man food for a hungry dad

Wow. What a weekend. Kate and I were exhausted yesterday, both of us asking each other "why am I so tired?". It may have had something to do with 'Mega Activity Weekend 3000'. I added the 3000 to make it sound more futuristic than 2000. We did so much stuff with our Brady Bunch band of ratbag girls. We visited the stunning garden of St Erth in Blackwood, with its secret garden paths and well organised vegetable garden (which mind you, makes me drool every time I see it). I've been making an almost annual pilgrimage to St Erth for the annual restocking of my seed supply. You can order online, but it's not as rewarding as going to visit this beautiful place.

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These guys, 'The Diggers Club', specialise in collecting and selling seeds for old varieties of veg - heirloom and organic. I really dig growing rare varieties that I've never tasted before, not only do they taste great some of the veg looks out of this world. Black Zebra tomatoes, long skinny eggplant, purple carrots, crazy pumpkins...just fun stuff to grow. And I love that they have some veg that is particularly suited to cold climate...cause we live smack bang in the middle of cold climateville.

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If you are able to visit Garden of St Erth in Blackwood, make a day of it. Take a blanket, a picnic and enjoy the garden. It's pretty amazing to just sit on the rock wall at that veg garden, admiring the lines of espaliered quince, the neat rows of heirloom veg and the smoke dancing out of the chimney of the old house and cafe while the kids frolic around playing garden games, rolling and tumbling down the grassed hill. You'll find yourself saying..."I could live here"...or "I'm feeling so peaceful".

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After the St Erth adventure we visited our local farmer friends for a cuppa, then hit the Daylesford market the following day, along with the historic train ride, botanical garden walk and country walk.  The day ended with Henry and four girls under blankets in front of the fire watching a Narnia movie all plum tuckered.

Lucky I started my day with a man meal of a delicious pork chop from my mates' farm, topped with some grilled apple, sitting on a pool of last year's borlotti beans slow cooked in passata with chorizo, celery, onion, spinach and plenty of chilli. Yes, I said man food. Kate looked at the dish..."mmmm that's looking very hearty". Sure was.

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