Its funny how the time spent out in the garden digging, weeding and collecting chicken poop for the compost bin doesn't seem like work to me and painting does.... but my increasing efforts to grow and expand the productivity of my own garden and to take on additional growing space is paying off! This April I have met my challenge and included homegrown food on the table for every day in the last month! (apart from a few days when we have eaten out with friends etc). Last year I came pretty close but this year there was a lot more variety and multiple ingredients.
A summary for the top ingredients for the month of April is as follows:
- egg plants
This year these mini heritage eggplants that I grew from seed saved from last years fruit (my first successful attempt to germinate eggplant seed) were my best yielding eggplants. I have mostly been including in various versions of Thai style curry and combined with my regular 'Lebanese' eggplants to make 'Chinese chilli' eggplant' with free range pork mince.
|Italian heirloom- Listada Di Gandia - from 'Diggers' seedling stock|
Here are the very last of some sad end of season tomatoes- no good for salad but can honestly say there's no way you can tell the difference in the flavour after they have been slow cooked with a pork shoulder for a couple of hours and popped into a tortilla from our local yet authentic 'tortilleria' called La Tortilleria.
|Sad tomatoes- the yellow ones have me stumped- they refuse to turn any shade of red- but seem ripe as is. I didn't knowingly plant any yellow varieties?|
Its been a big month for Mexican with my first attempt to grow and harvest tomatillo, a massive success! I have yielded a couple pf kilograms from my two plants at the community garden patch. I have seen them for sale for $19.99kg at gourmet grocer at the Vic Market. My girlfriend and I are therefore seriously contemplating whether we turn the community garden plot into a tomatillo farm. Last year I posted a recipe for tomatillo green salsa which I have subsequently found not only makes a great topping for tacos, but also for poached eggs and as a spread inside ham and cheese toasties- YUM! other friends have been experimenting as a topping for pork chops and in a 'vegan' Mexican dish.....
|A bowl of tomatillos, 'surprise' padron chilli and the finished salsa.|
I think May could be a more difficult month than April- as I am waiting for winter crops to come on board. Thankfully I still have the last of the eggplants, heaps of capsicums and chillies and tomatoes in the freezer. The beans (that went in late) are showing no signs of letting up yet and I have one hen still laying for now!