Winter in the Garden

Winter was a long time coming this year in the sub-tropics. This meant having to wait longer to plant cool weather crops like broccoli and bok choy. It was late April before it had cooled off enough to sow the seeds, and even through May we had many hot days. The bok choy came up fairly quickly and the leaves make a lovely addition to curries and stir-fried veges. The broccoli is all leaves at present, and I hope the heads start to show soon. As usual I’ve planted them too close. The spacing always looks ok at first! The bed looks particularly crowded partly because of this and also due to all the lettuce which self-seeded after I let last summer’s crop go to seed. What we don’t eat the chickens do!

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The beans have done well so far this winter. The handful of pumpkins harvested in autumn continue to keep us in soups, pumpkin and prune cake, and pumpkin pie. Oven-baked pumpkin wedges with salt, pepper, olive oil, and garlic are also delicious. My second planting of Jarrahdale seeds only resulted in 1 pumpkin, and just to be different I decided to enter it in the Mudgeeraba Show because I’ve only ever seen Japs exhibited. Because only one had grown I was reluctant to give it up, but it was totally worth it to go to the Show last weekend and see this. IMG_0965I trust that whoever got to take it home is really enjoying making lots of delicious pumpkin recipes!

Even though it’s the height of winter, the mulberry decided to set some fruit after I pruned it. Not sure if they will ripen though. A trellis has been built for the passionfruit which monstered the chook run in summer.  Mr Simply Will is renowned for over-engineering his building projects, and it’s sure never to fall down! And when spring approaches I’ll be keeping a close eye on my tropical apple tree, hoping for some flowers that might signal a small crop next autumn. I have visions of crunching into a just-picked apple, making apple crumble, and trying my hand at apple cider….though this might be several years away! And finally, there is lots of turmeric, ginger, and lemon grass growing, and I must find some more uses for it all.

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It would be wonderful to be able to go into the garden every day and pick armloads of vegetables. But for now I’ll be content to pick a bit of this and a bit of that every couple of days from my winter garden. My winter produce can be added to meals, and I can give a little away here and there. Do let me know what’s growing in your garden in winter. And any recipes using turmeric and ginger would be appreciated!

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2 Comments
  • Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations on the pumpkin in the show Joanne, how wonderful. I do love reading your blog and hope to get my own vege patch growing after our Reno is finished, hopefully by Spring. Love Elizabeth

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