In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death.
This year at Casa de Cooker the gardens have been more of the later and very little of the former.
When I started Cooker and a Looker I had intentions of sharing photos and information about some of the species we've planted on the farm, timely posts about what veggies to plant when and a little secret Laurel taught me to get the best flowers from your Phalaenopsis orchids. Lately, I've been wondering if gardening has any place on this blog at all.
The blog was in its infancy when I wrote a pretty detailed post for Stacey at The Veggie Mama about organic pest control to help her out after the birth of her veggie baby.
Since then, things have gone downhill. The veggie patch is in danger of being overrun by the chrysanthemums that the girls gave me for Mother’s Day last year. Very few of the heritage seeds that I planted actually germinated, and not many of the plants that made it to seedlings survived being planted out into the garden. The corn was accidentally killed by spray drift from Bearhand’s beloved roundup.
This summer was the driest period we've ever experienced on the farm. I managed to nurse some of the heirloom tomato and eggplant plants (eggplant plants? that can’t be right) through by occasionally waving some water in their direction. Then in late January, the heavens opened and it didn't stop raining for months. Most of the tomatoes split and spoiled, but not before I managed to turn some into some delicious tomato paste.
Now against all odds, the eggplants are fruiting - gorgeous little Slim Jims, beautifully mottled Rosa Biancas and Listada de Gandia and Violetta di Firenze that are almost too beautiful to eat.
I get so much satisfaction from picking this handsome harvest from my little garden. Growing veggies make me feel undeservedly proud. I didn't breed these plants or cleverly cross pollinate them to make new varieties, my family would starve if we relied solely on my efforts, I didn’t even harvest the seeds. They’re simply the ones I managed not to kill, but they make me grin like a loon.
So, the gardening page will stay for the moment. Not because I'm good at it, but because I love it.
Don't get me started on gardening. Oh what a lovely tropical garden I had, before the kids moved in! Beautiful fresh herbs in abundance, no weeds, waterwise plants, you name it. Slowly getting back to it. I'm slowly killing some of Mum's orchids I took from her place. I think they're only surviving from that horrendous rain we received recently. xx
I'm not a fan of eggplants but they look great! I like how you describe your gardening page. While it's working, why not! I should send you my mum's mousaka recipe.
We had moussaka last night robomum - it's one of my favourites!
How beautiful your eggplants look! i do love the slim ones, they don't have any bitterness and are beautiful in a vegetable salad! This year, I harvested only a few tomatoes but I have had an abundance of chillis and at the moment the pumpkins have taken over the lawn.
My garden is too little for rambling pumpkin plants. Luckily I know a pumpkin farmer! 🙂
Rita Azar says
These eggplants look amazing! I like my little veggie patch. This year I got a few tomatoes and zucchinis and was very proud!
Glad to hear it's not just me Rita!
Twinkle in the Eye says
They are beautiful aren't they. There is such reward in growing your own - even if that means just rescuing the ones that miraculously survived neglect!
Plants like this are why I love heirloom seeds Bree - they're beautiful and tasty!
Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel says
AAaarrghhh... you've reminded me that I need to sort out the herbs, pick the rest of the celery (which I had planted far too close together) and plant some more crops. seedlings I think, keep it simple.
But when!!?? Love these photos, the food looks luscious.
When? Exactly! We need more hours in the day! I'll wait for May to come around again and then those chrysanthemums are getting the flick!
Annaleis from Teapots and Tractors says
Please let the gardening stay. I love that we see what you grow and what you eat from it. I'm aspiring to be more like you - at the moment i have weeds and no vegetables at all. But I did live in a house and had eggplants that were amazing. I miss that garden - it was a rental and the man before had planted all these herbs and vegetables that just kept on growing.
What is you favourite eggplant recipe?
Thanks Annaleis - this year's crop makes me feel like a bit of a fraud! I love eggplant, so it's hard to pick a favourite, but I made Mum's moussaka recipe last night - it never disappoints - maybe it's my favourite. Stand by, if the photos turned out I'll blog it next week. 🙂
Lydia C lee says
I like that it's the simple things that give the most pleasure...
Gorgeous photos C&L. I would love to do lunch at your place. A tree in the back yard of Chez Abulous sprouted plump juicy mangoes about a month ago. This event triggered amazement rather than pride. We did not even know it was a mango tree. Come to think of it - its something special to have a tree of any description on your property here in the forest of apartment blocks that is Sydney's eastern beaches.
Dawn Pereira says
Eggplant in Sri Lanka is called Brinjal and they grow the long skinny variety. I make a brinjal moju which is like a salad with tomatoes onion green chillie whole grain mustard, which you make yourself and lemon juice with a dash if sugar. I also make a brinjal pahe both of these dishes are an accompaniment to rice and curry. The eggplant has to be deep fried or grilled for a healthier option and its really yummy.
Oh, love the beautiful colours of your eggplants! I go through stages where I eat lots of it then don't touch it. You've inspired me to use in my cooking again!