Carrot top

There’s some beautiful Autumn colour in the garden at the moment, and it’s not just in the trees. Our carrots are looking good enough to eat!

A lush green top is a good indication that your carrots are ready for the picking. Gently brush away the dirt at the top of the carrot – depending on the type, the diameter should be between 2.5-3cm.

Carefully slide downwards into the dirt along the length of the carrot with your finger. If it’s too short, leave the carrot for about a week, then check again.

Ours are looking pretty good and because I’m in a baking mood, I’m thinking carrot muffins!



All Change

This weekend at Mulberry Tree Farm saw the season change to Autumn.

It’s been a hot summer and we’re lucky that we still have feed for The Boys. Drought is a very real and scary prospect for farmers, and our thoughts are with all who are experiencing this.

The changing seasons are my favourite, and I’m looking forward to the leaves turning and bursting with colour.

We’ll be preparing the veggie patch for its autumn crop of broccoli, onions and radishes!

So farewell Summer. Thank you for our tomatoes and peaches and mulberries.

And for the beautiful sunsets!


We Love Different

When you grocery shop, have you noticed the perfect fruit and vegetables on offer?

I admit I never did until I started to grow my own. The produce that makes the cut in supermarkets and green grocer’s displays is like the last ten standing in a beauty pageant. Only the “best” go on show?

But what about the slightly imperfect, quirky or funny ones? When it’s fresh produce, they taste better than the one’s in store. And when they’re your own, you love them just as much… And some of them love you back too!


Not-so-slim pickings

Things are looking particularly rosy in our veggie patch at the moment. The tomatoes are ready and ripe for the picking!

We’ve had a very productive season with last year’s left over tomatoes sprouting themselves! Nature has a wonderful way of rejuvenating itself that I think even Lana Del Ray would appreciate!

With these plentiful pickings, our family and friends love us! And with this beautiful seasonal produce, soon I’ll be sourcing tomato passata recipes in readiness for winter stews and pasta dishes to enjoy these blushing beauties year-round.

Here’s this week’s haul.


Street Food

We’ve just returned from a trip to the Big Smoke and were super excited to see street trees beating fruit!

A beautiful apple tree was fully adorned with fruit in one of the high streets.

And a pear tree was laden, making me dream up a poached pear with cinnamon and ice cream dessert.

Street foraging is already popular in California, USA, and I think it’s fabulous.

If you have a nature strip that’s needing a little TLC, why not plant a fruit tree? It will brighten your place with its foliage, and even more so with the conversations you’ll have with passers by admiring your tree. You might even make a new friend, because there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when someone gives you food of which they are the custodians!



Fruitiful Breakfast

We’re off to a good start this morning with a bowl of fresh in-season fruit. And the anti-oxidant packed mulberries are very low carbon miles because they’re straight from our tree!

I’m loving the watermelon and mango that’s adorning the shelves of the local grocer too. Their flavours are so intense, making them a joy to eat!

And the best thing about eating seasonal produce is that we can look after our health. The different nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are delivered in the produce of the season keep us well nurtured for the conditions at hand.

Bon appetit!


Pumpkin Patch Produce

Did you know that pumpkin flowers make for delicious food?! I didn’t until yesterday, so once they’re ready Hubby is going to cook them up!

We love eating zucchini flowers, so much so that one year we ate too many and missed out on our zucchinis… But we learned a very important lesson in the process – let nature do its work first!

With pumpkins, you can eat the male flowers and this won’t affect the pumpkin production. The male flowers are those without a pumpkin growing behind them.

Looking at these, I’m sure they’ll be beauties! I’m hungry for pumpkin flowers already!


Flowers for Bees

It seems everyone is abuzz about bees at the moment… And rightly so – they are amazing animals that are instrumental in our food production via their pollination.

And many people are establishing their own hives in areas that bees haven’t traditionally been, all in an effort to increase the bee population.

Scientists have mixed opinions on these new hives. Some say it is helping to maintain the population, while others view these new hives as disruptive to already established hives.

But, there is something we can all do to help bees that doesn’t involve tending a hive. We can grow flowers that bees love!

It’s a good idea to plant flowers native to your area. For us, that includes bottle brushes, eucalyptus and tea tree.

Bees love lavender too, and our garden has quite a bit already, so I’m feeling happy that we’re helping these bee-autiful bees!

Here’s some further fodder to feed on! (source: Tumblr)


Summer harvest!

After the Christmas festivities, Hubby’s been out in the veggie patch and found our shallots and garlics are ready! The aroma is amazing!

And the dear old mulberry tree is bursting with beautiful dark berries. The flavour is intensely delicious and my fingers are stained a beautiful dark purple… So is my tongue: evidence that I may have eaten more than I’ve picked!

With this fresh harvest, we’ve suddenly recovered from our Christmas Food overdose! We’re thinking yabbie tail pasta with shallots and garlic, and mulberries for dessert with a good dash of ice cream!



On the menu!

We’ve been menu planning this morning, crafting dishes based on our very own harvest! And it’s so exciting!

Picking what you’ve grown is satisfying! The scissors seem extra sharp as they snip the stem of the artichokes, and the kale is so crisp it snaps away in one clean break. The shallots burst out of the ground and the mint waves in the wind as if to signal “Pick ME!”

For entree, I’ll boil the artichokes in salted water for 15 minutes, leaving around 5cm of the stem on. The stem cooks exactly like the heart. Hubby likes to sprinkle white wine vinegar over his for a flavour kick.

For main course, the kale, shallots and mint will make the base of a salad and we’ll add roasted beetroot and goats cheese, then top with some toasted hazelnuts.

In the meantime, I’m very happy to have these veggie beauties adorning our kitchen bench!