IT'S AUTUMN......TIME TO GET THOSE VEGGIES IN THE GROUND!

I am a planner! I can't help it.... thats the way I am. So when it comes to planting out the vegetable garden I plan, I write notes and even try to do the whole crop rotation thing. I will order seeds online...I go to local markets....nurseries.... hunting down what I need and I love every second of it. 

Eden seeds are great https://www.edenseeds.com.au They have a fantastic range of heirloom and European varieties. Think Italian Kale, Welsh Leeks, Japanese Mustard Greens. I also order from Diggers Club www.diggers.com.au/‎ and their range is huge. I like mixing it up.....trying different things. 

Our local market has a system where you choose what seedlings you want,  you can choose just one or two varieties of veggies, pop them in a punnet and away you go.

Celeriac, Cabbage, Pak Choy, Fennel and a couple of Lettuce

Celeriac, Cabbage, Pak Choy, Fennel and a couple of Lettuce

That way you won't end up with 5 kilos of of the same thing. Unless you want 5 kilos of shallots! Perfect for small families or people growing things in pots. Or me who likes variety.

I am trying Egyptian mint... a much milder tasting variety and great for desserts. Perfect with chocolate too.

 Diggers - Pak Choy.... we love our stir frys.

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Ok....this is where my rake comes into its own. I like straight lines and my husband likes them even more! You get my drift!! So.... I just lay the rake down where I am going to plant seeds or seedlings, push it down and there is a perfect "Drill" .... techno term for a trough where you are going to plant. 

Seeds as you can see come in different sizes, shapes and they are all beautiful to me. It never ceases to amaze me that something that we eat can grow from a dried up little thing. 

Some seeds are so tiny that to try and plant them evenly in your perfectly straight "drill" is an impossible task! So I came up with my little jar idea (which I probably read or saw somewhere). 

Pop some sand or in my case dried fine dirt, punch a hole in the top, tip the seeds in, give it a shake and then you just run it along your drill. The mixture of sand and seed helps disperse the tiny seeds evenly. Tamp it down gently. Thats it! Saves on thinning later on.

There is something meditative about being in a garden.... hours can just go by and I will look up and see that the sun is going down and wonder how that happened. Its the perfect "slowing" down mechanism for me.....some of my friends call me the "Eveready Bunny" because I dont stop and I also do things at a million miles an hour. So..... if you are one of those people that need to slow down .... get in the garden!

Get kids involved! Teach them where their food comes from, how to nurture and water their seeds and plants. They really love to get their hands dirty and help mum, dad or grandparents. Get them to plant things that are quick growing and they like eating. Quick growers are - lettuce, radish and carrots. These days, lots of schools have started up little/big veggie gardens.  This groundswell  was helped along by the wonderful Stephanie Alexander who started The Kitchen Garden Programme https://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/ . She is also a well known  Australian chef and the author of The Cooks Companion.

She now also has an App- www.stephaniealexander.com.au/cook-companion-app/ a digital version of her book/bible.

These Broad Beans will be up in not time!

These were last years Broad Beans ....... just 3 weeks later... They do really well in the Southern Highlands due to our cooler weather.

When the warmer weather arrives the veggie garden is abundant and there is nothing like picking something that you have grown. Its there on tap, no driving down the road to buy your vegetables and best of all it's FRESH, you know where it came from and what went into the soil.

You will share extra produce with friends/neighbours, show off on Instagram (thats me), get tips from other growers. 

If you are short on time or not vegetable garden inclined, get some herbs into pots. Have them near the kitchen, snip and chop straight into that meal. I always keep a bunch of herb pots on my front stairs because the last thing I want to do on a freezing cold night..... get the torch, put the wellies on, then the coat,  just for a bit of parsley.

Get out into that fresh air and sunshine and start digging! Lose yourself in the garden......

Have you got a vegetable story that you would like to share? Have you got a champion Pumpkin or lush Basil that you have grown and would like to share your pics?