A Gardening Weekend: Plus a Yummy Garden Salad
It's really been a fabulous weekend for gardening - very still, and just warm enough to feel the sunshine without roasting. Saturday was our monthly meet up, where we bring our excess produce into town and meet up with other local gardeners, swapping and chatting about our gardens and all kinds of things. I love it - it's the kind of social event that makes my heeart melt. Susie and Brian bought scones with jam and cream and their gorgeous border collie Mollie, Lisa brought a plum slice, and there were all kinds of summer harvest vegetables from tomatoes and zucchinis to herbs, and lots of seeds, including asparagus seed. It really is a beautiful thing to be part of, especially with so much crap going on in the world. None of us talked about any of that, but talked about good things - puppies, fertiliser, polytunnels, flower shows, local history. There were some new members also, shyly on the outskirts then bolder as they were welcomed into the fold. Some had worried about coming for months, thinking themselves outsiders, but to the credit of the older members of the group, they left feeling pretty warm, fuzzy and part of something.
Sunday was spent generally tidying up the garden, and planting winter seeds - brassicas, leeks, beetroot, silverbeet, swedes. I also collected a lot of seeds to dry and store - eggplant, tiny orange capsicum (they've gone brilliantly in the wicking tubs in the greenhouse), chillis and so on.
I was thrilled with my eggplants this year. The polytunnel gave them a head start and they've had a chance to ripen before the weather gets too cold, which never happens. I've been learning slowly about what works and what doesn't, and I'm looking forward to next year where I think I'll have more of a handle on it. Of course, fried eggplant, beautifully soft and chargrilled, was a must - absolutley next level with fresh eggplant you've only just brought inside!
Poor old Jamie was stuck in the shed building a gearbox, so I thought I'd be a good wife and make him lunch. To me, there's nothing better than a garden salad, of which the eggplant formed a base. Chopped cucumber, sliced chillis, orange capsicum, tomatoes and some thinly sliced red onions for me (a swap at the meet up) and a dressing of coconut yoghurt mixed with some tahini, lemon and fire cider AND some fried tempeh (flavoured with a splash of tempeh and some smoked paprika) and you've got something pretty tasty on your hands!
There's more to tell, such as a local currency exchange that I might be getting involved with, but I've got a heap more seeds to process, a loaf of seed bread to make, tomatoes to dry in the dehydrator, another mugwort, tulsi and lavender oxymel to make. I gave some away at the meet up, alongside fire cider - poor gardeners were accosted with the smell of vinegar as I enthused about vinegar tinctures and herbs.
Plus, my kitchen is a mess.
How was your weekend?
How are your gardens going?