Taking the time to smell the air, walk in the rain, watch the grass grow (literally). These are the joys of winter and that is what we have been doing. The garden is full of root vegetables (carrots, beetroots, parsnips etc), greens and rocket are growing super well and in abundance, a new season of garlic and onions are growing up and the broccoli is loving the winter frosts and is absolutely delicious! All is slow and well, and we harvest in between the rain and only what we need. The rest sits and waits for spring. Although winter has only one month to go, it will still be another two before things really start to move again. For now, we continue to rest.
A time to grow slow.
But although nothing much is happening in the garden at the moment, it doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. In fact, in just a few weeks we will begin to raise the seedlings of our long-season summer vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants and capsicums, and our favourite summer herbs like basil, in a little greenhouse, to get strong before planting out when the last frosts pass in mid-spring.
So it’s already time to prepare for this first little garden activity of the season by building our little green house! It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just some old perspex sheeting or some old glass doors, but now is the time to plan for it. Of course you can always build something elaborate if you feel so inclined—we have fond memories of constructing our last epic greenhouse at the old farm. We miss that greenhouse so much!
We are also pruning the fruit orchard (see page 72-73 of our first book) and we will soon begin to tidy up the garden in preparation for our first spring sowings of root vegetables and greens.
Winter is all about porridge.
Sweet Five Grain Porridge
This has to be one of our favourite things, often topping it with preserved fruit and ad-libbing with mixed whole grains. We soak and sour the grains, to make sure they are the most nutrient rich they can be!
P.S. To get the full experience, roll your own oats (from groats! And you can roll other grains too) fresh! Read more/buy an oat roller here.
Food to come home to.
Over the next few months, as we release The Village, we will be sharing little snippets from our village, of the #FoodToComeHomeTo, that our village shares with us! They will be in a loose format, to inspire some homely meals and sharing within your own village, whoever that is for you!
Hermione’s Mid-Week Pasta
Easy mid week meal, to serve as many or as few as you like. This is one the first meals I learnt to make, and it continues to make an appearance in our household to feed us and our three children. Enjoy!
(Adapt ingredients to share with however many people you are feeding!)
- A big pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic cloves, crushed
- Dried chilli, chopped finely
- A big glug of good olive oil
- Prosciutto or similar, cut into chunks
- A big splash of dry white wine
- Pasta of your choice, cooked
- A big handful rocket
- Unrefined salt
- Grated parmesan cheese
Throw chilli, garlic, pepper and olive oil into a medium hot pan, fry until fragrant but don’t burn the garlic.
Throw in prosciutto and wine and fry some more until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
Add the pasta and fry just a little. Then, turn heat off and mix through rocket and add salt to taste.
Top with another splash of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan cheese.
Note: Rocket is in season now—In fact it’s doing its best to take over our garden!