How To Split Asparagus

growing asparagus

Our Asparagus have been in for around 7 – 8 years now. Despite being relocated once, they’ve gone on to provide us with a prolific supply of Asparagus for the past 3-4 seasons and have most definitely been one of …

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Pruning Raspberry Plants

pruning raspberries

The berries we grow in our garden are a firm favourite for our family.

Strawberries, Boysenberries, Blackberries, Blueberries and definitely Raspberries.

You can’t beat a bowl of Raspberries with a sprinkling of icing sugar or a scoop of vanilla icecream, or a jar of fresh home made Raspberry jam.

When we first planted our Raspberry patch, we planted just one cane. That was 4 years ago and this is just some of what we have now (there’s more on the other side of this same fence).

pruning raspberriesWell that was what we did have, before we got pruning.

You can see in this picture that there is a lot of woody looking canes, and it’s just a bit of a mess really.

This is what our Raspberry patch looks like at the end of the season. All the fruiting canes have died off, and the new canes that will fruit in the next Summer are strong and ready to go.

It’s at the end of every fruiting season that you need to prune back all your old Raspberry canes, and prepare your patch for the next season.

But a lot of people, new to growing Raspberries, aren’t sure which canes to prune away and which ones to leave.

I could give you the easy answer and say to just prune out the old, dead wood and leave the new canes, but you want to make sure you know exactly which is which before you get cutting, right?

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Preserved Beetroot

Cooking Beetroot

Cooking BeetrootI’ve never been a fan of Beetroot. 

I think I was put off it as a kid when it would come in a burger (common addition to a New Zealand burger) and even if I took it out, it would leave a big, soggy, bright red stain on the burger bun that I would then have to eat around.

Or maybe it was from reading too many historical novels that would describe a hideous sounding meal including boiled beets.

Either way, they’ve never been a vegetable I’ve warmed too, and so it is another vegetable that I never used to grow.

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Preserving Leeks – Caramalised Leek and Garlic Jam

preserving leeks

preserving leeks

Last year, we grew a LOT of Leeks.

We enjoy Leeks. I wouldn’t say they are either of our absolute favourite vegetable but they definitely make a regular appearance on the table.

Even then, there was no way we were going to get through the 20 or so sandwich bags we had full of them in our freezer.

We had already given away a dozen or so bags, but I have to say, Leeks don’t seem to be a particularly popular vegetable among my friends and family so it was difficult to even give them away.

I really wanted to find a way to use our supplies up though. I didn’t want to waste them since we had gone to the effort of growing them and I just knew we had to find a way to enjoy more of our home grown Leeks.

Maybe there was a way of preserving Leeks, other than freezing them?

After searching around online I didn’t really find anything that excited me but I started thinking about all the Onion Jam recipes I had seen, and whether using Leeks would work just as well.

So, with 3 bags full of Leeks, a few other ingredients and my preserving pan, I went into experiment mode.

With fabulous results!!

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Pruning Your Boysenberry Plants

pruning boysenberries

pruning boysenberries

There are some jobs that I absolutely dread doing in our edible garden.

Not too many, but some that are so difficult, horrible, or painful that I just don’t want to do them.

Pruning our heritage Boysenberry plants is one of those jobs.

I don’t mind digging around in the worm farm, shoveling compost and making fish fertiliser (oh the smell!) but when I know it’s time to cut back the Boysenberries, somehow weeks and months drift by and I still haven’t done it.

Which means that it was totally overdue to be done and with one month of Winter left, time was running out.

So, last week I finally got onto it.

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Organic Pesticides – Rhubarb Leaf Pesticide

Rhubarb Pesticide

Rhubarb Pesticide

Rhubarb doesn’t just taste delicious, the leaves of the plant can also provide a natural pesticide for your garden.

Although this pesticide should not be used on edible crops, I thought I would still include this recipe since you can use your edible crops to help out the rest of your garden.

When harvesting Rhubarb for crumbles, cakes and preserves, make sure you trim off all of the leaf of the plant. Rhubarb leaves contain high levels of a poison called oxalis acid which can be fatal if consumed.

But don’t be too quick to throw them away.

Rhubarb leaves can be used to make an effective, organic pesticide which works well to control leaf eating pests and it is extremely simple to make.

Before you get started on creating your own organic pesticide, I must mention that you should not use this solution if you have dogs. They may be attracted to the soap in the solution and licking it may be fatal.

To Make Rhubarb Leaf Pesticide:

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