All posts filed under: garden

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 🙂

The last harvest from the veg garden

Past Winter has been exceptionally mild in Belgium. We hardly had any frost nor snow. Which was a good thing for the remaining vegetables in our veg garden! And we are now enjoying lovely Spring weather! We’re now harvesting the last vegetables from last year and preparing the veg garden for a new season. I harvested plenty of kale (boerenkool), parsnip, celery and leeks. Remarkably, the parsley has survived Winter and is starting to grow again. Don’t really know whether these parsley plants will produce again this season. I’ll keep some and sow some new ones in another plot of the veg garden. Garlic which we planted last Fall is looking good! Rhubarb is also growing nicely.  

Homemade: braised seitan, kale, brussels sprouts and sundried tomatoes

This is a pretty straightforward one pot meal, which doesn’t take too much work. And with kale from our garden! It is from one of our favourite cookbooks Veganomicon (Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero). You can serve it with couscous or quinoa, or even with rice if you prefer. Kale is not so easy to find in Belgian shops (‘boerenkool’ in Dutch), so we grow it ourselves! It is a winter vegetable, and this variety (Westlandse Winter) can stand frost. We haven’t had a hard winter in Belgium this year. In fact, we haven’t had any real ‘freezing’ day at all, which is a new record again. Still plenty of kale in our garden. These are the ingredients for “braised seitan, brussels sprouts, kale and sundried tomatoes”: 2 tbs olive oil 6 shallots, sliced 2 cups seitan (homemade is the best!), in pieces 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered (= 2 cups) 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 ts dried thyme 1/2 ts dried basil 1/4 ts dried tarragon 1/2 ts salt pinches ground black pepper 1/2 …