After the heat of our blinding summer, the weather takes a blessedly cooler turn…finally. My mind turns to what vegetables I can plant for the upcoming winter’s crops. Growing your own vegetables is somewhat akin to a religion for some people. Yes, it’s environmentally sound and eliminates carbon miles, but nothing can beat the taste of freshly harvested vegetables from your own garden. The taste is so much better than what you can buy anywhere else. I also grow them organically, so I can ensure that my family isn’t consuming any nasty hidden chemicals. It’s so easy to do that I would encourage anyone to give it a go. It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment with a small balcony as veggies are easy to grow in containers. And there’s nothing like getting your hands dirty to remind you that you are apart of nature.
Planting in autumn is delightful; it’s still warm during the day but cooler in the mornings. The prospect of rain increases and the garden calls out desperately for a clean up and replant after the summer has done its job of burning and drying it away. I prepped the garden beds with a blended manure (sheep and cow are best)…smelly but the veggies adore it. I’ve also replanted some perennial herbs that were well and truly past their best.
Our family always sow broad beans for winter. They are perfect when simply prepared with melted butter and salt – I leave the skins on, though I know that upper crust fancy restaurants take them off (I guess they don’t look too appealing), but they are full of fibre and very nutritious. We always end up with a huge amount, but they are easy to blanch and freeze for use throughout the year.
We also sow beetroot, as nothing beats roasted beets (sorry for the pun) with a roast dinner. Though a lovely borscht or baba ganoush is also very enjoyable.
This year I’ve experimented by also planting some brussel sprout seedlings. I love brussel sprouts. They are sweet little packages filled with goodness. At a school camp, my sister and I were the only ones to ask for second helpings of brussel sprouts…we were very weird kids! I’ve also planted some bok choy. Bok choy is lovely sauteed with oyster sauce, grated ginger and garlic…yummy.
I like to dress the garden beds with lupin mulch as it is full of nitrogen and it gets the vegetables off to a flying start. Now that everything is in; I’ll lovingly feed them, water them and watch them as they grow into beautiful vegetables that our family will enjoy.