Veggie gardens are like kids. If you don’t watch closely, they might grow up and go rotten while you’re not paying attention.
This I discovered with my newly planted patch. It’s yielding so much so quickly I have to keep a daily watch. It helps that it’s in my front yard (the sunniest patch) so I can’t avoid casting an eye out whenever I walk to the front door. It was planted just before my trip to the USA in June and by the time I returned home 3 weeks later, there were all kinds of exciting developments.
Mizuna (below) which I had never tasted before, wins the prize for being most productive in the fastest time (not that it’s a race).
I can’t toss it in enough salads or lay enough grilled salmon on it to keep pace. It’s unstoppable and delicious in its slight spiciness.
Bok Choy was the first to go to seed, in a good way.
Lovely yellow flowers developed, reminding me of the phlomis I used to grow in Santa Monica. Although I was reluctant to harvest it and spoil the Sissinghurst effect, it was expanding and threatening the silver beet with extinction, so steamed bok choy it was.
The fava beans (called broad beans here in NZ) were hiding discreetly behind the other veg, drooping all over the ground and needing to be set upright so they could continue to flower.
When I asked David if he’d buy a few lengths of bamboo and some string at the hardware store, I thought his quizzical look indicated a reluctance to do the errand, which would be out of character for him. But no, he was remembering the bags of yarn strewn around our house. Silly me.
So my Favas were propped up and tied with some leftover Habu linen paper (photo below), which may make them look pampered but I do love favas, and want them to go forth into the sunshine and multiply! A bag of Favas from the grocery store is never quite enough, is it?
It used to be that no vegetable was served in my house without butter or cheese sauce. Mmm.
However, I have been dairy free since developing asthma almost the minute I arrived in New Zealand. My doctor suggested I give up cow’s products. What, no butter on your morning toast? has been the reaction of many, and I’m happy to say that jam, honey, or even something savoury like vegemite and sliced tomato tastes just as good. Sheep and goats cheeses don’t seem to cause my airways the same problems so I can happily sprinkle pecorino on my pasta and goat feta on my Greek Salad.
I’m going to eat my favas as I do all other veg, with a dash of olive oil and Bragg’s natural seasoning which I learned about from my LA friend, Anna. It’s available at markets in the US, and I found it at Harvest Wholefoods in Auckland. The flavour is somewhere between marmite and soy sauce and it’s delicious on all vegetables, even steamed potatoes. Try a little garlic sautéd in olive oil in the bargain. Butter will be a distant memory.
p.s. There are a few snails who have come to love my vegetables as much as I do. Does anyone have an organic solution to this problem?