It’s seed ordering time. This is Romanesco broccoli. Possibly the most beautiful vegetable in the world – almost too good to eat. It’s similar to its cousins broccoli and cauliflower. I found this beauty in the garden the other day having forgotten I’d planted it in the summer. It tasted nearly as good as it looked and at this time of year was untroubled by the cabbage white butterflies. I think it’s magical you can sow a seed and only a few months later be eating something like this. If you want to learn more about growing from seed, sign up for a ‘fresh food garden’ course.
The chooks are laying again so I made an easy ‘lemon delicious’ slice using their eggs and homegrown lemons – a shortbread base with a lemon meringue topping. The name says it all. We’ve made the chooks a new perching ladder out of a few gum branches lashed together. Everyone seems to know their place and, after a bit of gratuitous pecking, they settle down on it for the night very happily. We can replace the perch periodically to get rid of the mites that like to make their homes in the crevices. We also add a clove of garlic in the chooks’ water to help keep them free from other parasites. I thought that their eggs might taste of garlic, but haven’t been able to detect anything.
looking after your seeds
Good seeds will keep for a number of years if you keep them dry. Keep them in an airtight container somewhere cool and dark. Add some dehydrating crystals (you get them sometimes in new luggage). Even when I go out to sow, I seal my seeds in an old icecream container to protect them if I water them or leave them out in the rain. My favourite seeds come from Kings Seeds and generally arrive within a week of ordering them. I include a date of sowing and the name and variety on the labels (usually sliced up plastic milk cartons).
Try some old favourites and something new each year. Only a few more weeks before it will be warm enough to sow in Wellington. It will certainly be wet enough.