Home' Northern Outlook : June 29th 2013 Contents 15
NORTHERN OUTLOOK, JUNE 29, 2013
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Broad beans lift spirits
This column is adapted from
the e-newsletter Get Growing
from New Zealand Gardener,
the country's top selling
gardening magazine. To
subscribe to Get Growing (it's
free!), visit the NZ Gardener
website at nzgardener.co.nz,
and click on the Get Growing
tab. To subscribe visit
mags4gifts.co.nz or call
0800 mags 4 gifts.
Make lemon honey
EVERY YEAR I sow far too
many broad beans. I can t
Watching their green sprouts
burst out of the chilly soil lifts my
spirits and offers hope that spring
isn t too far away...even though
I know winter is only getting
Broad beans are one of the few
veges that germinate reliably in
cold soil, so sow them direct.
Space the seeds 20cm apart, and 2
to 4cm deep. They will sprout in
10 to 14 days but won t flower
until the weather warms up
again. In the meantime, however,
you can nip the tips off the plants.
This encourages them to bush up
and, more importantly, provides
an extra source of nutritious fresh
Tender broad bean tips can be
chopped raw into salads or ever so
briefly stir-fried with garlic and a
little butter for a nice change from
spinach and silverbeet.
DO A STOCKTAKE
Don t let the rain, snow and
frosts get you down.
When the weather isn t
conducive to getting much done,
one of my favourite winter
gardening activities is to conduct
a seasonal stocktake.
Rug up warm -- don your
gumboots, thick socks, a scarf,
gloves, jacket and beanie -- and
spend an hour pottering about in
your plot, taking note of what s
growing. I bet you ll be amazed
how much you find.
My winter vege garden is the
worst it has ever been -- a
hangover from the summer
drought, when I couldn t plant
anything, and the late stages of
pregnancy, when I couldn t be
bothered planting anything!
Then, of course, in early
autumn, when I should have been
planting brassicas, I was busy
with my second baby -- all of
which means my garden has been
largely neglected for six months.
Nonetheless, nature never takes
Despite my inattention, a stroll
through my garden this morning
has revealed: baby carrots, lots of
beetroot in shades of red, white
and yellow, Florence fennel,
seasonally confused globe
artichokes, self-sown celery
(scrawny, but no less crisp and
tasty), silverbeet, Swiss chard in
several colours, spinach (native
and Perpetual), Tuscan kale
(cavolo nero), red mustard, self-
sown Buttercrunch lettuces (a
little hen-pecked in places, but
enough for a salad, chicory, peas,
tiny yams, self-sown Romanesco
broccoli (they have weeny heads
but I ll whip them off, encouraging
side sprouting stems), loads of
mint, oregano, sage, thyme and
bay leaves to add flavour to soups
There s also a row of spuds I
forgot to dig up in summer. They
must have died down during the
drought, only to lay dormant until
the first autumn rains in early
March, when they re-sprouted.
Bonus! Three months later I have
sweet, tender-skinned, small, new
Plant garlic, shallots and
punnets of silverbeet, spinach,
cauliflowers, cabbages, broccoli,
bok choy and kale. Water
seedlings with warm water to
limit transplant shock.
SOW SPEEDY PEAS
On April 18, we sowed 18 varieties
of peas as a trial, including dwarf,
climbing, sugar snap and snow
peas. The first to flower was Petit
Provencal -- and it s already pro-
ducing its first pods.
Although this French heirloom
dwarf pea is traditionally grown
for shelling, the pods are super
sweet and juicy, so you can eat
some of the pods as snow peas
while you wait for the rest to swell
up.Petit Provencal doesn t need
staking and prefers cool weather,
so there s nothing to stop you sow-
ing it now.
Available from Kings Seeds.
If your lemon tree is laden with fruit, make lemon honey. Rich, sweet
and buttery, it's just what you need to smear on toast or pancakes for
breakfast. (Winter, let's face it, is no time for dieting.)
I use the classic Edmonds Cookery Book recipe and sometimes mix
it up, making orange honey or mandarin honey or tangy grapefruit
To make your own, melt 50g butter in a double boiler or a bowl over
a pot of simmering water.
Stir in 3G4 cup sugar and 1 cup of your choice of citrus juice.
Keep stirring till the sugar has dissolved, then add 2 lightly beaten
eggs and 1 teaspoon (or more if you desire) of citrus zest. Cook until
the mixture thickens, stirring constantly, then pour into clean jars.
Store in the fridge. Because it contains eggs, eat within 2 to 3 weeks.
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