sticking up straight. This is destined to be in a pasta sauce with cream & mushrooms! Yummm.

A day in the garden

November 11, 2008

I did some fairly major gardening work today. By 2pm I had a huge pile of weeds on the lawn that I had pulled out, and some encouragingly clear earth in my southern garden bed. I decided I needed some flower seedlings, so I to my local garden centre to pick some up. I bought some snapdragons, dahlias, and lobelias. My snapdragons seedlings I started in early spring are taking an agonisingly long time to grow bigger, and only have 4 leaves so far. Next year I will start them winter so by the time November comes hopefully they’ll be a good transplanting size. I love saving seeds from snapdragons, they have the cutest pointed seedpods and all you do it tip the seeds out ๐Ÿ™‚ The ones I bought today are the very tall variety, so I will save some from those, as I’ve only got seeds from the dwarf variety.

I also bought some climbing bean seedlings, and made little bamboo wigwams for them to climb on. They are so innocent-looking at this age…

bean-seedling

Here is a small piece of my eastern garden bed. In the photo are Campanula glomerata (with the purple flowers), a Moss Rose (behind the centre Campanula, with the red buds), wild Delphiniums (on either side of the rose bush) and dark purple Irises (bottom right hand corner with the pointed leaves), as well as a few ofhter things if you can spot them. This bed is coming along quite nicely, slowly getting that nice mixture of plants that start to grow into eachother.

garden-bed-1

Here is part of my southern bed, newly weed-free. Going from the bottom right hand corner towards the left: Asiatic Lilies, Gladiolas, Cornflowers, Sweet Peas & Dianthus.

garden-bed-2

Here is an up-close shot of the Lilies in the photo. I’m expecting big things from this group!

lily-buds

Here is my bok choi patch at the moment. It’s getting bigger! I think I will have to start giving some to my friends.

bok-choi-vines

My tomatoes are getting really big & lush, and my spinach (on the right) is too. The whole garden has been loving the warm weather we’ve been having this week.

tomatoes-spinach

The cats were both outside with me for most of the day, enjoying the sunshine with me. I have another day off tomorrow, maybe I’ll do some more gardening ๐Ÿ˜€