All posts filed under: garden

Want some kale? Our 2015 veg harvest and lessons learned!

Our garden has produced plenty of fruits and vegetables this year! I planned on putting together a quick blogpost with a collection of harvest photos that I have posted on Instagram the last couple of months. When looking up the photos of vegetables and fruits, it turns out I posted quite a few pics from our 2015 harvest! It’s quite the collection. And I don’t even take a pic of every harvest from the garden 😉 This is the evolution of the cabbages, from seeding – seedlings – to harvest! An overview of the fruits: And other things grown in our garden: Lessons learned: most pumpkins DO need a couple of square meters. so do not squeeze another plant in there, they will be too close together! 3 courgette plants (zucchinis) produces way more zucchinis than the two of us can handle 😀 cauliflower and romanescu are the more difficult cabbages. Brussels sprouts, red and savoy cabbage are relatively easy, kale is very easy to grow. thin the carrots in time, when they are still very small, or even, don’t seed them …

This is monoculture …

This is monoculture. Rows and rows recently planted potatoes. No grass, no flowers, no trees. And no birds, hares, pheasants, nor frogs. Beware the ‘vermin’ that dares to settle! Spraying will start soon. No life. Our garden is a green oasis, amidst a potato and corn desert … Previously published on my Dutch blog here.  

Tofu croquettes with pearl couscous, beans and kuri pumpkin

These tofu croquettes are from Abinda, a company making organic vegetarian products, located no so far from Bruges in Oostkamp. I visited their factory in 2011, you can see a review from that visit on my Dutch blog here. Many of Abinda’s products are vegan. Their products are commonly sold in organic shops across Belgium. You can see the ingredients of the tofu croquettes here. Preparation of the tofucroquetes is very easy, just fry them for a couple of minutes and they are ready. These tofu croquettes are nice and crunchy, but I would like them to be a bit more creamy on the inside to make them even better. This time I served them with pearl couscous, azuki beans and uchiki kuri pumpkin from my garden topped with Mediterranean spices! Abinda tofu croquettes, 1 pack with 9 croquettes (=225g), fridge bought at Biovita Bruges, March 2015 5,54€

Walnuts from our tree in the garden

Each year, we have plenty of walnuts from the walnut tree in our garden. Although it is still a rather young tree (about 25 to 30 years old), it produces buckets and buckets full of walnuts. We don’t know what variety of walnut it is, as the tree was already in the garden when we moved here. Upon collecting the walnuts from the garden in the Fall (end of September and October), I usually place the nuts inside (heated room) for a week or two, so they can dry properly and turn them every day. Afterwards, I move them to the cellar, where it’s cool and dry. Every once in a while, I shell some walnuts and store the shelled nuts in a jar, ready for use in baking or other recipes. They need to be properly dried to store them like this, you can’t do this when you’ve freshly harvested them from the outside. I like to have some walnuts shelled and readily available, so I can just eat a handfull of them whenever I feel like it! See recipes with walnuts …

Fall and Winter harvest from our garden

In the Fall of 2014 we had plenty of raspberries and bramberries. It’s the first year our (still rather small) fig tree produced a dozen or 2 figs! And we had buckets and buckets of walnuts from our walnut tree. I keep them in a dry place, and about 2-3 months after harvesting, I start peeling them and keep them in glass jars. Easy to have some walnuts at hand for baking, or just whenever you feel like eating some. One of our poplar trees is producing oyster mushrooms. It’s very nice to have free oyster mushrooms from the garden, but unfortunately this also means the tree is slowly dying. We had several cauliflowers. It’s already January, but we are still harvesting some vegetables from our garden. There are still some Brussels sprouts, leeks, and also kale and als some root vegetables: parsnip, root persley and red beets. And still also corn salad!

Cranberry bread with nuts and papaya

I’ve made this bread a couple of times. It’s a rather large portion, and because the bread is rather moist (because of the berries) it does not preserve that long. But you can easily put some of it in the freezer, and save it for a later date. I’ve added both walnuts and hazelnuts last time, as I still had a handfull of hazelnuts from our garden. The walnuts are also from our own tree in the garden 🙂 I wish I could say the cranberries are also from our garden, but alas, the birds have eaten most of those 😉 I also added some dried papaya, but you can easily replace this with some other dried berries or fruits, or leave this out altogether. Ingredients cranberry bread with nuts and papaya (vegan) 1 tbs ground flaxseed 3 tbs water 1/4 cup vegan butter – melted and cooled 1 ts vanille extract 1 cup orange juice 1 cup soy milk or almond milk 4 cups all purpose flour 1 cup sugar 4 ts baking powder 1/2 ts …

Pumpkins, too many pumpkins!

I wanted some more variety of pumpkins in my vegetable garden! I grew all of the pumpkin plants myself, mostly from organic seeds bough through the organic gardening association VELT. And they all delivered! Plenty! I store the pumpkins in our cool cellar, and they will keep good for months to come. I also prepare some pumpkin puree (mash) and put it in handy portions (1 cup, two cups) in the freezer. Ready to use for those occasions when I don’t have the time to cut and clean a pumpkin. This is our collection of all the pumpkins that we harvested this year (yes, I think I overdid it a bit ;-). Different varieties: Potiron Bleu, Uchi Kuri, Red Kuri, Spaghetti Squash, Sweet Dumpling and Butternut. And some undetermined that just grew on the compostheap. I just harvested the butternuts today (the bottle shaped pumpkins). These are the most difficult to ripen I find. But I’m taking them inside anyway now, as it’s getting close to freezing point some nights.

Summer abundance in our vegetable garden!

We’ve tried to put more variety into our vegetable garden this year. Different sorts of cabbages, a wide variety of lettuce, five different sorts of haricots…  Not everything has been evenly succesfull (cauliflower the size of an orange 😉 ), but we are pretty happy with what we have harvested so far! And the pumpkin plants, zucchini, cabbages are not store bought, but are all home grown from organic seeds! We buy most of it through the ecological gardening association VELT. The vegetable garden: Pics of the Summer harvest. Some of them are too pretty to eat, don’t you think? Most of the lettuce varieties we have in our vegetable garden are ‘grow and pick’ lettuce. You just pick as much as you need, and have fresh lettuce every day! Wheras a head of lettuce has to be harvested fully when it’s grown, and can be too much at once. The flowers in the pic are edible too: nasturtium (Tropaeolum). PS: does spitskool really translate as ‘ox heart cabbage’? Maybe that’s why I don’t like it very …

Pumpkin and apricot tajine

We have several pumpkinplants in our veg allotment and harvested the first pumpkin (squash)! And there are plenty to follow, in different shapes and sizes. We also have zucchinis, carrots, green beans (haricots), potatoes, parsley and cilantro in our garden. Perfect match for a North African stew or tajine! Ingredients pumpkin and apricot tajine – vegan A tajine, or large (wok)pan with lid (see below) one small zucchini, chopped coursely 4 tbs olive oil 1 onion, chopped finely 2 cloves minced garlic 2,5cm (1inch) grated ginger 1/2 ts cumin 1/2 ts turmeric 1 ts powdered paprika 1/2 ts cayenne pepper 1 ts cinnamon 1 medium sized squash, chopped in pieces 2 potatoes, chopped in pieces 2 to 4 carrots 125g haricots 175g dried apricots, chopped 3,5dl veg bouillon 2 ts tomato purée 1 can (400g) chick peas, drained 2 ts grated lemon zest 2 tbs chopped parsley 2 tbs chopped cilantro salt & pepper fresh cilantro, for garnish Preparation Boil the zucchini 10 min. Drain, let cool and mash. Set aside Heat the olive oil, bake the onions for 5-7 …

On birds, CD’s and windmills in our vegetable garden

I love birds in the garden! I don’t mind sharing our produce from the vegetable garden with them, but I don’t want them to eat of all of the peas, lettuce, bean shoots, and other crops! Because of the risk of birds getting entangled, we’re no fans of bird netting. But I’ve found other ways to keep our vegetables safe. Put some windmills here and there (they sell these windmills in toy shops and shops at the beach, and also in some garden centers). Save your defect CD’s and DVD’s and hang plenty to dangle in the vegetable garden. The flickering lights apparently deter the birds. And when there’s a slight breeze, the somewhat 30 discs tickering away against the chesnut fence produce a relaxing and meditating atmosphere. Not 100%proof, but works good enough for us. And for the birds 🙂