Nuts about kitchen gardening

Date posted: 30 May 2016

Greetings, kitchen gardeners – we hope you’ve been travelling well and have been enjoying the bountiful rain of late! Winter’s fast approaching, but rather than stay indoors with the heaters cranked we’ve been busy little bees – there’s always something happening in the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden!

Taste buddies

We’ve recently hosted two wonderful Nutrition and Dietetics university students, Noel and Monika, in the garden and they’ve helped us introduce a brand new tasting menu. One of the new additions is basil pesto with carrots and some kids have loved it so much they said they’ll be making Noel’s Pesto at home! Our dairy-free Peppermint Smoothie has also been a hit. Some kids, who hadn’t tried smoothies before, have been back for second and third serves. The secret addition to our smoothie is honey (shhh!). Did you know it takes 1,000 visits from bees to a flower to produce one teaspoon of honey? That’s a lot of work for one teaspoon!

Pests, guests and weird and wonderful produce

Every garden has pests and guests. A family of magpies, for example, visits our garden every day and hangs around the pesto table (maybe they’ve heard how yummy it is!?). We love the magpies, not only for their beautiful voices, but because they also help us control bugs in the garden. We’ve also had some pesky ducks that have eaten all of our lettuce, kale and bok choy… but it’s hard to be mad at them when they’re so cute!

We’ve been showing the kids some unusual vegetables lately too. We have a Buddha’s hand citrus (see a pic in the image gallery, right), a Turk’s Turban pumpkin, a Tromboncino Zucchini – which looks like a giant worm or a snake – and a prickly cucumber. The kids think the Turk’s Turban pumpkin looks like a bum!

Nuts new additions

We’re still adding new plants to the Garden and sowing seeds – peas, broad beans, garlic and shallots have all been put in the ground this past month. Another great new addition has been pistachio trees (a member of the cashew family), which originate from Central Asia and the Middle East. These desert plants are fairly hardy in the right conditions, and the nuts they produce are a great snack packed with nutrients, providing fibre, healthy fats, protein and vitamin B6. Yum!

That’s all for this month Little Sprouts. Don’t forget to sign up for our enewsletter to get more Little Sprouts news, tips, recipes and more sent directly to your inbox.