Author: Minette Tonoli

Newsletter September 2018

Newsletter September 2018

It’s Spring! Lots to do in our herb and vegetable gardens, including planting bee-friendly flowers, and if you don’t have one already- starting a compost system! Enjoy the latest newsletter featuring bee plants and composting, available at the following link: Newsletter for September 2018 As always,…

Calendula and Lemon Balm Tea – a welcome to Spring!

Calendula and Lemon Balm Tea – a welcome to Spring!

It is undeniable – there’s an undercurrent rising in the soil, teasing seeds awake, nudging dormant perennial roots, and tickling growth buds on shrubs and trees. It’s the feeling of spring, and although the Lady herself (whether you name her Ēostre, Flora, Yarylo, Thallo, or…

Newsletter – August 2018

Newsletter – August 2018

The latest newsletter is now available at the link below. All about gardening in August when we feel like spring has sprung, but have to be a bit more patient, and featuring strawberries as the herb of the month, miner’s lettuce as vegetable of the month and sweet violets as the flower of the month. As well as all the regular bits like news at MeadowSweet, Kids’ Corner, the August Lunar Planting Calendar, and Recipes.

Newsletter for August 2018

Enjoy!

21 July – First sowings of tomatoes and chillies for 2018

21 July – First sowings of tomatoes and chillies for 2018

Now that I have my heated propagation area in place (eek, so excited!!!), I’ve put in a few of the first tomato and chilli seeds for my 2018 garden and for sale at the markets later in spring and summer. Just love it when a…

21 July 2018 – Flowering Now

21 July 2018 – Flowering Now

It’s not a floriferous time in the garden for most things, but if you look closely, or plant smartly, even mid winter can be a flower show in the garden. I don’t garden with many flowers just for their prettiness – in my mind they…

13 July 2018 – New Moon, New Beginnings

13 July 2018 – New Moon, New Beginnings

It’s New Moon in July. It stirs my blood. Even as cold winter clouds hang low, and the midday temperature outside battles to lift from the low teens, I feel eager and excited: Spring is coming. Exactly 50 days to 1 September. And even then… even then, I’ve come to realize that true Spring in New Zealand actually only happens much later. And every year it is different – are we in for a long and dry spring, a cold and wet one… what do the weather gods have in store? Better go have a look at MetService Monthly Outlook

Still… the new growing season beckons, like a lover, half hidden in shadows.

Of course commercial seed growers know this, and the seed catalogs are starting to come in fast and furious, building the dreams of summer harvests to come. There’s always the old favourites, the must-grows, and then a few new things that you just have to try. Earmarked pages attest to this.

This also means the electronic garden planner is being fired up today. Putting my dreams to digital paper. I love the subscription based one Rick bought me two years ago on Mother’s Day – Growveg.com.au It has everything I need, or at least I can configure it to have everything I need, even the really unusual lot of herbs I grow. It’s even got design elements for chicken coops (not that I’m allowed chickens in my urban rental), and pergolas, compost bins, and an array of hardscaping. Best of all? It is Southern Hemisphere (the .com.au one at least) and has important-to-me planting ideals like ideal plant spacing, crop rotation and companion planting, and it e-mails reminders of what to sow, or do, to make your garden plan a reality. FYI – I don’t get affiliate kickbacks from this endorsement, but can’t keep something that good just for myself!

So today and tomorrow I dream and I plan. Perfect gardening tasks for the first few days after New Moon according to my Moon Calendar.

And then, the big sow-down will begin.

Edible Flower Cookies

Edible Flower Cookies

No secret I love edible flowers. No secret I love baking. And in our unschool-homeschool, Friday is baking and gardening day, so 1 + 1 + 1 = kids making edible flower cookies today! Extra points scored for our science experiment on which flowers will…

How To – Roast Garlic

How To – Roast Garlic

Garlic everywhere and garlic in everything! We’re a household that loves to cook with garlic, and naturally, I also have a few special garlic medicines ready to dispense for a variety of ailments. Garlic, Allium sativum, is truly an amazing ingredient to always have on hand…

Newsletter – June 2018

Newsletter – June 2018

Brrr! Cold and wet weather set in to most of the country over this past long weekend. Metservice published their June outlook, saying we’re swinging between cold and warmer-than average from week to week through the month, with rainfall predicted to be quite volatile as there’s a shift between easterlies and southwesterlies.

Generally winter signals a calm period as plants (and people) tend inward, but the good gardener knows there’s always tasks to be done – even if you’re slogging through muddy lawns to get to your garden beds. And for the person using their herbs for food and medicine, this season brings bountiful opportunities to work with plant materials to create delicious and nutritious meals, or relieve ailments associated with colder weather.

 

For some thoughts on winter gardening, and a look at Lovage, Peas, and Abutilon, and other ideas, browse through my latest newsletter – Newsletter for June 2018

As always – feedback much appreciated.

Crystallized flowers

Crystallized flowers

Crystallized flowers! These candied flowers are a favourite of my little girls to make. Here’s how you can also make the most of the pretty edible petals in our garden by making Victorian style flowery delights! A glorious project to get into on a rainy day…