Those orange capsicums I wrote about here are slowly ripening. They’re right out in the open and it’s just not warm enough now to ripen them quickly. Where I am, 50 km south-east of Melbourne, the season isn’t quite long enough for capsicums, unless they get an early start, and I try to do this by sowing the seeds on a heat mat, in June. Putting them out in the open wasn’t a good idea—next year I’ll try to get them into wicking boxes against a north-facing wall and see how that goes. I could pick them green, of course, but I want at least some ripe so I can collect seed. They’re so attractive but so expensive to buy:
I love getting seeds in the post. Today was a bonus—two deliveries. One from Rangeview Seeds (first time I’ve ordered from them) and one from a member of the Ozgrow garden forum. I went purple & red with Rangeview:
Tatsoi (Chinese cabbage)… Deep Purple
Traviso Chicory… Early Red
Mizuna… Purple Peacock
Mizuna… Red Robin
Mustard Greens… Ruby Streaks
and a non-red
Salsify… Black Duplex (because I’ve grown ordinary white-skinned salsify and wanted to try the one with black skin).
The red pigment in these plants is due to anthocyanins—powerful antioxidants that can scavenge free radicals in the body. I’m on an anthocyanin kick since discovering how much I like red cabbage steamed with a sprinkling of sugar and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Gotta knock off those free radicals!
Plus look at this photo of Red Treviso Chicory. So pretty I’ve just got to grow it:
How’s this for seed packaging? Just like Christmas presents. Beautifully done:
And just as beautifully done inside the pack:
The second pack of seeds, from the Ozgrow member, were all tomatoes. I’d sent him some asparagus seed and got these in return:
He says Nicoleta is one of the best varieties he’s ever grown, so I was keen to try it. These are all new ones for me. Roll on tomato season!
Chooks:you gotta larf… or… how I wish I’d had the camera!
Oh, not my chooks…although they are laugh a minute sometimes. No… I’m talking about the ones in the free-range egg farm at the end of our street.
My girls still aren’t laying after their moult, so I’m buying eggs. I was going out, so threw the egg carton into the car to call in on the way home. Normally I’m there early in the morning, but this day I was later. The chooks are let out of the sheds at 11 am, after most of the laying has been done. They stay out till dusk. There are 2 sheds. I once asked how many they had…I can’t remember whether there are 5000 to a shed or 5000 in total. Either way that’s a lot of chooks.
It was after eleven so masses of chooks were foraging in the grass, dust bathing and generally digging holes. I parked the car by the shed, went over to the fence and yelled, “hello girls!”. I thought they’d ignore me, but a seething mass of moving feathers made a dash to the fence, all talking at once and wanting to nibble my fingers. I was a bit panic-stricken, as more and more came over, thinking that the ones against the fence would get crushed in the melee. I took off and went into the shed to collect my eggs and chat to the owner. When I came out they were still massed by the fence. Did they think I had a treat for them? 5000 treats?
I got into the car and drove off. LOL. They ran along the fence following the car until I was out of sight. How I wished I’d had the camera!
The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
I came across this recipe recently. It looks ultra-healthy. I have all the ingredients to hand except the maple syrup so I’ll use honey and give it a try: