Sunday, October 31, 2010

Warming up

Night are still cold here even though during the day we have above 20 degree Celsius. Our summer vegetable seeds germination are not good as last year for some vegetable seeds. Last year, chili seeds germinated in September. But this year until now it won’t germinate for us. Cucurbit too has lower germination in this month compared to last year. On the other hand, okra, bitter gourd and snake bean seeds pop up this month which is 2 weeks earlier than last year. Last year were bought seeds but this time okra, bitter gourd and snake bean seeds are home-saved seeds.

Luckily, we have several chili plants that survive through winter grown from last summer. I almost pull it out from the soil because it look dead. I pruned this plants and now new young leaves has already grown. This mean I don’t have to long for it to fruit.

DSC09563 A few chili plants has also produced flowers.

DSC09551 White coloured sweet potato grown from tuber already producing shoots.DSC09561

Galangal has develop new bud for leaf shoot.


Bush bean (Redland pioneer) has start to produce.DSC09542  Last summer survived Lebanese eggplant has start to flower.

DSC09604 Early long eggplant also does not want to be left out producing flowers. This eggplant plants produces so many fruit until May and managed to live through winter. I hope it will provide plenty harvest this summer too.

DSC09599 Nice surprise from papaya seeds from the fruit that we ate.

DSC09537 Counting the days for munching freshly pick tomatoes from our own garden.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Seed from Alice Springs

Today I received a mail from Chris author of Under the Mulberry Tree blog and under the Alice Springs seedsavers some rare seeds: Melon~Sweet Turkish Leopard, Maize~Mozambique, Carrots~ Afgan purple and yellow. I am not even sure how this vegetables or fruit look like and that is part of the fun growing them will be. The melon picture is in Chris title collage fourth picture.I plan to sow the maize seeds end next month or early December so it won’t cross pollinate with my other sweet corn that is growing in the veggie patch now. Another reason with the long gap is that I have just direct sow some corn seed last week that has not yet pop up. I always wanted to grow other than orange colour carrot in the garden and now I have the purple and yellow carrot seeds in my collection. Chris wrote a note that it is better for these carrot seeds to be sown when daylight decreases so I  will wait until end of summer to sow the carrot seeds. Chris is so generous. I was surprised with the amount of seeds I received. 


This is the first ever dragonfly I have seen since I moved here. I hope more will come and enjoy their stay in our garden.

DSC09410 The seashell mulch has been a good way to prevent snail and slug. The lemon basil, eggplant and red choi seedlings transplanted last week is save from them.

DSC09444 Adelaide will have some few showers this weekend so the plants will be very happy.

Enjoy weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Itsy-bitsy cucurbit

Who is hiding behind the pansies and leeks?

DSC09495It is Miss Itsy-bitsy squash surrounded by friends and two onions  bodyguard at the back.

DSC09486 Zucchini wants to be friends with viola.

DSC09480 This Zucchini has Cineraria to talk too.

DSC09483 Feeling happy that the home save-seed bitter gourd has germinated after a month direct sowing them. I know it was too early to sow them but I just wanted to test whether it will give us some sign later if the soil has warm enough for them. I think bitter gourd seed pop up earlier than last year.

DSC09488 We are still harvesting cold season vegetable even though we are already through middle of spring.

DSC09473 I used up all this vegetable in the Prawn pepper dish.

DSC09505 I was surprised how quick the root grow from the sweet potato shoots I bought last Sunday from the market which I put in water.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ocean and Garden to Table Challenge ~ Crab & Celery

This few days I have some dilemma on how to harvest quickly our celery because I see some sign its going to bolt soon. I am not sure whether celery can be frozen or not. If anyone can give some idea it will be much appreciated. I was thinking of making a simple celery soup but I admit I don’t really know how. I borrowed a book from the library with soup recipes. The only soup that use celery as ingredient in that recipe book looks a bit complicated for me using too much of different ingredients. I was hoping of just a simple celery soup cooking. I need to do a bit more of researching (easily distracted with the kids). I have been following Wendy’s Garden to Table Challenge posts but have never participated before. So today I decided to have a go at it.  My husband went crabbing with friends late last night and caught some medium size crabs (about 20 of them). I kept some in the freezer and the rest I fried them coated with a bit of turmeric powder just slightly cooked for my chili crab dish. Below are some of the basic ingredient for my modified chili crab dish.



I put some ginger, garlic and shallots into the mortar (lesung batu) and pounded. I heated the oil in the wok and sauted the pounded ginger, garlic and shallots. Then a spoon of chili paste, cooked until the oil is separated. Then add some tomato sauce, plum sauce, oyster sauce and mix well. Toss in the fried crab and celery. Beat 2 eggs and pour into the wok and stir. Cook the dish until the egg is done and its ready to serve.



This summer I am thinking of growing sweet potatoes. I never grown them before by myself because my mother grows them and the thought of it make me lazy (manja sangat). So now mother is thousand miles away. So where oh where can I get sweet potato shoots. A week ago I tried with sweet potato tubers but that take a long time to sprout. So I went to a Sunday market today for sweet potato shoots hunting. Did I found it? I almost thought not a single stall have them but finally one stall have it and only 2 bunches were left. I was so excited, grabbed one and paid the man but he gave me a funny look. I said “a dollar per bunch isn’t it?”. “Yes” the man replied and look at his hand at the two coins that I paid him. Too excited I was, I finally realized that I paid him 70cents instead of 1 dollar and apologised. I thought I gave him 2 coins of 50cents but actually I gave him a 20cent and 50cent coins. But the man was so sweet he never said a word about my mistake but just keep on looking at his hands.











I hope roots will grow from this shoot where the new branches develop. I am thinking of planting some of the shoots directly into the soil and some keep in water to wait for the root to grow. Another of my new trial of growing edible plants here in Adelaide.

One hour fishing

The daylight is getting longer now. I thought we are not going fishing today, it was a sudden decision my husband made while I was transplanting seedlings. Seashells in my mind, I completed my task quickly and the kids already buckle up in the car. Off we go fishing.


There were many seashell in the beach but I did not collected that many for mulch or barrier for snails and slugs. We can come collect some more later, an excuse for my hubby to come here fishing again. I had to helped him with fishing this time while he put the bait on. The wind was strong and it was hard to judge whether the fish had taken the bait or not, more tricky with the whiting. We managed to catch some but many of them escaped back into the water.

DSC09417 We have to buy Ilhan a kid fishing rod.

DSC09421 A salmon trout. Almost at the end of salmon trout season now. Surprised to see this fellow still hanging around this area.

DSC09423This time it was only an hour fishing trip for us because my husband have another fishing trip with friends tonight. When we reached home I immediately fried this very fresh fishes with turmeric powder  for dinner.

Today propagation memo:

  1. Sweetcorn
  2. Bitter gourd
  3. Wong Bok

Have a nice weekend!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Daikon (暇をつぶす~大根)

While I was waiting for the taxi yesterday for Rayyan appointment with the nutritionist at the Women’s and Children’s hospital with Rayyan on my lap, I did some weeding.  I noticed that the daikon white root is getting bigger and I daydream about what Japanese dish I am going to use with the daikon when they are ready to be harvest.


As I was about to stand up and moved to weed another area, I noticed this green small bud on the radish top leaves. Oh no it comes to haunt me again…it seems that the daikon has decided to bolt~produce flower. I don’t have much beginners luck with brassica this year. My first experience with wong bok and daikon has all look so promising at first, the plants germination and growth were all perfect but it decided to give me flower instead the part that I wanted. Even our cabbage which we never had problem has decided to bolt as well this month.It can be I sowed the radish too early (August). I will have a go with daikon again this month as it is much warmer now.  I am trying to think what kind of weather is suitable for growing them, try to go deep in my memories when I was living in Japan when did I see the radish in vegetable plots there. If I am not mistaken, it is usually after the watermelon harvest is finished that will mean in the fall season. Takaeko from Osaka has started his wong bok and daikon in Autumn. Can I blame the weather this year? I grow Wong Bok end of summer and autumn this year but all bolted.

DSC09385Pull those bolted daikon out from the soil to see how much the root have grown under the soil. The white roots were already more than 25cm.  I finally pull out some pink radish from the soil (first attempt of this variety), to see how this variety looks like (red ones two of them from left). In the picture, the most right red radish is “sparkler”.DSC09408

Enyoy the weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Home sweet home

Its so good to be back home with Rayyan has been discharged today. He has a fighter spirit in him so I think he will do well for his next complete corrective heart surgery. He did not like to put in sleep before the heart catheterization procedure. He put up a fight and turn very blue and his oxygen saturation drop below 60% that they were a bit worried of his condition but he seems to get better after they finished their procedure. Now its up to the Cardiologist in Adelaide and Surgeons in Melbourne’s Royal Children Hospital  to discuss and fix the date for that much needed surgery. The gazanias welcome us back home yesterday with full bloom, finally got to see them bloom this spring with fine sunny weather. Gazania really love the sun.


Our veggie patch near near the kitchen window which is on the left side to the front entrance door. No space to grow anything yet. But I have to harvest the celery soon it is starting to bolt and taste is getting bitterish.

kitchen veggie bed Our veggie patch on the right side to the entrance door near the living room window.  A friend drop by yesterday and I gave away some celeries from this patch.

DSC09290 Its so good to be back home. Rayyan happy to be back home too as we enter the home together through the front entrance door his face look much more relaxed. I can’t moved a metre away from his bed in the hospital, he was afraid to be left alone.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rayyan’s catheterization today (心の準備)

I took one week leave of absence from school starting this week Tuesday because I will be busy with Rayyan’s medical appointments. Rayyan had his pre-admission medical check up on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday morning he will have cardiac catheterization and required an overnight stay in the hospital and I will also be staying in the hospital with him. Some of nurses in the hospital ward remember Rayyan and surely they remember Rayyan mama who is a stubborn girl always by Rayyan side. The nurses had a hard time convincing me to take a rest away from Rayyan bed. But how can I rest when I keep on hearing the alarm beeping so frequently indicating his oxygen saturation level drop and my baby is in pain. I was an emotional wrecked when Rayyan was first admitted in intensive unit care. Guilt was one of the main factor. There are risks with this ‘catheterization’ thing from what the cardiologist explained about the procedure. But I will think of positive things and hope the next surgery will be booked soon for Rayyan sake. To make me calm and ready for the next day, I look at the bright things in our garden after the pre-admission check up.

How wonderful our first poppy bloom this week. This is our first time growing them and grown from seed too. I was afraid I got the sowing time wrong. I was surprised to see that the colour of this flower was crimson blood red. However, correct me if I am wrong, I find that the petal are very fragile and the flower bloom a short time only before it fall to the ground blown by the wind.

Columbine producing more flowers.
DSC09329 Polyanthus still showing colourful display at our patch. I am happy this year we have several colours of polyanthus blooming in our garden.
DSC09344 I did not know that poppy plant can grow so tall. This gerbera is being cramped by above shown poppy picture.DSC09335

We have many corianders flowering in the garden now. The tallest coriander plant in our place is almost 5’feet tall now. I like to look at the coriander white dainty flower.
DSC09356 Kai lan (Chinese broccoli) flower and red onion flower in the background. It is still too early to sow kai lan seeds have to wait until next month. This is a kai lan plant that we forget to harvest because it was hiding between broccoli plant over winter.
DSC09348 Ilhan will wonder why Rayyan and mama is not coming back home tomorrow. This favourite of his, peas is almost end of the season but I am glad Ilhan will have some pea snack tomorrow.
DSC09341 Some treat for Ilhan tomorrow~strawberry is ready to be pick.  Not only from this strawberry plant but Alpine strawberries too for him.
DSC09328 Everything should be fine and go smoothly tomorrow ~ My hope.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Utilising space with quick crop

Living in a suburban area we only have a small space for growing food.  So with limited space that we have  for vegetable that takes a long time to mature, will have to spend their youthful days with other quick crop is one of solution to utilise space. This small hybrid cabbage (earliball) is growing between lettuces. The lettuce will be the cabbage guards against pest, when these lettuces get munched I will be instantly alert of any attack.


Red choi (hybrid) growing near tomatoes and squash (yellow ruffles). In a few weeks red choi is ready to be harvest. Some of the leaves has been chewed on some still untouched. I have to wait until rain will leave Adelaide dry again to spray chili juice on them.

DSC09277 At the back rows of Red Choi is a fortress of leek seedlings guarding this asian leaf vegetable against pest from this direction. The leeks have to grow more bigger to be an effective fortress.DSC09267 Komatsuna growing with cherry tomatoes. Caterpillar for now is happy chewing nastartium leaves. Komatsuna is safe at the moment. I am most certain now that pest won’t bother komatsuna if there is other leafy vegetable nearby from past to current observation. Komatsuna is more pest resistance compare with other asian greens.

DSC09291 Daikon (Japanese white radish) growing near sunflower. We can see the white root now. I think the soil is too hard for the root to penetrate. If so we might have to harvest the daikon early. At the positive side, I am hoping it will help break the soil because we are planning to plant watermelon seedling there after growing radish.

DSC09307  More choy sum seedlings to transplant last week.DSC09113

We transplanted choy sum seedlings near carrots and cherry tomato plant. I was surprised after a week those seedling grown twice their size.DSC09308  Bloomsdale spinach growing  side by side with bush bean (pioneer). Hope we can prevent the spinach from bolting too quickly when the weather gets warmer by shading from bush bean leaves.


Fresh vegetable for today menu : Hon tsai tai (purple-flowered choy sum) grown between sweetcorn seedlings, carrot thinnings, white and red stem spring onions , and celery.DSC09283