Vegetable Patchwork

4 years in the making

Our Meyer lemon tree finally yields.
Oh the joy to be on toast. Big on lemon marmalade in this house…

The Lemons Are Coming


It’s taken 3 years but by golly we’ll have our very own lemon jelly marmalade this year!
OK I may be a little premature but I feel our little Myer Lemon needs all the encouragement it can get.


Zlutch, Zlaggard, Zander — Anyone got a collective noun for zucchini?

“Sir, when a man is tired of zucchini, he is tired of life; for there is in zucchini all that life can afford.”
It’s not widely known that Samuel Johnson, writer, poet, and lover of London Town was also a champion of the humble courgette (as it’s known in the UK). It’s July and we’re still looking to reinvent and redefine the humble zucchini — nay even celebrate its modest yet versatile charms — I want to express my thoughts and love for this most abundant of garden growths.

Harvesting zucchini this year was great and nothing beats fresh from the garden, sliced and pan fried with a little olive oil, black paper and generous squeeze of lemon. Dependable, lovable and surely one of the most satisfyingly easy fruits we grow in our backyard. The zucchini seems to get a raw deal when it comes to describing its general plentiful supply. Per plant (depending on variety and conditions) you can expect to yield between 12 and 30 fruit. Multiply this by three or four plants and I now understand why people in the past have laughed at me when I’ve told them that I’ve had five or six plants on the go.

Imagine my dismay then to find that no definitive collective noun exists for zucchini. How can this be? Openly we talk about bushels of apples and bunches of coconuts, even hills of beans. But nowhere can I find a definitive reference for zucchini. Whilst I have seen ‘glut’ used on occasion it just seems a little too generic and in no way respectful. So it’s with great excitement that I decided to create a collective noun for zucchini that will give a murder of crows a run for their money.

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Yellow Pears

Sweetest tasting tomatoes ever.


A second

It’s a Rock Melon party down the patch.
Small (but perfectly formed) of course. Average cost — $32.00

A first

Finally, after 4 months of patient watering has we have our very first water melon.
It’s small but perfectly formed and it’s probably worth in the region of $40 based on water taken to grow the bugger. Not sure about this sustainable living malarchy… that said #1 was extremely excited, so guess it’s all worth while. Lets see if it grows. Current size 5cm.

Zucchini 2014

The first zucchini of the season, sweet and tasty.


Cold (Frame) Comfort

Winter passed. Spring began and this time I was ready for those little frosts that we still get in Castlamaine even in November… The Latest from the CFT_Vegie Patch.

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Asparagus Rising

Spring is here, almost. We’ve certainly had some sun and we certainly have lift off. Our wonderful asparagus is making a welcome return. And it’s oh so the perfect vegetable that goes into one of our favourite Thai dishes which you can check out here

Weeding Hell 2

No stopping ’em now… buggers.

Weeding Hell

We’ve had some rain – Yippeee, but with rain comes weeds ;(
Parsley under attack.

The fruits of my labour

I’m chuffed to bits with what’s been happening in our back yard this summer. As the season changes it’s time to reflect on what was, what could have been and what will be, maybe.

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The patch of glory

January 2013

It’s boom time down in the patch. When we came back from Tasmania pretty much everything had gone gangbusters, though the green peppers came under heavy attack from our resident possums. A big thanks to our housesitter Melissa who looked after the garden, and Pikelet, very well.

The patch development – Spring 2012

September & October last year saw much activity in the patch. We chopped down a gum tree (with Ed the aborist’s blessing), purchased some large apple crates from Harcourt Coolstores, raised numerous seedlings and spread lots of horse poo. Hey, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.

Here I am, back in the bad hair day, chopping up the last of the tree with the aid of a mates’ chain saw.

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Hello zucchini

The heat has very much been on since my last post and the veggie patch has undergone some major developments. And the Results are coming – my first zucchini crop – and there’s nothing more rewarding.

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The zucchini is coming

Raising seedlings is almost like having children. I’m so proud of my little darlings.
But unlike children you get to eat the product of your labour, hopefully.

Some success but it’s not going to our heads…

Ok we’ve manage to grow some carrots that are at least consistently freakazoid.
but our celery is a success, the wild rocket is firing but not getting heads on the red cabbage is worrying.
– my super flat leaf rocket salad recipe is here too

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We’re getting better

At least one of them is semi-straight!

Here’s why this mishap (well a mishap if you like your carrots straight) has been caused. A simple school boy error as it turns out – make sure your soil is free from any stones and is well tilled. If the growing carrots hit an obstacle such a stone or I think in our case some compacted soil the root will fork to find a path of least resistance. That said the taste is still good and we think deformed carrots have lots of personality!

Welcome to our patch

It’s been a tricky first few months in the vegie garden.
Being new to country life, but eager to learn, we’ve already learnt some lessons. Like allowing our resident possum loose on our coriander and inviting Mr & Mrs Nasty Unspecified Caterpillar run amok among the silverbeet. But we’ve had some success: the Pak Choy has gone gangbusters, the leeks are on their way and the red cabbage is looking beautiful.

We’ve got a lot to learn

Herewith on display we offer our first carrot. Ahem.
#1’s face says it all as she heaved this hulking deformed excuse of a Daucus carota out of the ground.