Have had a clear out of the vege garden. I must admit with the trials and tribulations of last year the vege garden has not received the attention it deserved. It was one of the things that got let go when I had my "I cannot do it all" crisis of last April. Still, a few bits were planted and sporadically watered, mostly after R&R trips to the local plant nursery. Lucky for the plants we had an unusually damp winter and spring - okay well maybe usually damp but after seven years of drought I'm kind-of used to no rain.
Anyway, in my bit of Sydney with its warm temperate climate and one frost every four years we don't really have a fallow winter period in the garden. Through winter is actually a busy planting and growing time - unlike other parts of Australia like Tasmania that follow a much more 'traditional' (ie British) gardening cycle (only in reverse cos we're yanno down under).
However, the quiet time in the garden in Sydney tends to be December/January. Its so hot that any seedlings you plant get burnt off on the first 30+ day with dry westerly winds, anything remotely established goes nuts in the heat and bolts to seed or sucks up too much water when you water it and all the fruit splits (yes I'm glaring at YOU cherry tomatos).
So, with this in mind we're preparing the vege beds for planting starting in February/March. This basically entails digging up the grass clippings from where they've been rotting under the hibiscus all year and using them to cover over a layer of dynamic lifter (which is pelletised chook shit and my god does it stink). I've gone an invested in some blood&bone, dolomite lime and potash for fertilising the various beds further, but I'll get around to that later on. The important bit for now was to get beds cleared and settling down ready for planting.
We've decided to turn the 'leisure' (read neglected over-grown tick/spider/mozzie infested) area around the pool into a vege garden as well. First we (read hubby) had to remove the struggling and ill-thought-out (read not planted by me) palms that were already there.
Celery, potatos and red cabbage. Due to lack of watering the celery is tough and stringy, so basically inedible raw, but just fine in casseroles done in the slow cooker - so its been blanched and frozen. The potatos are just lovely. Steamed with a bit of butter - potatoy perfection.
Then there is the cabbage. Last night, positively glowing with excitement I set out to make braised cabbage.
Cooked for 90 minutes with red-current jelly, port, orange juice and vinegar. How did it taste?
Vile. Yes. V.I.L.E. VILE. The house still reeks of it and the smell makes my stomach turn. Oh I cannot describe how AWFUL it was. Kind of almost like overcooked cauliflower and at the same time sickly sweet. Hubby said he liked it, but he's scared if he says anything else I'll never have sex with him again.
I recovered from the cabbage disaster by eating chocolate. So HURRAY for the diet. HURRAY.
Its ALL Marvellous.