Garden Toast

Garden Toast

Garden toast is something I created one day when I was scraping together something for lunch and all I had was a crust and some cottage cheese in the fridge. I didn’t have any avocado, eggs or anything special to have with it. So I went out into the garden and found some inspiration! I picked two small tomatoes, herbs and edible flowers. It looked like a mini garden on toast and now I can’t stop making these beautiful, tasty creations!

Here are the creations I have made so far..

Original Garden Toast

My first addition with the last piece of bread I had left! I had fun making this and it definitely tasted delicious! Ingredients: Rye Multigrain toast, Cottage Cheese, Fresh tomato, Parsley, Rosemary, Rosemary flowers, Zinnia Petals and Basil leaves.

Fairy Garden Toast

It’s amazing what a little bit of Beetroot juice can do! Natural colouring and plenty of beneficial nutrients with an array of micro herbs and greens. You may even be able to convince your kids to eat more greens with this Fairy Garden toast. Get them involved in the process by having a bowl each to go outside and collect herbs. Ingredients: White Multigrain Toast, Cottage Cheese mixed with beetroot juice or fresh grated Beetroot, Baby Nasturtium leaves, Parsley leaves, Basil leaves, Sweet Violet flowers, Rosemary Flowers, Baby Pink chard leaves, Pink Zinnia Flower petals and Dill Flowers.

Jungle Garden Toast

Packed full of herbs and flavour! Ingredients: Country Grain Toast, Basil Pesto, Orange Nasturtium petals, Tiger Eye Viola Petals, Strawberry Flowers, Parsley leaves, Rosemary Flowers, Pea tendrils, Burgundy Marigold Petals and Purple basil leaves.

Summer Garden Toast

Summer on toast! Homegrown tomatoes are so sweet and delicious and tomato on toast is one of my favourite ways to eat them! Ingredients: Rye Multigrain toast, Red, yellow, orange cherry tomatoes, Purslane, Red basil leaves, Strawberry Flower, Sweet Violet Flower, Dill flowers, Rosemary Flowers, chopped Purple Kale, baby Nasturtium leaves and Fresh Chilli.

Botanical Garden Toast

Pest on toast is so delicious! I made extra pesto and if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I ate this for breakfast for an entire week! It was also so good with a poached egg on top. Ingredients: Sourdough toast, Basil pesto, Cottage Cheese, Chopped walnuts, Fresh Chilli, Basil Leaves, Fennel Flowers, Pink and White Dianthus, Baby Pumpkin Tendrils, Parsley Leaves and Strawberry Flowers.

Unicorn Garden Toast

My latest creation and maybe my favourite yet! Purple sweet potato spread is a vibe! Ingredients: Sourdough Toast, Mashed Purple Sweet Potato and Cottage Cheese, Overnight Pickled Red Cabbage and Red Onion (1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar heated to dissolve. Pour cooled liquid over Cabbage and Onion), Purple Kale, Grilled Baby Eggplant, Purple Pansy, Multicoloured Dianthus, Rosemary Flowers and Red Basil.

Get Inspired by your Garden

There is always something in my garden to make a toast topping and I love how easy and creative it is! Each piece is so unique and full of fresh garden nutrients! Having these ideas tried and tested means I know I can always whip up something even when my fridge is looking very lean.

Get creative and inspired by your own garden. There is something so satisfying about being able to walk outside and make a meal from your own fresh, homegrown veggies. This is a great meal idea for beginner gardeners who don’t have many established edibles. Just look out for baby leaves and edible flowers (make sure you research and clearly identify they are edible). Baby leaves and flowers can add subtle flavours and turn any dish into a work of art!

Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can see your creations!

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

18 ways to become more self-sufficient

18 ways to become more self-sufficient

There is no better time to start growing your own food than NOW. Creating your own food security and using your time to help create a greener world is win-win. I have always had the dream of growing my own food and living a more sustainable lifestyle and it is something that I have been continually building and working towards for years. I don’t want to be 100% self-sufficient because there are just some things I either won’t be able to grow or choose not to grow. But there are plenty of ways to supplement my homegrown food supply such as trading, swapping, and local farmers markets. I have put together (in no particular order) 18 simple ways you can start living a more self-sufficient lifestyle today.

1. Start a Herb Garden

No matter whether you have a big garden or live in a tiny apartment, growing herbs can be easy and takes up very little space. Grow in small pots, recycled containers, hanging planter,s or windowsill planters. If you like to use herbs it is a great first step towards self-sufficiency. And no, that does not mean buying those packed herb pots from the supermarket…. they are often grown hydroponically and then placed in the soil so they rarely survive long and don’t handle being planted out into real life. Get a packet of seeds and try growing your own πŸ™‚

2. Start a Vegetable Patch

The best way to learn how to grow vegetables is to simply start trying! Start small with either a planter box or convert one small patch of your garden or even driveway into an edible vegetable patch. You can also start by simply integrating edibles into your established garden. Once you start growing some things you can start expanding bit by bit. Goodbye grass πŸ™‚

3. Plant Fruit Trees

I love fruit trees because although they take a while to get going, once they do, they are abundant and don’t require as much care as vegetables. You can plant them in either a large pot or directly into the garden. I would recommend going to a local specialist fruit tree nursery so they can help you choose the best fruit tree for your location. Also, make sure you get something with fruit you actually enjoy! With the abundant produce you can then preserve, swap, and trade with others!

4. Grow Base Crops

I couldn’t think what else to call them but growing crops that will feed you for longer and create a good base to fill your pantry. Crops such as Pumpkins, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, and Sweet potatoes will provide decent amounts of food that you can store and use throughout the year! A great base vegetable to feed a family.

5. Grow Soil

Composting is not only great for the fertility of your soil and the secret to AMAZING vegetables but also stops waste from going to landfill. There are a whole bunch of ways to do this depending on your living situation. You can make your own compost bin out of recycled wood, find a second-hand tumbler online or purchase one. You can also simply dig a hole in the garden and bury it (be careful of attracting pests though). There are also some new ways for people with no land to connect with others that do and give them your compost scraps. Either community gardens, local Facebook groups or now in Australia there is even an app! Sharewaste

6. Save Seeds

This is just as important as growing food and will be a huge step towards your self-sufficient journey. Saving seeds helps you maintain food security knowing that you have more healthy seeds to grow next year. Save seeds from your healthiest plants that thrive in your garden. Keep them in a dry dark place.

7. Grow Community

Get your friends involved! Take them over a basket of homegrown food or preserves. Once they see your delicious fresh food they may also get inspired! Help them out with seeds, and cuttings and surround yourself with like-minded people. Community gardens can be a great place to learn, get involved, and even seed/ produce swap. It can be an amazing network of knowledge, especially in relation to your local climate and growing conditions. There are also some great social media forums and groups that are great for finding answers to your questions and local knowledge.

8. Shop Local

Explore your local farmer’s markets! Grab a friend and go have a browse! They are usually on a Saturday or Sunday morning and I look forward to it every week. Although I love my local farmers market (Kalamunda) every few months I like to check out other farmers markets to mix things up and find new and interesting produce. Bulk food stores have been making a come back and I am sold! Lucky for me there is a fantastic Bulk Store ( Replenish Kalamunda) right by my local farmer’s markets. So I head there straight after I have picked up some fresh veggies. They may seem daunting at first but there are always plenty of signs explaining how to do it. I also love how each product clearly states where they have come from as I try to only choose Australian products.

9. Learn to Cook from Scratch

This is a big one! Learning to cook a wide range of meals from scratch using simple ingredients is key! I mean we can all make a butter chicken right…you just get the sauce and pour it in… Ditch the sauces from the supermarket and learn to make your own. I am constantly experimenting and expanding my knowledge so I can make a wide selection of meals from the produce I grow. Try to buy vegetables that are in season and fruits and vegetables that you are planning to grow. That way you can practice and become a pro at recipes for YOUR future harvests!

10. Grow Food From Scraps

Ok, this is one of my favourites! It is so quick and easy and a lot of fun! Plus you are getting the most out of your food. Buy one get multiple free!! Cut off the ends of your farmers market vegetables such as Spring Onion, Leek, Pineapple, Sweet Potato and regrow!

11. Forage and Trade

Keep an eye out on your walks and day trips for wild or excess food. So often there are olive trees, fruit, nuts or wild apple trees going to waste. Do your research and learn how to identify plants. That way you will know what you are looking at. It is also important to be careful if things have been sprayed by the council. I would be always cautious of things such as blackberries. You may even notice a neighbours tree loaded with fruit that is going to waste on the ground. Politely ask if you can have some in exchange for some preserves or baking you make with it. They will probably be happy for it to be used!

12. Repair and Upcycle

Get the most out of your things by fixing or updating them! Even if you don’t know how you may be able to pay someone a fraction of the cost to fix it rather than buying brand new. We often are so quick to throw out and buy new, we don’t even stop to consider if it can be fixed or repurposed. My hair straighteners and been fixed multiple times by electrician friends over the past 12 years and are still working amazingly! Recovering cushions, and couches, DIY, get creative, and even find a local seamstress if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.

13. Shop Second Hand

I try my best to not buy new and it is something I am continuing to work on. Most items you want can be found on Facebook market place, Gumtree (Trademe, Craigslist, etc). You can usually pick up a bargain and keep things in the loop rather than consuming more new things. You can even post in your local community groups and borrow or buy. Especially with things like appliances as many people often have them sitting in the cupboard collecting dust…Pasta maker, I’m talking about you πŸ™‚

14. Backyard Chickens

Chickens make an excellent addition to sustainable living. They provide eggs, eat leftover scraps, produce manure for fertilising your garden, and can they also be incorporated into an integrated pest management system to help you keep your slugs and snails at bay. Many councils will allow backyard chickens in suburbia. Although I do not have chickens …yet (Pictured above is mums ‘Chick Inn’) my council allows x6 backyard chickens on properties 600sqm -2000sqm.

15. Back to Basics

Bread/milk/butter/pizza dough. The age-old skill of baking your own bread is a fantastic skill to have! How amazing to just whip up a fresh loaf of bread or make your own pizza bread without the preservatives or plastic packaging. Milk is super easy and you can make delicious plastic, preservative-free milk whenever you want! Whether that’s oat, rice or almond milk.

16. Learn to Preserve Harvests

I am not really at a point yet where I have an abundance of produce to preserve but I have planted a lot of fruit trees…so I am starting to learn different ways to preserve things so that when I am flooded with produce (yay!) I will be able to make the most of it! Get some produce from the farmer’s markets and give it a go! Jams, chutneys, sauces, pickles, nasturtium capers and all those delicious things. They also make great gifts and can be used to swap for other produce with your friends and family and community.

17. Make your Own

Ditch the toxic chemicals and pesticides and start making your own natural cleaning and garden products. You can get a few ingredients from your local bulk stores such as white vinegar and bicarb soda and make a huge range of cleaning products. Check out my Citrus cleaner here. I also used crushed eggshells to keep slugs and snails at bay. Natural pest management

18. Learn, Read, Practice

I can’t stress how important this is! Knowledge is power. Join your local library and get a book on jam making or search YouTube for “how to prune a lemon tree”. Educating yourself and giving things a go will get you a long way on your journey to living a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Take things one a time and really try and master it before moving on. It can be overwhelming if you try to do it all at once and may lead to failure and giving up.

Small and slow solutions!

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

GROW FOOD FROM CUTTINGS – Get the ebook

How to keep plants alive in a heatwave

How to keep plants alive in a heatwave

When I first started gardening here I remember googling ” how to keep plants alive in a heatwave?” πŸ˜… Welcome to Perth summer gardening! I have always struggled with how hot it gets here in Perth in summer. After 7 years here, the 40degree days don’t get any easier! We have a large amount of thermal mass at our house with concrete and paved areas so it can get so hot in my garden! One of the main reasons I decided to make pallet planters on wheels was to be able to grow more food during the hot summer months by being able to have them undercover on hot days. Watch how we made them here.

How to keep plants alive in a heatwave

If you are experiencing a heatwave or have days of hot weather ahead of you, here are a few tips I use to try and get my plants through!

🌱 WATER | Give a good deep water early in the morning. This will allow time for the moisture to reach the roots before it evaporates.

🌱 SHADE | If your plants are in containers move them undercover or to a shady area of your garden. Otherwise, try and rig up some temporary shade using shade cloth or even umbrellas to keep the direct sun off your plants during the hottest part of the day.

🌱 PROTECT THE SOIL | Ensure you have a good layer of mulch or ground cover over your entire garden. This will protect the soil from being exposed to direct sun and reduce the amount of water loss through evaporation.

🌱 BUILD SOIL | This is something that should be continually worked on by composting and adding more fibre and leaf matter to your soil. Sandy soils like we have here in Perth allow all the water to drain away and can become severely water-resistant. But by consistently mulching, composting and adding green matter, you will not only grow strong, healthy plants but also protect your plants from future dry spells. Healthy soil is key!

🌱 REPLENISH | As the sun goes down and the temperatures start to drop again, give your plants another well-earnt drink. This should help their leaves perk back up again.

🌱 SAVE SEEDS | If you notice a certain plant seems to survive better than others in hot weather, make sure you save the seeds at the end of the season. That way you can futureproof your garden by growing strong plants that you know will grow well in your exact climate.

My favourite watering tools are:

Retractable Hose with 7 spray nozzle and water flow adjuster: Control exactly how much flow you want to each plant with an easy retractable hose system. CLICK HERE for more info.

Deep root waterer and soil breaker: Helps get water directly to the roots without any runoff or loss of water from evaporation. CLICK HERE for more info.

Weeper hose works great for drip-feeding water and allowing the plants to absorb more. CLICK HERE for more info.

Happy Gardening!

Holly 🌱

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

Natural Pest Management

Natural Pest Management

I much prefer offering natural and sustainable solutions rather than a pointless list of negative things not to do. But this topic is something I am very passionate about and something new gardeners often get caught up in (including myself when I first started growing food many years ago). You will find my list of natural pest management remedies below πŸ™‚

When you first start growing food you will get slugs and snails eating your new precious veggies and will want to INSTANTLY fix the situation. I see some newbie gardeners pour on huge amounts of snail bait to combat the hungry predators. This is POISON, not only will it kill the slugs and snails but is also deadly to cats and dogs. Now, if it can kill dogs, having it covering the soil and getting watered in and absorbed into the soil that your vegetable will feed on, especially those root vegetables, cannot be good for us.

If you’re reading this and thinking…I do this..you are not alone. It is something that has been a β€œnorm” for way too long. But the first step you can take is safely throw out your poisonous slug bait. I would place it in something that animals can’t get into in case it crosses paths or they get into the bins. Even better, contact your local council to find the best way to safely dispose of it.

Watch my latest video

There are plenty of ways to naturally combat pests and have safe and nontoxic vegetables for your family.

  1. Eggshells – Save your eggshells and dry in the oven on low. Then crush into small pieces and place in a jar. Sprinkle this around the base of your vegetables and the slugs and snails do not like the surface so will stay away. It also adds some beneficial calcium to your soil.
  2. Plant extras – Plant a few extra plants in different areas of your garden so that if one gets attacked you still have plenty πŸ™‚
  3. Encourage beneficial insects – Plant diversity and flowers to create habitats and attract beneficial insects. You could even make an insect hotel using lots of different sized sticks and logs for them to live 🐞🐝
  4. Manually remove – Go out and check your garden and remove the pests by hand. I often do this when I am on the phone, its a great way to multitask.
  5. Beer Traps – Cheaper the better, there is no need to use up any fancy craft beer. Place little containers around your vegetable patch and this will capture the slugs and snails before they get to your precious veggies 🍺
  6. Coffee grounds – Often your workplace or local cafe will be throwing these out anyway. Sprinkle around the base. Only add a small amount as it will change the PH of the soil β˜•οΈ
  7. Companion Plants – Often very fragrant plants will repel pests. These are plants such as: Marigolds and Rosemary 🌼🌿
  8. Soapy Water – this is great for aphids. All my dishwashing liquid is non-toxic and greywater friendly so I just mix up some diluted in water and paint it on the new growth that is affected by aphids. This is the last resort though as it may harm beneficial insects too. Try and isolate the coverage.
  9. Chilli spray – Mix up some chilli powder in some water and spray on your affected plants. I have read crushed garlic as well but that is bad for dogs so I would avoid.
  10. Healthy Soil – growing healthy soil by composting and mulching helps keep your plants strong and healthy πŸ’ͺ this means that if they do get bugs they can survive and thrive after an infestation.
  11. Sacrificial plants – Usually one plant will just get attacked and I just leave it. It usually means the bugs will only eat that plant and the rest will be fine! Sorry for that one plant but it’s feeding nature…🌿
  12. Chickens and ducks are also a great way to integrate natural pest management into your garden. Win-win πŸ›πŸ¦†

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

Creating a small wildlife pond in the garden

Creating a small wildlife pond in the garden

Wildlife and beneficial insects are key to creating a sustainable self-sufficient garden. They help form part of a balanced ecosystem and creating a small wildlife pond in the garden is an incredible way to attract them. Wildlife ponds can be a transformative addition to any garden or outdoor space, offering many amazing benefits including beauty, tranquility, and increased pollination. Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a compact urban garden, a small DIY wildlife pond has the potential to create a thriving ecosystem, attract beneficial insects, and help your gardens grow an abundance of food.

Today I’m going to share the process of creating my own DIY wildlife pond including choosing a location, pond plants, and why I have chosen native Australian fish for the pond.

One of the key advantages of having a wildlife pond is the ability to attract beneficial insects. Many of these insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies, are natural predators of garden pests. By providing them with a water source and a suitable habitat, you can encourage their presence and create a natural pest control system within your garden. No need for harmful chemical pesticides making your garden healthy, thriving, and sustainable.

Click to WATCH the transformation or continue reading below

Planning Your Wildlife Pond

1. Choose a location for your wildlife pond

The first step in creating your small wildlife pond is to find suitable location options. Look for an area that is relatively level and away from large trees or shrubs whose roots may interfere with excavation or cause water quality issues. Consider the overall layout of your garden and how the pond will fit into the existing landscape. Keep in mind that a wildlife pond can range in size from a small, shallow pond to a larger, more expansive water feature, so choose a location that suits the space you have available.

Important things to consider when choosing the location for your wildlife pond:

Sunlight – most pond plants will need 6-7 hours of sunlight per day. This is more important in spring and summer than in winter as many pond plants will slow or die down over winter anyway.

Shade – Shade is also important, especially during the hottest part of the day. Shade will help keep the pond cool, especially in summer and reduce the algae. Adding plants will help shade out the pond.

Water source – Having a water source or hose available nearby is important especially in summer if the pond water gets low or too hot.

Safety and access – Pets or young children – depending on the size of your pond you will want to consider access if you have young children or pets (my water-loving dog would jump in immediately!). It would be worth checking out your local council’s requirements for ponds.

Close proximity to gardens – If you are wanting to attract wildlife to your gardens to help with pollination and pest management then it would be a good idea to have it close to your veggie patch or gardens. Existing gardens will also create wildlife corridors for safe access to and from the pond.

My pond location:

  • Front garden away from my water-loving dog
  • In an existing garden bed for a wildlife corridor
  • Outside my office window to enjoy the aesthetics and tranquility
  • 6-7 hours of sunlight mainly in spring and summer
  • Afternoon shade to reduce heat
  • Beside my main food-producing raised garden beds
  • Hose/water source within 1m of the pond

2. Choosing Your Wildlife Pond Structure

The size and design of your wildlife pond could be determined by the space available or the structure you choose to use. Whether that is a prefabricated pond, pot or barrel pond, or full DIY pond with a pond liner.

I sourced a preformed poly pond that was roughly 1m x1m and 30cm deep. There is a huge range of preformed ponds available to fit a range of spaces. Baths, tubs, and tanks also make great DIY pond structures.

3. Filling and Balancing the Pond

Having a water source nearby is important to be able to top up or cool the pool down during the warmer months. Rainwater would be ideal to fill your pond but if like me, you only have access to mains or system water you will need to do a few extra steps to balance and remove the chlorine.

To condition the water you can either leave it to sit and gas off for 2-3 weeks or you can speed up the process by running an aeration pond pump in the water. The other way to condition the water is to purchase some water conditioning treatment. This is what I did and I also waited two weeks before adding in fish just to be sure and to allow natural bacteria to build up. I also added “splosht” which are small dissolving sachets of good bacteria to help keep the pond clean. The ones I used are made here in Western Australia so it is native bacteria. Speak to your local pond shop to see what will work best for your pond.

4. Introducing Plants to the Pond

Selecting plants for your pond is an exciting time! Firstly, it is important to determine what types of wildlife you would most like to attract to your pond. This will help you select plants to suit and reduce some of the overwhelm.

  • Frogs like lily pad like leaves and grasses or reeds to hide in.
  • Small birds like nectar-producing flowers and dense shrubs to hide in.
  • Bees like a variety of flowers
  • Ladybugs and beneficial insects like pollen-rich flowers such as herb flowers
  • Lizards like low-lying dense ground covers to easily hide in
  • Native wildlife often are attracted to native plants and flowers

Another thing to consider is whether you would like them to all be edible or a mix of both. I chose to plant edibles, natives, and herbs. A wide range of leaf types and plant heights/structures will help encourage a wider array of wildlife to your pond.

There are 4 main types of plants you may like to select for your pond:

Full Aquatic Plants: These grow completely submerged underwater such as Water lilies, and Vallis grass. They are great for deeper parts of the pond and can help oxygenate the water.

Filtration plants: These help keep the water clean and act as natural filtration. These are plants such as: Lebanese Cress, Water Mints, Gotu Kola, Pennywort, Watercress, Kang Kong. Most of these plants like to be partially submerged. I have mine propped up on bricks with 1 inch out of the water.

Marginal Plants: These are plants that can be planted around the edge of the pond or in shallow water. These are plants like: Fairy Lights, Blue Grass, Reeds, Bull Rush, Taro, Water Chestnuts, Mint, Queensland Arrowroot, Iris, Lebanese Cress, Watercress, Thalia, Papyrus, Society Garlic, Sweet Violet, and Moneywort.

Floating cover plants: These plants multiply quickly and cover the surface of the water. This can help regulate the pond temperature and shade out the pond. This can reduce algae and also offer food to many fish. Plants such as: Duckweed, Azolla, Frogbit and Hornwort.

Check out the video for a full tour of the plants I selected for this project.

5. Adding Natural Elements

Natural elements such as logs, rocks, and sticks offer surfaces for wildlife to rest on, cross over or hide under. It is important to make easy access in and out of the water. This will allow frogs, lizards, and bees the ability to get in and out. Shallow areas, ledges, ramps, and varying heights around the edge of the pond will help with this. It will also help your pond blend in and look more natural and integrated within the garden.

6. Adding Fish to the Pond

Adding fish to your pond can help with filtration and keep mosquito larvae in check. Understanding what type of wildlife you would ideally like to attract to your wildlife pond can help determine the type of fish for your pond. I am hoping to get frogs in my pond and many introduced fish such as goldfish or Koi may eat frogs’ eggs. This can be ok in a large pond with more space for frogs to hide and lay eggs. As I have a small pond and would like to encourage frogs, I have decided to go with West Australian Perch and White Cloud minnows that eat mosquito larvae but not the frogs eggs. They are also low maintenance and can handle ponds without pumps.

After purchasing the fish from the pond store, I let the bags sit in the pond water for 5 minutes to let the water in the bag adjust to the pond temperature. I then gently opened the bag and let the fish out. The Minnows dart about on the surface often but the Perch love to hide and I never see them! So that is something to consider.

7. Maintaining Your Wildlife Pond

It is important to regularly check on the pond, especially during the first year as things grow and temperatures change. Observing will allow you to see what types of wildlife are using the pond and what changes or additions you could make. Adding a small pump or water fountain will also help keep the pond cool and reduce algae. I do plan to add a solar pump and fountain eventually.

  • Scoop out dead leaves or excess algae
  • Top up water in summer if needed
  • Regular top-ups of “Splosht” good bacteria or similar
  • Repotting plants or managing overgrowth

8. Adding Solar Lights

I decided to add solar lights to the pond as it is outside my office window and is nice to view during the evenings when I’m working late. I selected floating solar lights and also spotlights to point at feature plants. The fun thing about these lights is that I can change the colours and turn them on and off via a remote. The floating lights also offer more protection for the fish whilst the plants are established.

Solar Floating lights

Solar Spotlights

Just like the rest of your gardens your pond will change and develop over the seasons and the years. It will require some tweaking and editing as you go to find a good balance. There are so many amazing reasons to create a wildlife pond for your gardens.

By creating a wildlife pond, you are not only providing a habitat for a variety of natural life but also fostering diversity in your surroundings. These ponds act as sanctuaries for a wide array of wildlife, including frogs, lizards, birds, dragonflies, and beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. These creatures play essential roles in pollination, pest control, and maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my blog so that I can continue to provide you with free content.

Feijoa crumble slice

Feijoa crumble slice

Feijoas or pineapple guavas come in thick in fast over the Autumn month. Their sweet, perfumey flavour is delicious and eaten fresh but once the trees are established you will have a hard time keeping up with them! This Feijoa crumble is delicious and not too sweet. Serve with ice cream yogurt or custard. Feijoas can be frozen to make this throughout the year or switch out the feijoas with other fruit such as apples, apricot, or plum.

Feijoa Crumble Slice

Feijoa Crumble Slice

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Feijoa crumble slice is delicious served warm with icecream, yoghurt, or a sweet treat for packed lunches.

Ingredients

Crumble

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 /2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 80g Butter

Filling

  • 3 cups Feijoa flesh (scooped out of the skin)
  • 1 TBSP Raw sugar (or honey)
  • 1 TBSP Flour
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Scoop out the flesh of the Feijoa (or thaw out previously frozen ones).
  3. Add Crumble ingredients to a bowl and lightly mix into a crumble.
  4. Grease or line a 20cm baking dish and press 2/3rds of the mixture in to form a base.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges turn golden.
  6. Mix filling ingredients together and pour over the base.
  7. Evenly spread the remaining crumble on top and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until golden.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

Feijoas can be mixed with finely sliced apple if you do not have enough.

Swap out the Feijoas for whatever fruit you have in season such as Strawberry, Plum, Apricot

Feijoa / Pineapple Guava

Feijoa / Pineapple Guava

Plant of The Month

Feijoas or Pineapple Guava (Feijoa Sellowiana) are an abundant producing fruit tree with green sweet tasting fruit. The trees are evergreen with dark green and silver foliage. Feijoas are easy to grow and due to their thick foliage, they make a great screening tree or edible hedge!

This fruit tree is a prolific producer and can grow in a range of climates from temperate to subtropical but grows best from zones 8-11.

What parts of Feijoa are edible?

PLANT

Plant in Spring or Autumn

SOIL

Free-draining compost.

LOCATION

Warm sunny location at least 6-8 hours of sun

CARE

Prune for size in autumn. Keep well watered in summer when fruiting.

FERTILISE

Feed with compost and keep well mulched.

PESTS

Rats, fruit flies, birds, guava moth, possums, scale.

HARVEST

Ripe when they fall from the tree. Collect daily.

REPRODUCE

Can grow from seed but best results are from grafted plants.

feijoa

Why Grow Feijoa?

Here are some of the many reasons to grow Feijoa

  • It produces in abundance!
  • It is self-fertile
  • Evergreen – ornamental all year round
  • Delicious juicy fruit that are sweet with a perfumey flavor
  • Green fruit which is harder to see from pests
  • Hardy tree – easy to grow
  • The whole fruit is edible!
  • Flowers are edible
  • Foliage is said to have fire-retardant qualities
  • Drought tolerant
  • Dense foliage can be pruned to a hedge for screening areas

Popular Feijoa Varieties

Feijoas are commonly sold as seedling plants under the name Pineapple Guvava or Feijoa Sellowiana these will perform with mixed results and can take 6+ years to start fruiting. Choosing a grafted or named variety will offer a quicker-producing tree that will be true to type. Varieties will vary from country to country.

Duffy – Medium – large sized fruit. Popular all round variety.

White Goose – Large fruit with juicy white flesh. Early season fruiting that can last quite a long time.

Mammoth – Large round fruit with thick wrinkled skin. Can benefit from a pollinator tree. Tall upright tree.

Apollo – Medium – large oval fruit. Smooth light green skin. Tall upright tree. Semi-self-fertile – benefits from another pollinator tree.

Unique – Medium-sized fruit. Smooth, juicy, and sweet. Starts fruiting from a young age.

Triumph – Medium-sized fruit. Slightly gritty but good flavour. Late season bearing.

Nazemetz – Large oval/pear-shaped fruit. Smooth skin with sweet flesh. Self-fertile but will bear heavily with cross-pollination.

QUICK TIPS

  • Choose a named variety (x2 different ones for bonus pollination)
  • Choose a sunny location
  • Add plenty of compost
  • Mulch
  • Ensure plenty of water during fruiting (summer)
  • Fruit is ready in Autumn

When to Plant

Plant your Feijoa plants in Spring or Autumn to avoid added stress from summer and winter temperatures.

How to Grow

To plant your feijoa pick a sunny spot they like full sun for 6-8 hours at least. And quite a bit of space as these trees will grow quite large (2-5m). You can prune them back heavily though so it’s not a major issue. They will also grow well in a large pot.

Dig a hole twice as big as the pot and mix a little compost in with the soil. If your plant has tightly bound roots make sure you free them up before planting it out. Firmly pack the soil back around and cover it with mulch. Just pull back the mulch from the trunk so you don’t rot the trunk. Feijoas have shallow feeder roots so keep weeds and plants at a minimum under the tree line.

Give it big water! Now you basically don’t have to do anything for the first couple of years except keep it watered, especially during the dry season. You may get flowers in the first year or it makes take a couple of years until it is established enough to put out flowers. It flowers in spring and the fruits are usually ready and ripe in Autumn.

Care/ Maintenance

Feeding

Once your tree is established and starting to flower and fruit you can look at more fertilizing and watering. You can feed your plants near the end of winter, spring, and summer with compost or worm teas, or liquid seaweed. I don’t do a lot of feeding but I do chop and drop the prunings and add layers of mulch each year.

Watering

Another key tip is to ensure your plants get plenty of water during summer and late summer as the fruits are developing. This is something we struggle with here in Perth because we basically get no rain in summer. This last summer was so so dry and my trees were loaded with fruit. I obviously didn’t water them enough for the amount of fruit they had and the results are a strange hollow center. The fruit still tastes delicious just not quite as juicy as it should be.

So I will have more mulch and more water next season. From memory, I was only hand watering max twice a week and it was extremely hot here so I’m not surprised really.

Pruning

Once your feijoas have finished fruiting and you have picked up all the dropped fruit. It can be a good time to prune your trees if you want. I like to prune mine each year so that the fruit is always within reach. Otherwise, it ends up over the neighbor’s fence or is bruised from falling so far to the ground. Feijoas love a prune and it can actually improve fruiting. I cut back about 20-30% each year and I find that it grows back about that much so my trees stay relatively the same height by doing this.

Plus by cutting back 20% of the tree I get a whole lot of green material to compost. In my food forest-style garden, I don’t remove anything so all prunings go directly back into the garden. So with the feijoas, I prine using hedge shears or loppers for larger branches and chop them into small pieces then lay them around the trees. This breaks down and feeds the plants. If I had a mulcher I would definitely use that but it works fine for me too. then I often add mulch on top.

Pollination

You may notice lots of small birds in your trees when they are flowering. Don’t worry as they are helping pollinate the flowers. They harvest the nectar and also eat the petals but generally allow the main flower to stay put and fruit. Bees and small birds are the main types of pollinators.

One tree will still perform amazingly as they are self-fertile but having multiple just increases your harvests. It can also extend your season. Meaning different varieties take longer or shorter to flower or ripen and you can get extended harvests.

One thing to note is feijoas ripen quickly and in bulk. So they come in hard and fast.

Pests / Disease

Rats and possums will love your fruit and also parrots and birds. You may want to net or bag fruits if you are worried. I definitely have rats and parrots but so far I haven’t needed to bag fruit as they are doing minimal damage to my large harvests. Fruit flies and guava moths are also a problem in other areas. Again this would need to be bagged when the fruit is young before they get stung.

How/ When to Harvest

Now comes the fun part – harvesting. How do we tell when the fruit is ripe if it remains green? Well, it falls off the tree. So each morning you can go out and pick up all the fruit from the ground. It is important to pick all the fruit up because otherwise, you will attract pests like rats and possums, or fruit flies. Feijoas do continue to ripen off the tree so you want to eat them quite quickly or use and preserve them. I like the tartness of fresh feijoas and they get sweeter and more perfumy as they ripen which is why I never like feijoas from the stores as I find them too overripe.

Most people will cut the fruit in half and scoop out the inside to eat but you can eat the whole fruit. Especially when they are quite ripe the skin is sour and the inside is sweet it has a nice balance.

Reproducing

Ripe feijoas may have small brown seeds inside. These can be planted in moist soil. Feijoas do not grow true to type from seed so they may produce fruit different from the one you saved the seeds from.

Cooking and Using

Feijoas are delicious eaten fresh off the tree. You can eat the whole fruit or cut it in half and scoop out the insides. Once they fall from the tree they may still be a little tart. Allow to ripen for a few days and they will become softer, sweeter, and juicer. However, they will continue to ripen and become over-ripe. Fruit flies may also find them on the bench so I like to keep them in the fridge.

Feijoa flowers are beautiful and the petals are edible. I saved a bunch to add to teas. Just carefully remove the soft white and pink petals without removing the whole flower.

Feijoa pairs well with: Ginger, Coconut, Apple, Cinnamon, Chilli, Citrus, Pear, Nuts, Dark chocolate, Yogurt

Feijoa ideas:

  • Juices
  • Smoothies
  • Cakes
  • Jam
  • Crumble
  • Muffins
  • Icecream

Preserving the Harvest

Feijoa trees once mature will produce bucketloads of fruit! They can be frozen to use in smoothies and juices or baking or preserved in jams, chutney, alcohol infusions, and bottled.

Feijoa Posts

Previous Feature Plants

Shady situations: How to grow food in a shady garden 🌿 Homegrown Podcast

Shady situations: How to grow food in a shady garden 🌿 Homegrown Podcast

Our gardens will inevitably get shadier as mature trees start to grow. We will also get more shade in our gardens throughout the year during different seasons. In this episode of the Homegrown Podcast, we will discuss how to grow food if you have areas of shade in the garden. What to plant, how to maximise production and minimise disease.

Be sure to subscribe for future episodes.

Listen on Apple Podcast: click here

Listen on Spotify: click here

Watch the episode

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Bottle Gourd

Bottle Gourd

Plant of The Month

Bottle Gourds are an abundant climbing plant that produce a range of different sized and shaped fruits depending on the variety. Not only do they produce a huge amount of food but they can also be dried to use as bowls, cups, bottles, and other vessels or containers.

So far this season each vine has produced over 30kg of food with the potential for much more! Once you get to know how to use the bottle gourd it may just become one of the most used vegetables in your garden.

What parts of Bottle Gourd are edible?

PLANT

Sow seeds in spring- summer.

SOIL

Free-draining compost.

LOCATION

Warm sunny location

CARE

Help train the vine up structures. Prune older leaves to improve airflow. Hand pollinate when possible.

FERTILISE

Feed with compost teas and keep well mulched.

PESTS

Rats, aphids, snails.

HARVEST

Harvest when large and still green for eating or leave to dry out for bottles.

REPRODUCE

Grows easily from seed.

Why Grow Bottle Gourd?

Here are some of the many reasons to grow Bottle Gourds

  • Easy to grow
  • One plant provides an abundance!
  • Climbing vine – vertical gardening
  • Cover or create shade for the garden
  • Versatile crop
  • Make bowls or vessels
  • Base crop to make many dishes
  • Grows well in containers

Popular Bottle Gourd Varieties

Gourds come in many different shapes.

New Guinea Bean – Lagenaria siceraria – Italian heiloom. Popular in India where it grows easily. Large pale green tube-like gourds that can grow over 1m if left. Harvest at 40cm for eating. creamy white flesh simular to Zucchini.

Birdhouse Gourd – Lagenaria siceraria – Round bowl-shaped gourds with a narrow neck that can be used green as a zucchini substitute or left to dry and make into bowls and hanging bird feeders.

Round Bottle Gourd – Lagenaria siceraria – Large round bottle gourds that are perfect for making bowls. Can be eaten when young and green.

Mini bottle Gourd – Lagenaria siceraria – Popular for crafts. Round on the bottom then a skinny center with another bowl at the top similar to an hourglass shape.

Cucuzza Squash – Lagenaria siceraria – Slim elongated pale yellow-green gourd. Can be used as a Zucchini substitute.

Speckled Swan or Gooseneck Gourd – Lagenaria siceraria – Dark green with light speckles. Bowl-shaped base with a curved neck to look like a swan. Very decorative gourds.

When to Plant

Gourds love warm weather! Plant your seedlings out into the garden after your last frost when the weather is starting to warm up. Seeds can be started indoors until it is warm enough to go into the garden.

How to Grow

  • Choose a sunny spot with 6-8 hours of sunlight or dappled part shade.
  • Plant seeds direct or in seed trays first.
  • Ensure you have a decent-sized trellis or arbor for them to grow up. Bottle gourds are vigorous growing similar to a pumpkin. It is best to have them up off the ground. Pergola-type structures or tunnels work best so that the bottle gourds can hang down.
  • Keep new plants well watered, especially during summer
  • Prune older leaves off that are starting to go brown or damaged to allow more airflow. Bottle gourds like pumpkins can get powdery mildew in wet or humid weather.
  • Hand pollinate to ensure successful harvests. I have found even with bees about hand-pollinating is often necessary. Remove the petals from the male flower (which has no baby fruit on it) and dust the female flowers with pollen (they have baby fruit at the base of the flower)

Care/ Maintenance

Plants will grow quickly in late summer and may need help to be trained or directed in the right direction to remain on the trellis. Hand-pollinate for added success. Remove powdery mildew leaves.

Pests / Disease

Rats may eat the fruit. Slugs and snails can be an issue when the plants are still small.

How/ When to Harvest

  • Bottle gourds can be harvested at many stages. While the skin is still soft and can be easily scratched they are best for eating.
  • To get a continuous crop harvest regularly so the plant has more energy to keep producing. Near the end of summer when the plant slows down you can leave the gourds on the vine to dry and go brown for crafts and vessels.

Reproducing

Bottle Gourds grow easily from seed.

  • Allow the gourd to mature on the plant (until it stops getting bigger and starts to get harder skin or go brown and dry). Cut the gourd open and scoop out the seeds. Separate from the flesh and allow to dry completely on a plate. Pop in a container or brown paper bag, label and date then store in a cool dark location until next spring.

Cooking and Using

Bottle Gourd can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. Bottle gourd is used in a similar way to Zucchini. Peel the outer skin off using a vegetable peeler. If the gourd has started to go hard on the outside you may need to use a knife to slice the outer skin. Remove the center pith and seeds.

Bottle gourd has very little flavour and makes a great vegetable to use as a filler or to carry flavours via dressings and marinades. Bottle gourd is a great way to thicken up smoothies.

Bottle Gourd pairs well with: Garlic, Ginger, Spinach, Tomato, Chilli, Banana, Apple, Lemon, Cheese, Nuts, Cream, Herbs

Bottle Gourd ideas:

  • Juices
  • Smoothies
  • Cakes
  • Fritters
  • Chutney
  • Pasta

Preserving the Harvest

Bottle Gourd can be frozen to use in soups, curries, or smoothies. Dehydrate strips using a vegetable peeler or zoodle maker can be dried and used as an alternative to pasta.

Bottle Gourd Posts

Previous Feature Plants

Homegrown the live show

Homegrown the live show

I am so excited to announce the launch of my brand new live show and podcast – Homegrown with Sustainable Holly. Homegrown the live show is a live podcast for those who want to grow food at home and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Welcome to the edible gardening Podcast x Livestream where you can listen, ask questions, or watch live and be a part of an interactive gardening show. Together we will sow seeds, discuss what’s happening in the garden, make plans, and track goals to grow more food at home naturally and sustainably.

Homegrown is hosted by Holly an Edible Gardener, YouTuber, and Photographer creating a more sustainable life in the suburbs of Perth, Australia. Join us Wednesdays at 5pm AWST – live on YouTube and grow your own nourishing homegrown food!

homegrown the live show

Homegrown the live show

β–Ί WATCH the live videos

β–Ί LISTEN on Spotify

β–ΊLISTEN on Apple Podcasts

Be sure to subscribe to get updates on when new episodes go live! And if you found some inspiration from the show I would love it if you could give me a rating and review. This helps me grow the show and be able to get lots more exciting guests.

Why is it a live show?

Live streaming allows us to have real, raw and unedited conversations about growing food at home and also behind the scenes of growing a business from the garden it’s going to be an evolving show but we are starting right here in my kitchen. I’m so excited to have you along for the journey and to see where we can go next with this live cast. I already have some incredible inspirational guests that are crazy enough to put their hands up to join us here in future episodes.

And just a forewarning whether you are watching is live on YouTube or listening to the podcast after the fact i just want to put it out there that this is a live show so there may at times real life background noise like my dog Tama barking at someone driving down “his” street or people turning up, neighbors on power tool. I mean who knows what is going to happen but its all part of the adventure right?

How can I get involved?

Join for the livestream over on YouTube on Wednesays and get involved! Join in the live chat, ask questions and make suggestions for future episodes. To keep the flow of the show for those that are listening to it after recording, i will answer questions at the end. So pop any questions you have in the livechat and write a Q at the start so i can see them clearly from the comments and stick around to the end and i will feature some of your questions!

Want to be a Guest on the show? Send me a quick message with a little info about your garden and we will take it from there!

10 Perennial Edible Climbing Vines for productive gardens

10 Perennial Edible Climbing Vines for productive gardens

Edible Climbing Vines help maximise growing space and double the amount of food in each garden bed or container. One thing that I think is so underrated is the ability to grow food up πŸ‘†

Today I am going to share a list of edible climbers to grow in your garden and utilise vertical space and create shade and protection. These 10 edible climbing vines are perennials which means they will produce more and more food each year without us having to replant them!

There are so many incredible reasons you should be growing food vertically.

Not only to maximize space but also to increase airflow to reduce rot or disease, strategic shade, or like me to reduce some of the heat in my garden by covering my ugly fences!

Click to watch for bonus Planting Tips πŸ‘‡

Annuals vs Perennials 🌿

Annuals will allow you to still change up your garden beds each season and have the flexibility of space. Whereas perennials (which grow for longer than 2 years) will allow you to get a crop established and provide long-term protection and produce more and more food each year.

10 Perennial Edible Climbing Vines

1. Passionfruit

Passionfruit is one of my favourite fruits to eat and the main reason I am growing this edible climber in my garden. They are also evergreen so it has leaves all year round to create shade and protection. Passionfruit have thick, lush leaves so they work perfectly to cover fences or create screens to block out unsightly structures or areas.

Watch the video above to see how to plant passionfruit from a store-bought fruit!

BONUS TIP: Purchase a passionfruit plant that is NOT grafted. Grafted passionfruit needs to be carefully maintained or the rootstock can quickly take over and become invasive with no fruit.

2. Choko /Chayote

Choko is a quick-growing vining edible plant that can make great summer shade to protect your summer garden. They will often die back over winter but will pop up and regrow each spring. Any fruits left on the ground will also easily regrow.

Choko are similar to a large zucchini or marrow and can be used as a substitute for potatoes or even apples to bulk up pie recipes.

3. Sweet Potato

Growing Sweet Potatoes / KΕ«mara (Ipomoea batatas) in your home garden is a great step toward self-sufficiency. They are my favourite permaculture plant and are an easy crop to grow for beginner gardeners. It is important to grow plants that support and encourage other plants and beneficial insects in your garden. Creating a cohesive ecosystem that promotes the growth and success of your garden’s health and supports abundant harvests.

Sweet potatoes send out runners and can easily be trained up a vertical trellis. Plus, many people do not know that the leaves of the sweet potato plant are also edible.

4. Grapes

The great thing about growing grapes as edible climbers is that they are deciduous. This means they lose their leaves in winter so you can plant grapes strategically to provide shade in summer and let light through in winter!

5. Malabar Spinach

Malabar spinach is a fantastic edible climber for warm or tropical climates. It thrives in summer during warm weather when most other spinach and leafy greens die off. This can help fill the gaps in your seasonal harvests. Malabar spinach can be grown in pots or containers. It has succulent-like leaves so can handle hot weather but it can be frost sensitive.

6. Butterfly Pea

If you love colour then this edible climber will be perfect for you! With bright blue-purple flowers the butterfly pea is a striking addition to an edible garden. The flowers can be used as a natural food colouring or infused in teas or cocktails. Plus, if you add acidity such as lemon juice the colour will transform to hot pink! Such a fun plant to grow.

7. Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit can be grown over structures to create great canopy shade. They are prolific produces and the fruit can be eaten fresh, frozen for smoothies, made into jams and even dehydrated for naturally sweet treats. You will need to have both a male and a female plant for pollination.

8. Kiwiberry

Kiwi berries have a similar taste to the kiwifruit but are much smaller around the same size as a grape. Kiwi berry vines grow really well in containers or urban gardens.

9. Nasturtium

Nasturtium is often known for its wild rambling nature but it can be trained vertically as an edible climber. The whole plant is edible including the leaves, flowers and seed pods. Nasturtium has a strong peppery taste and can be used in salads, flavoured salts, pickles and many other recipes. Here in Perth, my Nasturtium dies down in summer but will pop up and regrow by itself in Autumn/winter.

10. Scarlett Runner Bean

Scarlet runner beans are also known as the 7-year bean because they pop up and regrow each year (for about 6-7 years). Beans are a great addition to an edible garden and can easily be cooked or frozen to preserve.

Annual Climbing Vines 🌿

Annual climbers are also great because they don’t need dedicated space so you can grow, harvest and remove then grow something different each season! Having a mix of annuals and perennials will help you grow more food all year round.

Annual climbers can be plants such as Cucumber, Squash, Tomatoes, Pumpkin, and Melons.

Want to learn more about my favourite Perennials? Download the Free Ebook Here

Green Curry Paste

Green Curry Paste

Making your own green curry paste is so easy! You will never want to buy it again after you get the perfect blend. It will need adjusting to your heat tolerance but mine is quite low so you can always build on it from there. Using fresh herbs and ingredients from your garden takes this green curry paste to the next level! Extra curry paste can be frozen for a future quick and easy garden-to-plate meal.

See the bottom of the page for how to turn this green curry paste into a delicious meal.

green curry paste

Green Curry Paste

Yield: 1-2

Fresh and vibrant green curry paste to make a delicious garden-to-plate meal from scratch!

Ingredients

  • 6 Green Chillies (long cayenne) - see notes
  • 1 Spring onion
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 10 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup lemon balm (or 1 stalk lemon grass)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tsp Raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the ends of the green chillies and remove the seeds (this is optional. Keep to the side if you want to add extra heat) and slice and add to a blender or mortar and pestle.
  2. Peel the ginger using the back of a spoon and slice it into small pieces.
  3. Zest the lime and add the zest and juice to the mix.
  4. Dice and chop all other ingredients and add everything to the mix.
  5. Blitz or pound until a paste-like consistency. You may need to add a splash of water if it is not mixing.
  6. Use immediately or freeze for future use.

Notes

  • Green Cayenne are on the mild side. If you are using hotter chillies use less or more to your heat preference. I also remove the seeds because I like it mild. Keep the seeds to the side and add extra during the cook if you want to increase the heat.
  • Other herbs and greens can be added such as parsley or corriander

How to make a Green Curry

To turn your green curry paste into a delicious garden-to-plate meal follow these steps.

  1. In a deep pan or Wok, brown onions in 1TSBP Olive Oil.
  2. Add your protein of choice and brown off.
  3. Add the green curry paste and stir to combine for 1 minute
  4. Add 400ml of Coconut cream.
  5. Stir and taste. Add extra sugar or salt if needed. Salt helps bring out more flavor. Sugar can ease some of the spice.
  6. Add chopped greens and veggies such as Zucchini, Capsicum, Carrot, Snow Peas, Beans, and Chard.
  7. Cook until protein is cooked through and veggies are softened but still have a bit of crunch.

Roasted Sweet Potato rounds are also delicious on top of a green curry!

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Greens

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Greens

These sweet and spicy greens are packed with flavour. Sweet potato greens are thriving in the warmer months just as chillies are. Combining two in-season crops is a great way to get the most out of your garden. The Sweet Potato greens can be swapped for a mix of other greens in your garden such as spinach or chard.

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Greens

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Greens

Yield: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

Chilli and sweet potato greens are both thriving in the warmer months. This sweet and spicy side dish is a great way to combine the two.

Ingredients

Greens

  • 4-6 cups Sweet Potato Greens
  • 1 TSBP Sunflower Seeds

Sweet and Spicy Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 red cayenne chillies (or your favourite)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 TSP Red wine vinegar
  • 1 TSP Maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 TSP Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 /4 cup finely chopped red onion

Instructions

  1. Pick and wash your sweet potato greens well (see notes)
  2. Finely slice Onion, Garlic and Chilli. Remove the chilli seeds if you don't want it too spicy (I prefer no seeds).
  3. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients together and mix well.
  4. Heat a large wok or frying pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Add sweet potato greens and 3/4 of the sauce mix and stir-fry until the greens have wilted.
  6. Place on a side dish and top with the remaining sauce along with Sunflower seeds and flowers to serve. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Sweet Potato Greens excrete a white milky substance when picked. This can cause allergies to sensitive skin. Rinse well.
  • Sweet potato leaves will wilt to less than 1/4 the original size just like spinach does.
  • Choose young sweet potato leaves and shoots - the newest 4-5 leaves.
  • Add and swap for other greens such as spinach or chard.
  • Make it as mild or as spicy as you like by adding in or removing the seeds.