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”

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”

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”

How to grow lettuce in containers on your patio or balcony

It’s not even summer yet, but I’ve already been harvesting lots of lettuce, both from my backyard garden and from containers on my balcony. Lettuce is a pretty easy “beginner” vegetable to grow in either garden beds or in pots – but in some ways it is actually more practical to grow in containers. TheContinue reading “How to grow lettuce in containers on your patio or balcony”

Veggie seedlings growing in your compost? Just say no.

This post is inspired by a reader in Italy, who wrote to say that she had pepper and pumpkin seedlings sprouting in her compost. And by a friend here in town who, a few years ago, was excited that she had thousands of tomatoes growing in her compost – she was trying to give themContinue reading “Veggie seedlings growing in your compost? Just say no.”

Too much asparagus! (Or kale or broccoli or leeks)

It’s a terrible problem to have… I’m such a good vegetable gardener that my harvest is too big! When you grow your own food, it does tend to come all at once sometimes. You can preserve some vegetables (e.g. freezing or canning) – but it sure is nice to use your produce fresh whenever possible.Continue reading “Too much asparagus! (Or kale or broccoli or leeks)”

No, they’re not mutants: Growing giant vegetables

I’ve been sharing photos of my giant vegetable harvests on Twitter for years. Here’s are a few samples, above. Growing vegetables does require some investment (both of time and of money). You’re not merely trying to keep your plants alive – you want to get some food out of it. So you might as wellContinue reading “No, they’re not mutants: Growing giant vegetables”