Meet my lunch from yesterday – a bowl of salad:
It might not look that exciting, but for me it both encapsulates many of my dreams for the future, as well as reinforcing how happy I am to be here in the Huon Valley, with enough time to garden again.
Having only been in this house since mid-September, I am pretty darn happy with our veggie patch so far. I’ve had to construct it in odds and ends of time around our house renovations, a rather stressful period of work, lovely visits from friends and family and a trip back to W.A.
The patch was constructed on top of what was previously a rather old rose garden interspersed with grass and bulbs. I’m not a big fan of roses, and this was the primo spot for my veggies, so most of the bushes had to go. Which has meant a lot of digging and hoeing, and rapid haphazard construction of raised beds on top of newspaper or cardboard so I could quickly cover over the grass. Not the best procedure in every case, but I was so keen to get some food in, and the window for spring and summer planting here in Southern Tassie is slim! I’ve also not had time yet to enclose the patch to keep out our various animal friends, so each bed has its own thrown together mini-net or barrier where possible.
One of my favourite bits of the resultant, rather messy veggie patch is what I call my ‘salad bowl’, planted in half an old rusting water tank we pulled down from its rotting frame. You can see it just to the far right of this photo – with thriving pumpkins in front and my three latest beds to the left.
Inside is a riot of mixed lettuce greens planted in a circle around a ring of spring onions with carrots in the middle, currently being swamped by rocket going to seed. Deliberately, of course!
in a matter of seconds I have a bowl of fresh, gourmet lettuce leaves that put any of those supermarket mixed bags to shame. (And yes, to my shame I have bought those bags many a time in the past.) Even better, the seeds came from our local friendly farmer from Golden Valley Farm – can’t get more local than that!
Into a bowl with some lightly boiled eggs from my chooks, a scatter of sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, grated parmesan and a quick oil and vinegar dressing – voila! Not just lunch, but a promise of next year, or sometime soon, when most of these ingredients will similarly come from just outside the back door.
OK – perhaps not the olive oil (although we do have a very healthy looking olive tree here) but I’m aiming for everything else!