Today marks the first day of summer in Australia. Great time of the year to be growing food in the garden. I live in a block of four, and four more in the back block. In total eight households and collectively (well, three participating households) we maintain communal vegetable plots, three to be exact in a very urban setting. We are approximately 5km away from the bustling city centre.
And no, we are not fully self-sufficient in our green grocer department but we do grow most of our herbs: three types of mints, basil, curly parsley, rosemary, oregano, lemon grass and turmeric. Currently, we have the following growing in our raised beds: three varieties of chillies, four varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, mix salad greens, rockets, silver beets, beetroots, two varieties of beans, okras, cabbage, leeks, taro, potatoes, rhubarbs and Warrigal greens (a type of spinach native to this part of the world – Tetragonia tetragonoides). All lovingly grown from mainly organic, definitely non-GM non hybrid heritage seeds, or cuttings in the case of the Warrigal.
Spring shower was more of a downpour and both rainwater tanks are overflowing at the time of writing. Let’s hope the rain keeps pouring. Victoria needs all the rain it can get. The unusual wet Spring also brings an unwelcome visitors – thrips. We have an infestation of thrips. The 1:4 milk/water spray seems to work but requires repeat spraying on a regular basis in order to contain the infestation.
Zucchini plants are generous providers. Here’s a refreshing and easy to make summer dish:
- 3 medium size zucchinis
- A bunch of fresh mint, coarsely chopped
Wash the zucchinis and put it through a special vegetable mill that shreds the zucchini into fine and long spaghetti like noodle, and mix well with the chopped mint.
In a small bowl mix the following:
- A clove of garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- A pinch of salt
- A dash of freshly ground pepper
Beat all ingredients with an eggbeater to a smooth consistency and add to the zucchini and mix well. Serve immediately with halves cherry tomatoes.