Quinoa: Not only nutritious and easy to grow, but beautiful!

One of the crops that I grow in my garden that seems to surprise people the most is quinoa. Many think of it as an “exotic” food – but that does not mean it needs a tropical climate. It is actually native to the high country of the Andes, so it tends to do veryContinue reading “Quinoa: Not only nutritious and easy to grow, but beautiful!”

Advice for southern hemisphere vegetable gardeners in this time of COVID

It’s springtime in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and much of South America. COVID-19 first came to the attention of most of us here in the northern hemisphere during our springtime – and the many concerns about our food supply made it a very different planting season. In fact, those concerns are why I initiatedContinue reading “Advice for southern hemisphere vegetable gardeners in this time of COVID”

How I am preparing for possible food shortages

Even back in July, on Dave’s and my big trip to the city, I could not find fresh products from Asia such as curry leaves and kaffir limes: the grocers told me it was because of COVID. In August, Dave could no longer get the brand of gnocchi, made in Italy, that we usually getContinue reading “How I am preparing for possible food shortages”

One of my favourite garden harvests: home-grown tomatillos

Tomatillos have to be one of the best-value plants to grow in your home vegetable garden. You absolutely cannot compare the quality of home-grown tomatillos to the rock-hard semi-ripe tomatillo fruit that is (occasionally) available in grocery stores. How do you grow tomatillos? Growing tomatillos is pretty much the same as growing tomatoes – butContinue reading “One of my favourite garden harvests: home-grown tomatillos”

What to do about mould or mildew on cucumber and squash plants

It’s that time of year: the leaves of the cucumber and zucchini and other squash plants are starting to go mouldy. What can you do? Well, first of all, like any sort of problem-solving, you need to understand what the problem is. And it is not actually mould! It is a kind of mildew knownContinue reading “What to do about mould or mildew on cucumber and squash plants”

How to grow the “right” amount of garden vegetables for your household

Some people think that growing vegetables in your backyard garden is like growing vegetables on a farm, only less of everything. But that is absolutely wrong! Anyone growing food for sale – whether a small-scale market gardener or a huge industrial food producer – wants a whole bunch of one or a few things readyContinue reading “How to grow the “right” amount of garden vegetables for your household”

My spice garden: Growing ginger and turmeric in pots

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s, which documented my challenges finding imported fresh spice ingredients (like curry leaves, kaffir limes and fresh turmeric) on last week’s trip to the big city. Long before COVID19 hit us, I have been experimenting with growing various exotic plant foods (those that are usually imported, like rice, quinoa,Continue reading “My spice garden: Growing ginger and turmeric in pots”

COVID19 is already disrupting global food supply chains

I am both a vegetable gardener and a writer, and I’ve been thinking of writing a how-to book about growing your own food at home for years. What has spurred me to do it now is the COVID19 pandemic: I do not have confidence in global food security. I don’t trust that the food supplyContinue reading “COVID19 is already disrupting global food supply chains”

Mmm mmm mustard greens

One of the (many) great things about growing your own fresh vegetables – aside from the unmatched freshness – is that you get to eat foods that are hard to find, or even impossible, to buy. Mustard greens are one of the garden delights that definitely fit into that category. Just like apples (Mackintosh, GrannyContinue reading “Mmm mmm mustard greens”

Photo essay: Spring garden harvest, June 14, 2020

It’s actually shocking how much food you can grow in even a small garden. The trick of small-scale food production is only having a little bit of everything ready each day – rather than having a large harvest all ready at once. Here’s a little photo essay of some of the fruits and vegetables IContinue reading “Photo essay: Spring garden harvest, June 14, 2020”