Monday, November 2, 2015

Getting somewhere

The other day, I picked some food from the garden, which I was quite chuffed with. It has only taken a lot of work to get our vegetable patch back in order, but the food production is starting to trickle in again.

Garden produce

Two monster zucchini, three stalks of rubarb, two radish (different varieties) and three eggs from the chickens. I actually got four that day, but the last one hadn't been laid when I took the photo.

What I also love about the eggs in this picture is, I also fed the radish leafs back to the chickens, which will produce us more eggs. So its not just food for us, but its food back into the system to keep it producing.

Dissected radishes

I mentioned two different varieties of radish. I'm not sure what they're called, but I purchased them in a mixed bag of seeds They were mild tasting, plus they were quite beautiful to look at too. I ate them, cut thinly, with a piece of cheese. It subdued the sharp flavour of the radish. I like radish as a side to something, not really by itself.

Leaf lettuce

I also have lettuce to eat, which has been nice with bacon and egg wraps, drizzled with Caesar sauce. Of course, what goes better with lettuce than tomatoes? But I am eagerly awaiting their blush of red to show.


All my red tomatoes this year are volunteers. I transplanted a few into containers, like the one above, but many have sprung up in the vegetable bed all by themselves. If they weren't in the way of something else, I simply staked them, and waiting for their plentiful bounty to start flowing.

Speaking about volunteer plants however, I have a really interesting one to share.

 Another volunteer

This is Tatsoi, and it sprang up near the paving I laid a few months ago. It's a very strange thing for Tatsoi to be growing this time of year, without going to seed. All my others have. I'm amazed how this one plant popped up, by itself, and it doesn't even get watered. Plus it also gets the hot western sun in the afternoon.

Needless to say, when it does go to seed, I will be collecting it! Growing at the corner of the paving, made it so much easier to avoid walking on it too. What was that permaculture principle, about edges? Was it use edges and value the marginal? Well yes, this Tatsoi, certainly seems to be exploiting that principle.

I love volunteer plants and I especially love collecting their seeds. More on seed collecting in another post.


  1. Is there anything more satisfying than your own harvest?....I'm pretty sure not.

    1. It is a wonderful feeling, to be eating the results of our efforts. But we're also getting fresh nutrients, so it feels good physically too. :)

      Are you eating anything fresh from your garden?

    2. We do not grow all our own food but we buy from neighbours and stalls around our neighbourhood - eschewing the super market is always a good policy. SO many folk grow there own food in our area and have little signs out the front of their yard advertising their surplus etc.

    3. That's really great to have that kind of arrangement in your neighbourhood. :)

  2. You're way ahead of me. I've only just sown zucchini seed and just planting tomatoes now. But then you're in a warmer climate, lucky you! I am getting eggs, though. Two a day on average.

    That tatsoi has it's roots in the cool moist soil under the pavers, that's probably why it's doing so well. Probably a reason for leaving larger gaps in paving, at least at the edges, and sprinkling seeds there in season (I think I just gave myself an idea).

  3. Great thinking about it being cool under the pavers. I knew there had to be a reason, it was doing so well. I thought perhaps because its on a slight incline, and any rain which did fall, fell to the bottom of the pavers, where the tatsoi was, made the difference. But I couldn't figure out why it wasn't baking in the afternoon sun.

    Because its cool under the pavers! Thanks for that suggestion. I'd love to see your experiment if you do it. :)

  4. I need to plant some radishes.... I always find they bolt in the heat, but maybe I have time.... love that tat soi in the pavers! I'm a bit between harvests at the moment, but we should have tomatoes, beans and squash very soon :)

    1. Do you find the radishes bolt, even under your shade cloth? I was surprised that my radishes haven't bolted to seed yet, and I planted them under the shade of the avocado tree. The ones I planted in the open several months ago however, went to seed even before winter was over.

  5. Everything looks wonderful and I note that you don't seem to have any insect damage to the leaves of your greens. We can grow tatsoi in spring if we are mindful to eat it right away but spring here can get warm very quickly. I am going to experiment with it in cold frames earlier than usual and later as well. I have never had problems with radishes bolting but I tend to grow them with other taller plants and pick them quickly. we eat them with butter and some salt but will try with cheese-same idea right?

    1. The insect damage is starting to appear now, as its getting warmer and the pests are breeding. I've seen plenty of lady-beetle action in the garden however, so they'll be munching on the pests for me.

      We have the same spring arrangements here, where it can bet warm very quick. Which is why I started planting at the tail end of winter. The worst months for growing food here, is the middle of winter and summer. Good luck with your cold frame experiments. They should bring you some early crops, or later ones. :)

      I'll have to try the radishes with butter and salt. Thanks for the idea.

    2. We just aim for providing some foods for Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas if we think ahead and plant in time. This year we didn't think far enough ahead but we will have carrots and beets in early spring if we mulch heavily. We have also had a too warm autumn anyway and haven't employed the cold frame technology (heat sink and covers. lol). It will be interesting to see how long the bed will last.


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love reading what you have to share. Gully Grove is a Spam free environment though, so new commenter’s only leaving hyperlinks, will be promptly composted.