Soup sea­son

This is the time for hearty soups made from win­ter root veg­eta­bles. Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes, kohlrabi, swedes, yams and parsnips are now in sea­son. Broc­coli, Brussels sprouts and cau­li­flower are fresh and just dy­ing to be cov­ered with cheese sauce.

Element - - Food - By Janet Luke

Whilst we are in the depths of win­ter there is not a lot to do in the gar­den. A much bet­ter op­tion to numb hands and muddy gum­boots is to snug­gle up inside and plan for spring. I love us­ing this time of the year to sali­vate over plant and seed cat­a­logues. Dream­ing about what to grow or plant in spring. Check out the on­line nurs­eries be­low and get plan­ning on what to or­der and plant.

This is a good time to weed es­tab­lished beds of as­para­gus. I cut down any dry stalks and then fence my chooks in the area for a week to lightly till and weed the area. If you are plan­ning on plant­ing some as­para­gus crowns soon dig some 30cm deep trenches and leave these ex­posed to the sun­shine and any frosts. This will ready the area for plant­ing later. It is pos­si­ble to keep sow­ing broad beans. Sow main sea­son onions. Home grown onions are worth the ef­fort. They are sweet and pun­gent. Keep sow­ing seedlings of broc­coli, spinach, cabbages and cauliflow­ers in the warmer ar­eas of your gar­den.

Herbs Aloe Vera

This suc­cu­lent, drought-re­sis­tant ever­green plant is great to have in the gar­den. Use the sap from cut leaves to re­lieve mi­nor burns, sun­burn and in­sect stings. This plant re­quires a sunny, frost-free, arid area to grow well. It thrives on ne­glect.

Thrift (Arme­ria maritime)

This is a won­der­ful lit­tle plant and a great al­ter­na­tive to bor­ing old Mondo. It is ever­green and clump form­ing with nar­row grass-like leaves around 15 cm long. In early sum­mer if pro­duces white or pink flow­ers that look like minia­ture pom poms. These smell like honey. Use this plant as an edg­ing plant for paths or pots. But­ter­flies love it.

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