It’s been cold this week but it didn’t stop us from getting the winter veg planted. I mean it wasn’t terrential rain and howling wind like last week! I like the rain, us gardeners do, it’s gold for the garden, but that sideways rain that slaps you in the face I can do without when I’m working in the dirt.
We’ve planted a few basics for the cool season, Kale, Onion, Lettuce, Rocket, Peas, Carrots, Spinach, Broccoli, Celery, and a handful of herbs.
Tonight I made a pumpkin soup from our store of summers pumpkin, and for the added flavour I used a Ballarat blue cheese from Goldfields brand, which was a bit indulgent because they (Goldfields Cheese Co) have stopped making that particular blue cheese, which is a real pity. Please, please, please, Ballarat people support the locals. And for everyone else around the world, do the same. These local dudes need your support.
It’s true that I love to hunt, I love meat, especially meat that I’ve done all the work for. Not all the meat I eat is sourced this way but a good deal of it is. But even though I’m a hunter I’m also a grower, in fact I think I grow more veg for the plate then I do hunted meat. It’s a mixture of laziness and convenience. It’s slightly more predictable to know what food stores you’ll have by the end of the growing season compared to how much game meat you can successfully bring home after a hunt for the deep freezer. And the effort for some target species out weights the amount of energy you get in return in the form of protein from the meat. For example, I expended more energy hunting quail last week then I’ll get in return with the amount of meat I received. I’ll get at least two maybe three meals from the meat. If I was relying on it then I might struggle. Growing veg along side hunting is a great middle ground. I have semi reliable food source from the veg patch and a not so reliable supply of protein from hunting efforts.
Pumpkins are getting a hammering over the last few months
The last of the seasons capsicum
Pumpkin and roast capsicum ‘pesto’ over spinach feta ravioli
Tomorrow I move into a new home. It’s already blessed with a little veg patch, and we’ve ordered 12 fertilised eggs for the chicken incubator that we’ll borrow from my dear friend Rachel. I’ve also ordered a chook house that I can’t wait to build as a weekend project. A veg patch and chooks. Really it’s the start of something quite magical. I loath moving house but I do love fresh starts in life. My mind is a washing machine of things to do but I know the finish cycle is inevitable and will soon get me to that place that I’ve been longing for.
More basic cabin food. Fresh veg, fresh herbs, good food…absolutely nothing fancy.
Another warm season has come and gone. The seasons and our lives are like a spinning wheel, they start with plenty of thrust and excited spin until the energy has been used, the momentum slows and eventually the cycle comes to it’s end. It’s an inevitability we share with all of nature, even wind has it’s end. But we can celebrate what has been. We can take and use what is left behind.
Autumn is such an underrated season, but in my world it tops the grade. It’s when everything in the garden has reached it’s peak, has served us well over the warm months and is now on it’s downward spiral leaving behind some fond memories and a scattering of physical remnants in the form of unripe fruit. The last few Autumns I’ve been making a hot chili relish with green/semi ripe tomato. The chili plant I’ve had in a pot for a few seasons grows some very small but atomic hot chilies, I’m not sure of the variety but I’m guessing Jalapeno, regardless the chili’s make a nice little addition to the relish.
One of winters little treats is a toasted foccacia with swiss cheese or red lester, ham, and relish and this relish makes one of my favorite versions. I made this for breakfast this morning and then walked to work in a light rain dodging the puddles from last nights rain. I welcome the cool season with open arms. It wash’s away the dust of summer, it’s cleansing and so beautiful. The smell of the forest just after rain, the abundance of mushrooms, the slow cooked rabbit and roasts. And best of all is that I get to wear all my favorite things, jackets, lace up boots and flannel shirts. I get to enjoy warm blankets, cosy fireplaces and plenty of slow old country music. It’s funny how making a green tomato relish can get you so yarning for winter and change.