A Day in the Garden
The most exciting time in the garden is harvest time, especially when its your first crop. There’s nothing like seeing what has grown from once bare soil in just a couple of months. And there is NOTHING like eating food right after picking it! Everything tastes incredible.
Our first harvest for the day, was not strictly from our veggie patch, but from one of the most amazing trees we have ever seen, the Jabuticaba tree, which grows on the TAFE campus and is just ripening now. As you can see from the image below, the fruit actually grows on the tree trunk and branches. We searched and found a small handful of ripe berries, which are similar in texture to a lychee or grape on the inside. To eat: just pinch open or bite through skin and suck out the juicy insides. Don’t eat the skin just throw it back under the tree for compost!
All the fruit in this image is yet to ripen, but we will be sure and post a photo of the ripened ones in the next couple of weeks (or check out link above for some cool images).
The real harvesting began in the afternoon when we visited our veggie plot which is going gangbusters as you can see below. Despite the lack of chemical sprays, there are few pests and everything looks radiant and healthy.
Many veggies are ready to eat now, such as Zucchini, Kale, Spinach, Lettuce, Cabbage, Beans and Broccoli, and others are just getting started, like the Tomatoes and Basil (below), which have been waiting for the weather to warm up a little.
One of the students found an enormous Zucchini (see below) which seemed to pop up out of nowhere! Our beetroots are getting big and we baked some last night after farming and served them up with some pasta and rocket.
One crop that is difficult to assess from the surface is potatoes, so we decided to check on these amazing underground dwellers by having a little dig around…yep, pretty good, some of these will definitely be ready to harvest next week. First we will chop the green tops off the plant and then let them sit underground for a week or two so that the skin hardens up.
Our biggest harvest of the day was the Spinach and Rainbow Chard, of which we collected an enormous bucket load. We plan to steam it and freeze it and give it away to friends. Rachel also collected pockets full of beans and Michelle came up with a huge bunch of baby Zucchini’s.
The saddest part of today was realising how much will be wasted. There is enough Curly Kale and Lettuce to feed a whole suburb, and the Bok-Choy has already gone to seed mostly uneaten (as it blossomed on our 2 week break). Oh dear. If we can we will try and get some of the harvest into the Liberation Larder and certainly to anyone whose path we cross. It makes sense and brings us so much joy to share a bountiful harvest.