I have been talking about putting in a proper vegetable garden for years. It seems we never quite got around to it. Firstly there was some debate about exactly where we should locate it. The hubby, Andrew had one idea of an area, which I felt didn’t get enough sun. More procrastination ensued. When both our citrus trees died, an area became available which I thought would make a good vege garden.
Our youngest daughter informed me that I wouldn’t have the time to look after a vege garden, as I was always busy. Now this is true, and it did put me off for a while. However after she left home again, I made it my mission to make it happen. Some friends gave as some horse manure, and what better way to put this to use.
At the beginning of November, Andrew dug up the “old citrus” area. He did the hard work of digging the grass up and turning the turf over. He added the horse manure and after a or so, he said it was ready to go. It wasn’t though, as the grass “weeds” were still in the soil! I spent a few hours digging the soil over and getting rid of the grass weeds. I put some edging in to make the area level and now the soil was ready for planting.
In the middle of November, I planted out seedlings which I purchased from the Clevedon Herb and Produce stall, at our local markets. Cherry tomatoes, fennel, spinach, courgette, cucumber, red pepper, rocket and beetroot went in. Later on I planted corn too.
Every night after work I would come home from work and water the seedlings. I no longer had kids or pets to look after, and the vegetables came under my care. I couldn’t believe how quickly the seedlings grew. I became very excited, and was taking photos to show the progress. I was even talking to work colleagues about the progress of our vege gardens.
It took five weeks before we got our first cucumber. Not long after that rocket and spinach was ready for picking. Within 7 weeks we picked the first beetroot, I was so happy.
We produced just enough produce to feed ourselves. Having tried to grow beetroot before in our courtyard garden, I couldn’t wait to use our home grown beetroot straight from the garden.
The beetroot has been my favourite vegetable from our garden, so I have been busy trying new recipes. I thought I would share some with you.
- Beetroot Berry Smoothie.
- My favourite salad over the summer has been Raw Beetroot Salad.
- Beetroot cake from the “Sweet” cookbook by Ottolenghi
Today I will start with the Smoothie. I posted a pic to Instagram and have been asked for this, so here goes…………..
BEETROOT BERRY SMOOTHIE
1 medium beetroot
1/2 cup frozen/fresh berries
1 frozen kiwifruit
1 ice cube
1/2 cup water
Blitz all ingredients using a Nutribullet or a food processor.
This recipe is a guideline only, you can alter using fresh or frozen fruit to suit. You can lighten the liquid by adding yoghurt as well.
Have fun, cold smoothies are a great meal in the summer, when we don’t feel like eating in the heat.
It seems beetroot can be planted all year round, so if you have a suitable space and love beetroot I would totally recommend planting some seedlings. Good luck.