"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Still harvesting

Although my garden is slowly winding down towards winter, I am still managing to harvest some veggies here and there.

albeit late in the season, I spied some different squash seeds at our local co-op, and they appealed to me.  So, I shoved a couple of them into some neat alpaca poo and waited to see what happened.
Baby Emerald - an unusual shaped marrow,
with a slightly denser texture.
They are butternut shaped marrows.  Inside the flesh is slightly orange - like a butternut - but the consistency is more or less that of a marrow, with a hint of butternut density.  Quite interesting, and the single plant that handled the heat we've experienced this summer, is quite prolific.
I'm not too sure what message this carrot
 is giving me lol
The piquanté peppers are still cramming the bushes, so I decided to try and dehydrate some.
Sitting in the sun towards the end of the day
It has been so hot that I merely shoved them into black baking trays and placed them in the sun on our front patio.
Piquanté peppers dry beautifully, retaining their
 colour perfectly.
Two trays dehydrated down to one.  Those I'm going to put into a clean jhar and use them in casseroles / roast chicken / savoury rice, etc this winter.

Then on a trip to our local supermarket a couple of weeks ago I spied some kale.  That is the first time I have seen it available in this country.  Naturally, I grabbed a bunch - and then didn't know what to do with it.  I finally decided to make it the way I make my creamed spinach.  RMan loved it :)

So, off I toddled to the local garden centre / nursery and ask the owner to try and get me a 6 pack seedling tray.  That he did - and now they're planted in my veggie patch ;)

Now, all I need is for everyone to share their kales recipes with me ;)
The importers web page is circled
in the pic above.  They do have a
list of retail outlets which stock
their Ball preserving jars on their
Finally, on the second to last page of the latest issue of "go! Platteland" I spotted this ad.  Whoopee!!  Consol have apparently stopped making preserving jars, and that had me in a tither.  Now I can invest in some Ball jars instead :)

Short-sightedly, after finally getting a response to my e-mails, I have established that the importers / distributors do not have an on-line store, and will not supply the public directly, so, if, and when, I manage to get to Worcestor, or Somerset West, I'll have to try and purchase some.

Who doesn't have an on-line store these days...?

Ah, well.

Please - don't forget the piquanté pepper seed giveaway.  Closing time is midnight tonight so you still have time to enter.. The giveaway can be found here :



  1. Kale seems to be the "it" vegetable nowadays. I too don't know much about it re: cooking.

    1. Gill - T'is similar to spinach, but different at the same time. Delicious :)

  2. I never ate Kale before last summer---I enjoy it as Kale Chips--- drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and herbs, and baked for 20 minutes in a moderate oven (325F). Crispy and very delicate.

    1. Sue - Thanks for the recipe :) I'll have to try that in winter when I have an oven (i.e. when the Rosie is lit).

  3. Dani - good call on using the kale as creamed spinach! i use kale the same ways i use spinach - in salad raw, steamed or sauteed. i you use it raw in salad you may want to remove some of the tougher spine....then tear or chop the leaves up to bite size and then massage your dressing (i use EVOO, lemon, garlic, ginger, s&p) into the leaves with your hands. let the leaves sit for about 10 mins before adding the rest of your fruit or veggies so that the leaves soften a bit. you'll figure out how long to let it sit based on your taste for it. some people eat it raw right away - others leave it sit in oil/dressing overnight (i find that way too soggy). i love fresh kale in stirfries and soups/stews and it dehydrates well to be added to any kind of dish. i dehydrate chopped up leaves to be added to dishes...but i also take some of the dehydrated leaves and pound them in a mortar and pestle to make a nice powdered spice.

    i love your carrot and your piquantes and yes - i have entered the giveaway. thanks Dani!

    your friend,

    1. kymber - What is EEVO? Thanks for all the recipe ideas too :) The kale seedlings I purchased are flat leafed, not curly like I purchased in the shop.

    2. extra virgin olive oil. i grow both flat and curly scotch kale...i don't prefer one over the other and they pretty much grow the same so i just keep planting both kinds. kale is excellent up here in the winter as if you mulch it really well at the end of autumn, it will continue to grow during the winter even underneath snow.

    3. Oh, silly, silly me. Of course - EVOO ;)

  4. Kale seems to be popular. Not only do I read about it on blogs where people garden, but Lisa from Two Bears and Three Cubs had a post on making a "smoothie" with it. I think it was her, anyway.

    1. Harry - I'm holding thumbs that you take the plunge this spring / summer and try out growing your own veggies :) Try a raised bed - which won't wash away...

  5. I use kale when I make Caldo Verde; in fact, I started growing it specifically because I could not seem to duplicate the taste of the traditional soup I ate in Portugal, and it seemed kale might be the closest thing to the greens used there. Unless I can go back sometime and get some seeds to bring home - if that is legal - I will continue to use homegrown kale. It is a lovely plant to grow, too! Good luck :)

    1. Quinn - Hmmm, I have family in Portugal - perhaps they can give me the recipe of Caldo Verde for you :)

  6. I second Sue's suggestion for kale chips. They're delicious!

    1. Cherie - Thanks - I'm definitely going to try them as soon as the Rosie is lit for the first time this winter...


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