Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Frosty gardens mean harvest!

Ugh... and now I have dirt all over my desk! But this was some of today's offerings - lots of beans, a tailing off for the tomatoes (that's a pretty big one, but I'm having to pick them as soon as they have some colour) and the first of the oca.
Oca, you say? It is actually grown pretty much worldwide and is another of the amazing Andean treasures that are becoming known for their hardiness and versatility. We bought ours from a farm in Tasmania after we failed in our first attempt, bought from the Sunshine Coast. Its botanical name in Oxalis tuberosa, the same family as sheep's sorrel, and as its name suggests it does contain some oxalic acid. Apparently you can eat the foliage but I think I'd give it a miss - apparently pigs adore it, so good luck to them! However, the tubers, which are only just forming as the foliage starts to die back, are delicious. Like most of my vegetables I steam them, after a quick wash - the skin is waxy so washes clean easily. I eat them like small potatoes and they have a slight piquancy, very, very nice!

This year, between us, El and I made just about all the mistakes you can with the oca, but mine survived to give  a harvest at the end of it all. El unfortunately has gathered hers a bit too soon, but will try again next season. Such fun to try exotic plants and find them truly interesting.

On a different topic, Mischief gave me a giggle this morning. There is a lounge on the front verandah that is much competed for among the dogs but will only seat two, or one if particularly possessive. This morning Mischief dipped out and was lying crankily on the floor. I invited her inside but she ignored me. She wanted to go up on the lounge. A couple of minutes later she started up a ferocious pack bark at a possible alien intruder at the far boundary. All the pack rushed over and barked furiously for a minute or two before deciding there was nothing in sight. They wandered back, to find Mischief smugly ensconced on the lounge. It works every time! The only other dog to have figured this trick out is Virginia, who will also occasionally use it - usually to acquire an old bone, but she still falls for the trick when Mischief does it.

And a groan from behind me notifies me that dogs like to go for regular walks. Sigh. Outside is not appealing at present, with black clouds around, but dog walks are an essential thing - for the dogs.

Take care, please stay in touch, overseas and interstate friends and visitors.

Cheers - Fliss

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