Preparing the veggie beds for spring

Ok I am running a bit behind schedule. I should have got into my veggie beds a few weeks ago to prepare for spring and summer, luckily still have bit of time.

I haven’t blogged for awhile as I have been doing this online sewing course which I am thoroughly enjoying but now behind in that due to my gardening this weekend!! (was going to catch up on my sewing!).

Day 1 – Saturday

My dog and I went for a drive on route for our regular walk at the dam nearby and went and got some chook poo direct from a chook farm. Bags gone up now $5 a bag but still fresher and better value than buying it at a hardware/nursery. Last weekend I went and collected bags of cow manure straight from the paddock of a friends neighbour up the road. Preparation of your soil for your veggie beds is the key to growing great veggies. My grandfather swore by it and he of course is right. I prepare my soil now exactly like he use to so I thinker would be pleased I listened to him and mum too!!

I got some organic compost at the hardware store the other week as had a voucher so of course got gardening supplies!!

So here are the beds prior, which the nurstursims took over. Tools you will need and supplies.

20120826-110110.jpg

20120826-110128.jpg

20120826-110142.jpg

20120826-110204.jpg

20120826-110212.jpg

20120826-110228.jpg

Have put my manure (chook and cow) and compost down and working it into the beds. I am going to use two bags of organic compost as I am planting tomatoes again and they are very hungry eaters.

20120826-112219.jpg

Oh forgot to say I harvested my beds yesterday evening and have dug up number of plants to make it easier to get into the soil. Will transplant them later.

20120826-112455.jpg

Weekend cook off!!

We received the bad weather from the south – cool, miserable, wet – great weather to be indoors and to cook up a storm!!

Friday night started with a home-made gourmet pizza! … see http://wp.me/p2uQhk-1f for the pizza dough recipe. 

Home made pizza dough rising!

Gourmet pizza this weekend was chicken, sun dried tomatoes, olives, plus home grown ingredients – basil and pizza thyme.

Saturday night I cooked Pork belly with sticky Asian sauce in the slow cooker, with home grown asian greens – I grew the Pakchoy, my friend up the road gave me some home grown Kale! served with basmati rice. I wanted to try a new slow cooker recipe – was lip smacking delicious!! Sorry remembered the photo after we ate it! – see page 102 in the August (2012) edition of (Australian) Better Homes and Garden magazine for the recipe.

Picture from the magazine – Pork belly with sticky Asian sauce. Of course mine turned out just like this picture!!!

Sunday saw me making a Chicken and Leek Pie being made (fitting for the weather!) – was my first large pie I have made (have previously made pot pies), was fantastic!! I improvised a bit on this recipe http://wp.me/p2uQhk-1k. Home grown ingredients – parsley, chives, egg for glazing.

Ready to go into the oven

Cooked beautifully!

The Aussie tradition of having tomato sauce with a pie!…..Pie was delish!!

Then the chocolate brownies had to be made for afternoon tea! This recipe is a Donna Hay, so due to copyright you are going to have to go and buy the cookbook (I don’t want to get sued by Donna Hay!)….these are her Standby Brownies” – easy and fantastic! I am now addicted to them!! Home grown ingredients – 3 x eggs!

Ingredients for Standby Brownies

Ready for the oven

Ready for afternoon tea!

Afternoon tea anyone?!

The Pumpkin Soup is in the slow cooker – this is a Sally Wise’s recipe, easy and delish so go and buy her ‘Slow Cooker’ book 1 from good book stores. This is not one of my pumpkins – still waiting for my pumpkins to fertilise – have one looking promising.  This pumpkin is direct from a Gatton farmer purchased as his gate! Home grown ingredients – well just the chives for garnish!

Easy as Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin in the slow cooker

Perfect for a winters night!! note the home grown chives!!

This week and the rest of the year sees me jogging around the block many times to work off this weekends cook off! Lucky I have a chest freezer too – if you don’t have one go and buy one brilliant for freezing lots of left overs!! (I cook extra and get a number of meals) – use the frozen left overs for a no fuss and tasty meal during the week!

How it started!

My vegie patch started from my love of gardening and also certaintly from my roots – growing up on a sheep property in New South Wales…..my family and my partner’s family also, are all very big gardeners and always grown their own herbs and vegetables – just the thing you did growing up out in the country in Australia.  Much fresher, cheaper, better for you – and living on a property out of town that was our food source.

My two large vegie beds http://wp.me/p2uQhk-w were made by my partner with non-treated wood. I also have two smaller vegie beds made out of corrugated iron vegie beds (pre made/kit form bought at that large hardware store!) – they were my initial vegie beds while we were working out the sun in the yard.

I practice organic principles in my herb and vegie gardens. I however buy seedlings from a stall holder at the farmers markets (at the Big Pineapple on the Coast Saturday mornings) – don’t think they are organic seeds or propagated organically – however they are strong seedlings and grow very well and very reasonably priced, better than what you can buy at the shops. Also not easy to buy organic seeds, though now becoming more popular – better selection online I find. 

I have been growing some of my own seedlings from scratch – generally the easy vegies like cucumbers, chillies and corn very easy from seed – however some other vegies that are a bit harder to propagate, like carrots I just buy those vegies as seedlings, as they take forever to grow anyway! Will do a post later on about propagating seeds and show you my progress.

Enough typing think it is time to show you some photos of my vegie garden during different seasons to date – I have had my corrugated beds in about 18 months and my wooden garden beds have been in nearly a year.