fbpx

In the Garden, edible flowers.

October is traditionally the month of the year that the vegetable garden is at its leanest. The season is between slow-growing winter vegetables going to seed and the yet to be warm enough to plant out the summer crops.

I’ve been thinking about this and how I ‘think’ that there’s not much in my kitchen garden. The only thing is I forget that I pick and cook something out of it every day. 

I thought I would start writing down a list each month of what I’m eating from the kitchen garden, focusing on one type of edible plant. Even though October is a little lean, by way of vegetables, there is one plant that I have more than enough of … flowers.

October is the middle of spring and spring means a lot of flowers. Because I like to use everything in the kitchen garden, I’ve planted a lot of edible and companion flowering plants over the years. 

The Flowers

You can walk around the garden and snack on any of these flowers, this October …

apple geranium

 
Apple geranium

I would really snack on this one, as it doesn't really have any flavour.

It would go wonderfully in a dry flower thing and it a great companion plant for the kitchen garden. 

borage

 
Borage

I never planted the borage. It just moved in from the neighbours. Now it's all through the kitchen garden. The flowers are rumored to taste like oysters, but I think they just taste like green!

elderflower

 
Elderflower

Pick a large bucket of it. Ferment with lemons and oranges, cover with water for 5 days. Strain and measure how much liquid you have.

Add a third of the volume of sugar. Stir to dissolve. Bottle and save for later.

Now you have Elderflower cordial. 

fennel

 
Fennel seed

For a while, I couldn't get fennel to set in the kitchen garden. 

I brought some from the plant person at the farmers market. She said that if I planted it out and let it go to seed, I'll have fennel forever. 

For the time being this means that I have a lot of lovely seed and pollen to use in salads, cakes, desserts or with pasta. 

nasturtiums

 
Nasturtiums

Another plant that I struggled to grow in the first few years at Jacican. Now it grows like a weed (and I pull it out like a weed)

You can eat the mustard flavoured leaves and flowers. great in a salad. I think back in the day, they where eaten in white bread as a sandwich! 

pineapple sage

 
Pineapple sage

Use a lot on those competition cooking shows. In my kitchen garden, it grows by itself. Loves a hard prune.

You can just pull the sweet flowers off and eat like a lolly. I like to bake them into a vanilla butter cake for something a little fancy.  

rosemary

 
Rosemary

Lovely with lamb, you can use the cakes in cakes for a savoury flavoured dessert. Sprinkled on top of ice cream for something a little different. 

sage

 
Sage

it's everywhere in my kitchen garden. And what lovely flowers. 

I seem to add sage to many things. The flowers are great in salads or served as a garnish with beef. 

 saltbush

 
Saltbush

An Australian native that grows in dry coastal area. In dry times it is feed to sheep or these days, so they can charge more.

I cook the leaves under lamb for a very salty jus. You can use the flowers just like salt. But they come with a warning ... they are very very salty. 

thyme

 
Thyme

Thyme, thyme, thyme .. what's become of me!

Bake these tiny flowers into a vanilla cake or flavour ice-cream 

Now for everything else I have to eat out the kitchen garden, this October ...

The vegetables

Vegetables that are coming out of the Jacican kitchen garden this October are …

Rhubarb

Very young potatoes

Horseradish

Young garlic (you use it like spring onions)

Last year’s shallots

Cauliflower

Cabbage

Brussel sprouts

The greens

Green leafy plants that grow pretty much by themselves in the Jacican kitchen garden and you can eat this October …

Sorrell

Warragul greens

Kale

Silverbeet

The herbs

Never by herbs from a shop when you’ve got these growing in the kitchen garden this October ...

Parsley … so much parley

All the thymes you can think off

Lemon & lime balm

So much mint and in 5 or more flavours

A few people ask me what seeds we should plant now because there are lots of people out there that haven't gardened before.

As you can see, I've gardened before.

You can pick these up from any of your normal hardware shops Mr. Fothergills, Radish, broccoli and bok choy (pak choi), are my recommendations to start with.

 Seeds to grow in April in Mirboo North Gippsland at Jacican

I’m going plant bok choy seeds in the garden, and I'll show you how you do it.

It's really, really, really easy.

In the packet, you get a roll of seed tape, two lengths of 2.5 metres.

In a normal household, you would plant 1 metre at a time, which means you got to have five months’ worth of seeds, one meter at a time, once a month for five months.

What we do is scraped back some mulch, throw the ball for the dog in between.

Rough up the top of the soil, it doesn’t need to be very deep, and lay in the seed tape and sprinkle back over the dirt or you could use a little potting mix

That's it, you've planted some bok choy

Bok choy will grow the fastest, it maybe will only take 4 to 6 weeks before you are harvesting your own.

bok choy in the Jacican kitchen garden in Mirboo North Gippsland

It will depend on how warm the weather stays.

This is what you will end up with after about 4 weeks, bok choy ready to eat!

grow your own bok choy in the Jacican kitchen garden in Mirboo North Gippsland  grow your own bok choy at Jacican Mirboo North Gippsland

Jaci

Jacican Cooking School's kitchen garden, Mirboo North Gippsland

Each year I grow a year’s supply of tomatoes in the kitchen garden. Usually, it’s three beds each holding 36 plants. After losses, I end up with about 100 tomato plants. All of them have different colours, shapes and sizes.

How to grow tomatoes at Jacican cooking school, Gippsland

All the tomatoes I grow, I grow from seed. I start tomato season in July, reviewing my collection of seeds, hunting out new ones to try, purchasing fresh seed. If you don’t get your seeds early, you rush when it’s time for planting

Sometimes around the middle of August, I spend an hour or two planting out the seeds in the glasshouse.

How to grow tomatoes at Jacican cooking school, Gippsland

 

How to grow tomatoes at Jacican cooking school, Gippsland

I use a 4 cm square seed raising trays that hold 24 plants. I’m a little bit lazy, so I buy fresh seed raising mix from the Mirboo North nursey. I fill each square with seed raising mix and poke a hole in the mix with a skewer. I then place a couple of seeds in the hole and push back over the dirt.

How to grow tomatoes at Jacican cooking school, Gippsland

Now the most important thing … remember to label. Each tomato gets an ice pole stick, with a handwritten label. I use Ice pole sticks, as they last a season, then break down into the soil.

Jacican grows all tomato seeding for the kitchen garden

Now water and wait. In about 4 months I’ll have tomatoes.

Jaci

PS: You can only harvest your own tomatoes at Jacican, as a guest in a Harvest Lunch, when tomatoes are in season. This is usually between February and early May.

Jaci from Jacican cooking school picks fresh tomatoes in her kitchen garden, Mirboo Nortg, Gippsland

I don’t really like store brought tomatoes. They can be a little bland so I avoided buying them.

This has led me to grow my own. Each year I grow a year supply of tomatoes. The catch is I only have fresh ones when it is the season. The rest are bottled in the Vacola and turned into sauce or chutney.

Each year, I look forward to the summer when we can start sharing fresh tomatoes with you. Once they start to fruit – there are about 100 plants in my kitchen garden each year, all the colours, shapes and sizes I am happy to share. Often guests go home with a bag of fresh fruit for later!

Varieties I have grown in the past include Jaune Flamme, Brown cherry, green Zebra, Green grape, Amish paste, Italian Flat Roma.

What varieties will you find this year?

Jaci

Tomatoes in Jacican cooking school kitchen garden, Mirboo North, Gippsland  Tomatoes in Jacican cooking school kitchen garden, Mirboo North, Gippsland  Tomatoes in Jacican cooking school kitchen garden, Mirboo North, Gippsland

Tomatoes in Jacican cooking school kitchen garden, Mirboo North, Gippsland  Tomatoes in Jacican cooking school kitchen garden, Mirboo North, Gippsland  Tomatoes in Jacican cooking school kitchen garden, Mirboo North, Gippsland

PS: You can only harvest your own tomatoes at Jacican, as a guest in a Harvest Lunch, when tomatoes are in season. This is usually between February and early May.

Jacican cooking school's kitchen garden, Mirboo North, Gippsland

 

 

Tomatoes in Jacican cooking school kitchen garden, Mirboo North, Gippsland

 

   

 

Visit Jacican
__________________________
32 Giles Street, Mirboo North Victoria 3871
Postal Address:
PO Box 156, Mirboo North Victoria 3871
Contact Jacican
________________________________
Telephone: (03) 5668 2475

Copyright @2020 Jacican.com.au  Privacy Policy | Security Policy | Shipping Policy | Terms of UseAccomodation | Sitemap