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Daniel's Blog (32)


A long overdue update! The chilli seeds I got from Lissa ages ago were planted in a pot about a year ago, and I thought they had suffered the same fate as most of my "pot" plants. Over the past couple of weeks the chilli has shot out of the ground and is now bearing about 20 green fruits! The rest of my garden at the moment is limited to herbs... I've used a lot of thyme, rosemary and oregano in my cooking. I need to get some more sage, and I've also got a lot of mint and chives I'm…


Added by Daniel on April 23, 2012 at 17:35 — 3 Comments

Not my vegetables, but a photo of which I'm proud

Alas, I didn't grow these, but I took the photo on film (4x5 large format) and what you see is the result of my first effort to develop film at home. I'm very happy with the result.

My first home-developed photo

That's my favourite knife and some of my favourite ingredients for my favourite French recipes. It was taken today on my back patio with the overcast/rainy weather providing nice light. It's not the world's best still life setup, but I was concentrating on literally dozens of technical…


Added by Daniel on April 15, 2012 at 20:22 — 8 Comments

I'm back!

I'm terribly sorry I had such a long break from here... I was completely bogged-down with work (a very heavy workload until recently!) and PhD-related stuff. Now I've got a reasonable schedule again!

Sadly, my gardening efforts were almost a complete failure last year. I had to grow stuff in pots because of the hard clay, and I think the cheap potting mix, combined with my lack of skill, contributed to my garden's demise. I had pickling onions grow ok, but they unfortunately…


Added by Daniel on March 7, 2012 at 2:19 — 3 Comments

Onion soup with mushroom and bacon

Made this for dinner - waiting for my own onions (still a long time away!)


Chop a handful of big onions up and whack into a pot with a bit of oil

Add a couple of big pinches of salt and pepper

Add a few big handfuls of chopped mushrooms

Add sage to taste

Smoosh some garlic cloves with the side of your knife and add to the pot

Cook on medium with lid on for about 30 mins until onions are deep brown

Add chicken stock (I couldn't make my…


Added by Daniel on June 27, 2011 at 20:18 — 5 Comments

My garden progress to-date

It feels like I've made a lot of progress now. I am now currently growing:


  • Garlic chives
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Garlic (white and purple)
  • Midyims
  • Sweet basil
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Mixed flowers (still searching for a pre-mixed bee & insect attracting set of flowers)


and planted today:

  • Red russian kale
  • Stevia
  • Beefsteak…

Added by Daniel on June 20, 2011 at 17:11 — 8 Comments

Added to my seed stash + cheap potting mix

I've just been to Bunnings and added some seeds to my stash... Now I have:


  • Garlic chives
  • Russian red kale
  • Sugar baby water melon
  • Black Russian tomato
  • Tommy Toe tomato
  • Roma VF tomato (don't know what VF means)
  • Beauty heart radish
  • All year lettuce
  • Hector spinach F1
  • Mustard sprouts
  • Alfalfa, radish and broccoli sprouts
  • Coles early dwarf broad beans
  • Mixed…

Added by Daniel on June 19, 2011 at 17:38 — 21 Comments

Planted 9 lots of onion and 4 spinach today

I've finally got a little bit of time off work so I'm trying to convert that time into future food as efficiently as I can. I've spent today driving around for other people, so two hours ago I seized the last of the day for myself and planted onions and spinach in pots. I also managed to get some other pots full of potting mix ready for tomorrow, and I hope to go find some chicken wire somewhere (anyone know any good places?) to fence off my "garden" from the dogs.




Added by Daniel on June 14, 2011 at 17:27 — 5 Comments

Sad I missed Seedsavers

I've finally got a small collection of seeds and planned to go to seedsavers on the weekend, but missed it thanks to 50 assignments I had to mark for work. :-(


I hope I finally get to the next one!



Added by Daniel on May 31, 2011 at 0:37 — 4 Comments

Cured some pork this week - eating it right now

I got some pork belly from a butcher a week ago, had it chopped into 8 large rectangular pieces, and cured them with some salt so I can make a German thing called "speck". The curing is finishing today, then I'll let it air dry in the fridge overnight and smoke it with some hickory shavings in my smoker tomorrow. I couldn't resist the temptation today, though. I took one piece out, chopped it up, fried it with mushrooms in some ghee (clarified butter) and am now eating it with some maggi…


Added by Daniel on May 24, 2011 at 12:37 — 17 Comments

I saved my first seeds - I think.

As you know, I'm a complete novice gardener. Besides my experience of having planted a few things in pots and now watching them grow, I'm the Sgt. Schultz of gardening: I know nothing!


I finally made time after the gym this morning to save seeds from some fruit that Lissa kindly gave me. I now have seeds drying on some paper towel on the kitchen window sill. I've got a funky horned cucumber, a passionfruit, a jalapeno chilli, and a tiny red chilli.


I had no…


Added by Daniel on May 13, 2011 at 7:16 — 4 Comments

Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals - cucumber salad

I just saw "Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals" on TV. I really liked his "Jamie At Home" series where he grew his own vegetables and cooked next to his garden.


This show tonight had a nice cucumber salad - guess who's going shopping for cucumber seeds :-) There was also some nice jasmine rice and a thai red prawn curry.



Added by Daniel on April 30, 2011 at 18:38 — 1 Comment

Bought hickory sawdust for my hot smoker

I was just at BCF and bought some hickory sawdust for my hot smoker for $7. I plan on smoking some meat, but the exciting thing is that I'm going to grow some chillies and smoke those to make chipotle. :-)


Another family member accidentally put Lissa's chillies in the vegetable crisper not knowing I wanted to grow them. Has this now destroyed the ability to use the seeds?

Added by Daniel on April 30, 2011 at 17:39 — 3 Comments

More progress :-)

I checked today and the flowers have doubled in size, the spinach has sprouted, and one garlic has sent up a green shoot as well. :-)


Now all I have to do is plant the chilli Lissa gave me, and transfer the midyim and eggplant seedlings she gave me as well :-)


Woohoo, progress!



Added by Daniel on April 30, 2011 at 13:25 — 6 Comments

Thanks to Lissa and Vanessa

I went to visit Lissa today to pick up my Midyim berry seedlings and got the grand tour around her garden. She told me on the phone she's a "bit of a newbie" but when I arrived, I saw raised beds, mature fruit trees,  and a whole lot of impressive plants :-)


Vanessa was also kind enough to give me some pots to re-use the other day.


They are both profoundly nice people :-) Thanks so much!



Added by Daniel on April 27, 2011 at 17:29 — 2 Comments

Flowers are sprouting after only a few days!

Wow, I can't believe it! I planted a pot of mixed flowers and they have already sprouted! Some plants are 2cm tall already!


Also, Vanessa was wonderfully kind enough to let me recycle a few of her old plastic pots, so when I get some time today, I'm planting more stuff!


Oh, and I was just out in my "garden" in the rain, and it was still fun! In fact, I liked getting wet! I'm off to have a hot shower, nick off to the library to borrow a book, then write a…


Added by Daniel on April 27, 2011 at 11:59 — No Comments

Planted garlic today

I found two more pots hidden away on a shelf and used them to plant some garlic cloves straight out of the kitchen. I planted four cloves of white Australian garlic, and four cloves of some I got from Food Connect a while ago - it's white inside, but the skin is not white, but also not really purple, so I'm not sure which type it is. Oh well!


After reading up on garlic (AFTER planting it!) I found out I probably didn't plant them deep enough. A website said to plant them…


Added by Daniel on April 25, 2011 at 17:30 — 1 Comment

I actually planted stuff today!

I actually got some seeds from Bunnings (Lettuce, onion, spinach, garlic chives, and some flowers) and 200L of potting mix ($3/25L bag!). I have no idea about what I'm doing with the seeds (just chose what I like, mostly the Mr Fothergills brand) but I at least got started and I'm just hoping my ability to follow the instructions on the packet is ok :-)


I took the dog for a walk to the creek behind my place, and once he'd finished swimming, I filled up the few pots I have…


Added by Daniel on April 23, 2011 at 17:22 — 8 Comments

Where to buy cheap used pots?

I'm looking to buy some cheap (used?) pots hopefully tomorrow (Sat April 22). Does anyone have any tips where to look?


I've seriously got the growing bug and while I'm making up my mind how to make my big beds, I want to get something into the dirt so I can get my hands dirty :-) I've also now got only a week off work and want to maximise my time in the (non-existent) garden :-)


Any tips for what to plant now…


Added by Daniel on April 22, 2011 at 23:26 — 3 Comments

A crazy few months have finished

Wow, what a crazy few months at work!

I'm so sorry I got so busy I couldn't spend time here. I'm back now, since my work has finished until the end of February (the painful part of being a casual academic! Work like a demon for 3 months, have three months without pay!) - it was great... very productive, but also very demanding.

Anyway, my garden has not had a single thing done in it. I feel horrible. I need to get into it in a bad way. I still have River Cottage fantasies! ;-)… Continue

Added by Daniel on November 27, 2010 at 22:52 — 9 Comments

Daniel's garden salad with bacon and a tarragon vinaigrette

I just got my first Food Connect boxes and made myself the best meal I've had in my life. I gutsed two LARGE plates of the following, mostly standing at the kitchen bench!

My dinner was a handful of large, crispy lettuce leaves, hand-shredded, combined with thinly-sliced brown onion, green capsicum, slivers of beautiful, earthy radish, chunked, aromatic Roma tomato, zesty shallots, croutons of crispy bacon strips and large chunks of buttery, earthy mushrooms, sauteed in the bacon's own… Continue

Added by Daniel on September 7, 2010 at 17:48 — 5 Comments

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