Author: Minette Tonoli

Newsletter – February 2018

Newsletter – February 2018

Wow! We’re in the last (official) month of summer already, and the gardens are full of produce and flowers. This month’s newsletter focuses on my top 10 herb flowers for use in food, medicine or cosmetics. Perfect time to harvest these beauties! NewsletterFeb2018 Also the […]

Do-It-Yourself: Seedling Soil

Do-It-Yourself: Seedling Soil

I’ve been making a lot of my own seedling soil and cutting mix for a few years now. It’s super easy to make, and you can control exactly what goes into your mix. I’m not convinced it saves money unless you make a lot over […]

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes – How To

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes – How To

The cherry tomatoes are dripping fruit… and it’s a race to get to them before the birds do! But what to do with all of them once they are picked? I’ve done dehydrator “sundried” cherry tomatoes, and of course, we snack on them constantly, but still I had more than 3kg picked the other day!

Then I found Pickled Cherry Tomatoes, and I’m in love – I enjoy almost any kind of pickle in any way, and it really looked like the most beautiful way to preserve a harvest of mixed cherry tomatoes! So this is what I’ve done, and having tried one a few days after the initial bottling, can say that I’m super happy I gave this somewhat unconventional way of preserving tomatoes, a go – delicious!

Easy peasy too!

The recipe below made about 7 (400ml) jars

Ingredients

  • 2kg ripe cherry tomatoes, washed and pricked with a toothpick *
  • 5 cups of cider vinegar
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar (can be more if you like it sweeter)
  • 5 tsp Kosher salt **
  • 2ml peppercorns per bottle/jar
  • 1 clove garlic per bottle/jar
  • chillies (optional)
  • basil leaves (optional)

Method

  1. To make the brine, heat the cider, water, salt and sugar in a pot until all the granules have dissolved.
  2. Put half a teaspoon (about 2ml) of black peppercorns and a clove of garlic in each sterilised jar.
  3. Pack in the washed and pricked cherry tomatoes.
  4. Pour over the brine.
  5. Let cool slightly, tapping the sides so all the air bubbles can escape, seal and store in the refrigerator.

According tot he original recipe, this will keep for about 2 months in the fridge, or if you go ahead and can it properly with a waterbath, may last a couple of years.

How to use your pickled tomatoes

Once I posted this on social media, people were intrigued about how to use it – I’d say they are best just liek that as a snack out the jar! Or tossed into salads in winter when fresh tomatoes are too expensive! Halve them and add them to pastas with olives and garlic and herbs… or as a side for a cheese plate…

* This helps the flavour permeate the cherry tomato, and helps them sink into the brine too.

** I only had pink Himalayan salt, and it worked beautifully for taste, but did cloud up the pickles a bit.

Week in Retrospect : 8 JAN 2018 – 14 JAN 2018

Week in Retrospect : 8 JAN 2018 – 14 JAN 2018

We are Open While I know this is supposed to be a retrospective post, I feel it will be remiss if I don’t add that today, 15 January, officially marks the opening of MeadowSweet Herbs & Flowers for 2018.  🙂 North Shore Herb Group If […]

Week in Retrospect : 1 Jan 2018 – 7 Jan 2018

Week in Retrospect : 1 Jan 2018 – 7 Jan 2018

And just like that, it is a new year! 2018 marks the 5th year that I’ve lived in New Zealand, the golden year of immigration adjustment, if sources are to be believed. I’ve always loved being a Kiwi, but let’s hope this year will indeed […]

Seed List January 2018

This is a list of the seeds I have in my seed boxes at the moment. In my own particular order, so apologies if it makes no sense… 😉

Seed Box A

Anethum graveolens MDS
Alluims
…chives MrF
…spring onion evergreen MrF
…spring onion Yts
…leek winter giant Kings
…spaerecephalon HFed
… garlic chives new belt Kings
…organic onion musona white round Kings
…chives MDS
Althea offinalis, marshmallows HFed
…white bunching onion
Asclepias swan plant MDS
…spring onion barletta
Tweedia
Alcea rosea
…pink MDS
…various cols
…ebony
…yellow lemon dwarf
…white
Agastache foeniculum
…white MDS
…blue MDS

 

Seed Box B

Basil
…bush basil gstuff
…sweet basil MrF
…Thai Kings
… lettuce leaf Kings
…lime Mrs burns Egmonts
…red Rubin Egmonts
…sweet lemon Dani Egmonts
…finish Verde
…lemon MDS
…sweet MDS
…sweet Genovese Kings
…Tulsi BABZ
…Greek mini BABZ
…purple MDS
Borage
…white
…blue
Beta vulgaris
…chioggia Kings
…bulls blood Kings
…Detroit dark red Kings
…rainbow blend (cruenta) Egmonts
…coloured beet (cicla) Kings
…colour blend Kings
… perpetual spinach
…beet
Brassicas
…pink stem kale Kings
…cauliflower mix BABZ
…Kohl rabi purple Vienna MrF
…mizuna
…pak Choi green MrF
…cabbage Conehead Kings
…curly purple kale World kitchen
…white mustard
…kale squire Kings
…cabbage spacesaver Kings
…cabbage mini red Kings
…broccoli Di Chicco Kings
…red leaf mustard
… Chinese tatsoi Kings
… cavolo Nero
…Kohl rabi green
… kohlrabi purple azure star
…cabbage red acres
…cabbage red express
…turnip
…dark green ‘lettuce’
… cauliflower violet sicillian Kings
…. cauliflower all year Kings
… cauliflower orange bouquet Kings
… cauliflower romanesco
… broccoli Shogun winter
…swede champion top purple
…mustard black
…pak/book Choi
Beans
…dwarf Bean Long John Yates
…climbing yellow butter Bean
…climbing hopi black pinto
… dalmatian Bean
…snake beans Orderings
…Persian climbing Lima
… Cherokee cornfield mix
… mother-in-law
…broad Bean Long pod
…dwarf butter Cherokee
… Takamatua Runner Bean
…tarahumara purple
…climbing emu
…dwarf beans
…borloti red rooster
…yard long beans
…climbing selugia (Mr inesons)
…broad Bean crimson
…bird egg Bean
…hopi beige climbing
…Apache red climbing dry
… Hopi black pinto
…green fields climbing McGregor
…Dwarf Bean slenderette Kings
…peans
…purple queen
…French commander
…red runner Bean

 

Seed Box C & D

Cynara
…purple de Jessi Kings
…green globe MDS
…Cardoon MDS
Calendula
…Sunset Tones
…Oopsy Daisy
…Common
Cucumber and Melons
…Richmond green apple MrF
… yellow port albert
…rockmelon
…sugar baby McGregor
…bush champion Country value
…long green cucumber
… market more cucumber
…golden midget watermelon Kings
Coriander
…slowbolt
… common Country value
…big/long seeded?
Chamomile
…German
…Roman
Caigua
Curcubits
…. Whangaparoa crown pumpkin
…Squash tromboccino
…galeux de Eysines pumpkin Kings
…butternut
…pink banana jumbo squash Kings
… zucchini black beauty Kings
….gem squash MDS
…Thelma Sanders sweet potato
…chila chayote
…marina Di chioggia
… rampicante zucchini Kings
…small American sugar pumpkin World Kitchen
… cocozelle Kings
…small fruited gourd Kings
… butternut MrF
… golden Hubbard
..snake gourd
… spaghetti squash Kings
…luffah
Coreopsis
… plains
… dwarf red Amulet
Cornflowers
Armenian basket flower (c. Macrocephala)
Dianthus
…clove pinks
…sweet William
…double pinks
…rainbow loveliness
Dahlia
…sunny reggae kings
…unswins ideal border mix Kings
…pink…
…white…
Daucus carota
… rainbow blend Kings
… rainbow McGregor
…baby Yates
…topweight yates.
..black
.white Belgian
…pusa asita
…all seasons
…eggmonts gold
…purple Haze
…Parisian market
…resistafly
…topweight

Seed Box E, F, G & H

Echinacea
…purple
…White swan
…lustre hybrids
Fennel
…herb
… Florence
…Mont Blanc
…Bulb
Helianthus
…various
…sun king
…sun king 2nds MDS
…taiyo Kings
…King Kong carnival
…teddy bear carnival
…mix giant
…giant BABZ
..multihead (poss coreopsis?)
…Moulin Rouge 2nds MDS
…Bronze shades Carnival

 

Seed Box L

 

Lathyrus sweetpea
…mammothix GStuff
…original
…Galaxy country value
…dwarf pink
…old fashioned burgundy and white
…dwarf mix purple and pink
…various
…Rob’s
…Unswins master mix carnival
…unswins Charlie’s angel carnival
… darks (black/purple/maroon)
Lavender
…angustifolia
…hidcote
…munstead
Lettuce
…lollo rossa
…mix MrF
…cut and come carnival
…rouge d hiver
…freckles
…red salad bowl
……biscia rossa
…cos
…mesclun Italian Kings
…great lakes
…butter crunch
…summer queen
…Danielle

 

Seed Box M, N, O

Malva tree mallow
Nicandra (shoo fly)
Nepeta
…border ballet
…cataria
… white (snowstorm)
Nigella
.. damascene
…kslunji
Oenithera Eve primrose

 

Seed Box O, P, Q

Poppy
…somn.
-danishflag
-light purple breadseed
-dark pink &purple breadseed
-near black breadseed
-salmon pompom
-red pompom
-black pompom
-pink pompom
-purple pompom
-white pompom
-candystripe
Pea
…flour pea
…blue shelling pea
…sugar snap
..carouby
…petit Provencal
Papaya
Perilla
…green
…red
Parsley
…flat
…triple curl
Poppy Californian jellybean
Passiflora
…black beaty
…vanilla (none)
-firecircle
…rhoeas
-white
-white with pink fleck
-pink and white
-red and white
-lightpink
-flanders

 

Seed Box R

Raphanus
…confetti mix MrF
…Easter egg mix
…mix
…watermelon Kings
…red Rubin
…various
…purple plum
…French breakfast
…black Spanish
Rocket
…large leaf
…salad
…wild
Rhubarb
…cherry red

Seed box S-Z

Solanum eggplant
…white star
…black beauty MrF
…green
… Stanmore Bay
…purple Florence round koanga
…container pick Kings
…tsakoniki Kings
Ping Tung long world kitchen
Tagetes
…marigold various
…crackerjack MrF
…Strawberry blonde MDS
…French vanilla MDS
…tarragon koanga (lucida)
…Starfire
…African ivory
…cream
Tropaelum
…purple emperor
…garden mix
…cherry rose
Scabiosa
….tall mix
….dwarf fragrant doubles
…black night.
…white
..pink
Savory
..winter
…summer
Salvia
..common
…Clary
….pratensis
…verbenaca
…lyrita
…amplexicaulis
…white (empty)
…snownymph (empty)
Viola various
Viscaria mix
Zea mayz
… strawberry popcorn
…black popcorn
…rainbow corn
…blue
…Indian red
Zinnia
..Lilliput
…giant lime

Seed Box Herbs Various

Capsella (shepherds purse) X
Eupatorium pupureum Joe pye X
Atriplex red orach
Eupatorium rugosum X
Chenopodium good king hendr
Chenopodium elazote
Chenopodium strawberry spinach (none)
Chicorium palla rossa
Fenugreek
Cryptotanea mitsuba
Anthriscis chervil
Hyssop
Calaminta
Apium parcel
Inula spikenard
Glebionis -shinguku
Glycyrrhizin
Artimisia
…wormwood
…white mugwort X
Angelica
…. archangels
…pachycarpa
Chelidonium greater celandine
Cimicifuga black cohosh
Ferula asafoetida Devil’s dung
Cymbopogon citratis
Hypericum perforatum
Filipendula MeadowSweet
Cedronella balm of Gilead
Dactylis catgrass
Galega goats rue
Fumaria fumitory
Grindelia gumweed
Valerian
Pine tree
Tamacetum balsamita X
Scrophularia figwort X
Sanguinaria X
Rue
Mint peppermint
Thyme common
Verbascum mullein
Smyium Alexander’s
Lovage levisticum
Mertensia maritama oyster leaf
Portulaca purslane
Sanguisorba
Spilanthes sechuan
Pelargonium parviflora
Plantago
..major
…atropurpurea
..cidonopdid
Tamacetum tansy
Sanguisorba great Burnet
Sanicula sanicle
Leonorus sibiricusX
Linum linseed
Saponaria
Solidago dwarf
Sorrel
Verbena off. Vervain
Tamacetum parthenium feverfew
Verinica fillidormus pink
Veronicastrum Veronica
Oregano.
…majorana
…vulgare
Microgreens

Seed Box Veges Various

NZ spinach
Okra Clemson spineless
Okra burgundy
Kangkong
Celeriac giant Prague
Salsify
Corn salad
Celery peppermint stick
Capers
Parsnip
Skirret
Wasabi
Spinach winter queen
I’ve plant mesembryanthemum
Miners lettuce

 

Seed Box Fruit Various

Moringa
Strawberry white
Strawberry guava
Loquat
Red tamarillo
Tomatillo purple
Tomatillo grande bverde
Cape gooseberry
Goji berries

Seed Box Flowers Various

Ammi
..majus X
..visnagaX
Astrantia X
Cerinthe pride of Gibraltar
Echinops ritro
Cleome
Delphinium mix colours
Delphinium blue
Hardenbegia rose pink
Gaillardia burgundy
Gaillardia Arizona sun
Gaillardia ?
Gaillardia red sun
Corn cockle
Foxglove white
Foxglove strawberry
Cosmos unique
Cosmos seashells
Aster pink
Amthirrinium lemon sherbet.
Anthirrinium various
Hibiscus trionum
Hibiscus sabdariffa
Yarrow red X
Gerbera X
Columbine mix
Borage pygmwa X
Bellis pompoms
Anemone blue
Cinetaria various
Forget me not pink
Baptisia Australis X
Foxglove mix
Blue hounds tongue
Delphinium Earl grey
Fuller’s teasel
Renga renga
Liatris mauve X
Solidago dwarf
Larkspur various
Silene armeria
Shadtadaisy crazy daisy
Silene coeli-rosar
Alyssum white
Forget me not white
Lily various X
Tiger flower
Rudbeckia cherry baby
Honesty
Mignonette white
Rudbeckia rustic dwarf
Wild quinine X
Jacobs ladder X
Mimosas pudica
Llimnanthes
Silene
..red
..white
…ragged Robin
…flis-jovis
Verbascum
…phoeniceum purple
… blattaria pink + white
Lavatera light pink
Liatris white
Santolina X

 

 

Seed Box Chillies Various

Bell mix
Jalapeno early
Yellow Jamaican
Carolina reaper
Large red supermarket
Habanero yellow sun
Cayanetta
Habanero flyer
Habanero lemon
Chenzo
Loco
Peter pecker
Kopay
Rocoto turbo pube X
Orange sweetie
Bishop’s crown
Fatalii X
Rocoto red
Bulls horn
Chocolate naga
Cherry
Serrano
Habanero Gambia orange
Habanero red
Bird chillies moruga scorpion
Lombardo
Small fiery
Long Italian
Devil’s tongue X
Cayenne
Big yellow caps
Orange tiger
Piccante calabrese
Capsicum black
Mulato
Yellow banana
Tequila
Fish pepper
Jalapeno flame X
Cayenne
Green jalapeno
Red bhut jolokia
Pasilla baijo
Padron
Large long yellow sweet paprika pepper

Seed Box Tomatoes – Red

Burnsley sure crop
Tommy toe
Mortgage lifter
Red cherry cocktail
Brandywine red
Henry’s dwarf bush
Reisentraube
Tumblar
Principe borgese
Currant
Sub Arctic plenty
Small fry
Zebra
Truss
Patio
Baxter’s early bush
Dr Walter
Moneymaker
San marzano
Marmande
Cuor de bue
Amish paste
Grossed lisse
Red pear
Bloody butchers
Roma VF
Isle of Capri
Rapunzel
Voyage
Russian red
Delicious (none left)
Saint pierre
Polish dwarf
Forest fire
Mexico
German red strawberry
Backa
Boxcar Willie
Abraham Lincoln
Porter
Pantano
Silvery fir tree

Seed Box Tomatoes – Blue & Black

Black krim
Black from Tula
Gypsy tsygan
Black pear
Anais noire
Indigo rose
Black cherry
Black grape
Blue beauty
Brandywine black
Black prince
Hellsing junction blues
Blue berries

Seed Box Tomatoes – Pink & Purple

Thai pink egg
NZ pink pear
Brandywine purple
Brandywine pink
Purple Cherokee
Aunt Ginny’s purple
Purple calabadh

Seed Box Tomatoes – MIx Colours

Beefsteak mix
Mr Stripey
Casadys folly
Berkeley Tie-dye Pink (none
Indigo fireball
Amish orange sherbet
Big zebea
Hawaiian Pineapple
Orange Russian (none)
Lava flow
Peaches and cream
Gajo de melon

Seed Box Tomatoes – Oranges

Persimmon
Moonglow
Big orange Beefsteak
Aunt Amy’s Apricot cherry
Jaun Coeur de pigeon
Orange Russian
Orange banana
Jaune Flamme
Orange bourgeoisie
Cherry orange
Tangella
Jaffa
Glory of Moldova
Gramma climmenhaga
Utyonok
Azoychka

Seed Box Toamtoes – Yellow

Brandywine yellow
Yellow taxi
Yoder’s German yellow
Banana legs
Yellow pear
Aunt Gertie’s gold
Lemon drop
Garden peach
Yellow sunshine
Yellow cherry
Olga’s round chicken egg
Gold nugget
Pilcer vesy
Orlov yellow giant
Hssiao his hung shih
Dr wyches yellow
Dixie Golden Giant

Seed Box Tomatoes – Green

 

Green giant
Green vernissage
Kiwi
Green sausage
Green grape
Frosted doctor (none)
Aunt Ruby’s German green
Grandma olives green
Wagner Blue green

 

Seed Box Tomatoes – White & Ivory

Cream sausage
Old ivory
White cherry
Snowball / White Beauty

 

Rose Petal Jam – How To

Rose Petal Jam – How To

When life gives you rose petals… make rose petal jam (or jelly)! Every day that my Westerland climbing rose is in flower and I walk up to, or out of my front door, where the scent from it is strongest, I long to capture that […]

Chamomile Tea – How To

Their white and yellow daisy heads nod on their stems above the fresh apple-scented ferny leaves as bumblebees and bees flit to and fro. Summertime is chamomile time. Take the time to harvest and dry some of your own chamomile for a year’s worth of […]

Newsletter – January 2018

Newsletter – January 2018

A brand new year! Happy New Year!

This edition of the newsletter is a bit longer than normal, but simply because I’ve got some business news to share. Other than these updates on the running of MeadowSweet, it is full of what is happening in the summer garden, how to be water savvy, what to harvest, etc.

It features Hops (Humulus lupulus) as the Herb of the Month (it is also the International Herb of the Year for 2018, as well as some thoughts on zucchini (featured vegetable) and scabiosa (featured flower). I’m introducing a Kids’ Gardening Corner from this edition onward, and end off with a few recipes to share.

Enjoy, share freely, and remember that I always appreciate some feedback – and ideas on what you’d like to see featured!

Newsletter January 2018

Newsletter – November 2017

Newsletter – November 2017

It is mid Spring, and although some days are still terribly cold, it is a very exciting time in the garden! Herbs, flowers, vegetables, and fruit are all starting to grow and flourish and promises of upcoming summer harvests are plentiful! This newsletter focuses on […]