The Kitchen Garden is producing lettuce (peppery Provencal Mix) and zesty mustard greens – all purple and bronzed by the sun - for salads and dwarf, frilly kale for adding to our frequent omelettes, which is pretty damn fine when I consider the freezing soil and icy winds of August. In the foothills of the Dandenong ranges, our elevation is 170m so we are distinctly colder than Melbourne in winter.
Do eggs qualify? The bantam hens have divined, somehow, that the nights are shortening and egg numbers are increasing well.
So I tried frying chopped kale and then added the eggs for my omelette – with our own chopped chives, too. I may not have churned the butter nor produced the cheese I always add (nor grown the tomatoes I like to include in a winter salad despite the carbon miles), but heck I felt satisfied with my little triumph; more so for having grown the plants from seed (the kale from English company Chiltern Seeds, below). (More so when I compare these with my bedraggled little pea plants – the 3rd lot! – only an inch or 2 high.)
Most importantly: delicious!
Jill Weatherhead is horticulturist, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead Garden Design who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (www.jillweatherheadgardendesign.com.au)