Our First Harvest (2015) – a limited edition success

Our first harvest is in, has been made into wine and is now, as of today, in barrel!!! I for one am really proud, and particularly of Pumpjack for all the hard work he did, through out the year, to make the vineyard produce something we could actually harvest.  Twelve hour days, 7 days a week, along with a bit of blood, huge amounts of sweat, and not a few (of my own) tears may not be everyone’s glass of wine, but at least we can call the wine ours. Continue reading

Autumn Harvest – planting the unique

As this was my second year gardening vegetables, I put my hand to trying to grow more unusual vegetables.  As a Garden Virgin, I of course had varying success. However, I am very proud of having had a go with melons, various types of basil, sweet potatoes, and particularly Rond de Nice – round courgettes (or zucchini) to you and me.

Last year I planted straight courgettes, only 4 plants, but my oh my did I get a few courgettes. As did the neighbours, and the neighbours of the neighbours, the workmen, heck, anyone who dared come to our door. This year I planted Rond de Nice, mainly because I think they are prettier, but! and this is a big but, it turns out they also produce less and don’t (quiet) take over the garden.

It’s a little trickier figuring out what to do with them. The obvious is stuff them, and that is actually a delicious thing to do as they cook better than squashes this way, since they are softer and have a higher water content. But that can get a little boring after the 3rd time, particularly if you have quite a few of them. I did find you can actually cook them just as you would straight courgettes, cutting them up, ribboning them, whatever the needs are for a recipe.

One of my favourite recipes for courgettes is so very easy, takes about 5 minutes:

Ingredients:
courgette
olive oil
salt
sumac (substitute paprika if you don’t have sumac, though not quite as good)
sesame seeds

Using a potato peeler, peel your courgette (round or otherwise) into ribbons, skin and flesh, until you get to the seeds. Compost the seeded bit.

In a saucepan heat a tablespoon of olive oil on a medium heat. Toss in the courgette ribbons and stir around. Add a pinch of salt. Add a teaspoon of sumac, and stir into the courgette. Add the sesame seeds, and again stir. Stir loosely for about 2 minutes and serve.