Fruit & Vegetables

Growing & Using Lovage

Lovage needs to make a comeback! There, I’ve said it. But I won’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of lovage- we don’t see it in grocery stores, we rarely see it in recipes, and the plants are hard to find. To me, plants that are low-care perennials which put a lot of food on

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Pumpkin and carrot puree

If you are like Mark and have more pumpkins than you know what to do with, this pumpkin and carrot puree is a very nice recipe to try. Unfortunately I’m not that lucky- I only ever seem to grow one pumpkin per plant. And sometimes even that pumpkin is as small as my hand, even

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Thai-Inspired Stir Fry

This Thai-inspired stir fry is a staple in my home. I come back to it time and time again because it is so simple to make, yet is healthful & packs a great flavour punch. So try it and see for yourself if you agree. When it is very much winter here in The Netherlands,

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Yarrow: A Beautiful & Ornamental Ancient Herb

Yarrow is native to temperate regions of Europe and Western Asia, and has been grown for many centuries as a medicinal and ornamental herb. While I’d heard the name ‘yarrow’ long ago, it wasn’t until I really got into gardening that I sat up and took notice. I then discovered that yarrow is not only

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12 Herbs & Spices You Should Always Grow

No matter where you live, as a gardener you always have some sort of constraints. Whether it’s climate, space, time, energy or just plain personal preference, we can’t do everything. There are literally hundreds of different herbs you can try growing, but realistically we all have to make choices about what to grow and what

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Sicilian Chickpea & Spinach Braise (Vegan)

This traditional Sicilian chickpea and spinach braise is a resourceful meal derived partly through tradition and partly through need. My grandparents came to Australia in the early 1950s armed with gardening knowledge but little else. While they quickly established a productive vegetable garden, grandads fledgling fishing business didn’t always bring home the catch of the

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How to Plant a Choko

Chokos (aka chayote) are amongst the most prolific, versatile and healthful vegetables you can grow. Rarely available commercially, chokos are a traditional staple in many warm temperate and subtropical home gardens. The fruits’ crisp texture and mild flavour lends itself to roasting whole or adding to soups and stews, where it will take on the

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How to Grow Finger Limes

Finger limes are an unusual citrus fruit which are native to subtropical Australia. They taste just like regular limes yet are unique in their texture and presentation; the insides look just like fruity caviar. Even in Australia, this is a gourmet fruit which can be hard to find & fetches high prices in retail markets.

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6 Top Crops to Grow in a HOT Summer

It’s no news to any of us that subtropical and tropical climates have extremely hot summers. Add to that some punishing humidity & daily downpours, and you’ve got the potential for some vegetable gardening disasters. Anyone who has tried to grow traditional European crops through a QLD summer has learnt the hard way that hot

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Why You Should Grow Perennial Basil

There’s nothing like growing your own basil. Inhaling the lush scent when you brush past it in the garden. Watching its flowers attract essential pollinators. Picking leaves for salads, pesto and pasta sauce. Using it as a companion plant that improves the flavour of tomatoes. Sadly these are usually only seasonal pleasures, because annual basil

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Chard Carrot Casserole

This middle eastern-inspired chard carrot casserole combines the earthy taste of rainbow chard with the sweetness of carrots. Chickpeas & cumin provide the protein and base notes, while parsley, mint and lemon juice round out this beautiful looking and tasting dish. When I see Swiss rainbow chard I always sigh because it is so beautiful!

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Veggie Lasagna

This veggie lasagna is so good and packed with nutrition- but by no means is it a traditional lasagna recipe! I have to say this up front, because I really don’t want all the Italian nonnas of the world coming at me to knock me on the head with their wooden spoons! Of course traditional

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How to Grow a Ton of Passionfruit

Do you know how expensive passionfruit can be? It’s outrageous to pay for something that you can grow so easily at home! We love passionfruit, and it was the first major food crop we grew here at the Self Sufficient Me home garden. Using my top tips on how to grow a ton of passionfruit,

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How to Grow Water Celery

Water celery is a little-known perennial edible that grows in most climates & makes a fantastic addition to any food garden. All parts of this plant can be eaten, and the mild taste sits somewhere between parsley and celery. It’s easy to grow, and will survive both very hot summers and hard frosts. Despite this,

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Beetroot Soup with Chive Dumplings & Hazelnut Dukkah

Hearty, delicious, spicy & full of goodness: this tasty beetroot soup with chive dumplings & hazelnut dukkah has it all! The velvety soup texture and soft dumplings contrast perfectly with the crunch of the nutty topping, while the chilli, coriander & cumin add deep, spicy base notes. Whether you simply love the taste or have

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What To Do with Too Much Beetroot?

Beets, beetroot, whatever you want to call them, when you have too many…. well, you have too many. Yet with the price of food these days, none of us wants to be wasting anything home-grown, especially a seasonal crop like beetroot. Our self-sufficiency journey isn’t just about growing the food; we need to know how

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Purslane – The Weed you Need

Purslane is one of those unusual little herbs that lots of us have yet don’t ever notice. Considered a weed in many western countries like Australia, but an edible in the Mediterranean and Middle East, you might say it walks the line between vegetable and weed. What Exactly is Purslane? Purslane is a succulent edible

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Should I Prune my Tomato Plants?

To prune, or not to prune….that is the question! I’m talking about tomato plants, of course, and in this article I’m going to explain why sometimes you should prune tomatoes, and sometimes you shouldn’t. Types of Tomato Plant There are several things I look for whenever I’m thinking of pruning tomato plants, and the first

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Stuffed Red Bell Peppers (Capsicums)

These stuffed red bell peppers are a lovely meal and so easy to make! All you need to do is put them together then put them in the oven. My bell peppers went horribly this year (just like my beetroot) and I don’t know why. It becomes even more baffling because the tomatoes went better

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How to Fill a Garden Bed

Ok so you’re new to gardening. Or maybe new to raised beds. We all know that veggies need soil to grow in, but where do you get the soil from? Which soil do you use? How deep does the soil need to be? What else do they need? Do I need to add fertiliser? If

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