Vegetable garden update

There are many way to support tomatoes. I went with the pole approach. I tied up cord, one fore each plant and secured it at the bottom with a rock. Twisty ties, string and like to tie the branches and stems of the tomato plants for support. I chose the hottest time of day to do this job. Hot. Hot. Hot. Do not do as I did. All done now. Let’s see if it works.
Ignore the weeds. You can see that I have. I am going for imperfect gardening this year. If a job gets done it’s a bonus. If it doesn’t get done. Never mind. I got a bee sting on my stomach today! Ouch!


Limoncello Part 3

For those that have waited in anticipation for the end result, hold onto your seats because here is the finished product! Taaaaa daaaaaa! My very own bottled limoncello. I made 5 and a half bottles. Bottles are 750ml. If you notice the difference in colour the ever so slightly darker one is the big peel limoncello and the lighter one is made with smaller lemon peel, or the second batch. Oh and remember to stir the batches well before straining and pouring into the bottles so you have an even flavour throughout all the bottles.
Have I tasted it? No. Not yet.
Why not? Well it was 8am when I bottled it so I thought I would wait till later.
I have placed the half bottle in the freezer to freeze for the rest of the day.
I have put temporary labels on the bottles. I want to make fancy labels later.
I am now wondering what to do with the leftover lemon peel????
Sugar coated lemon peel recipes, perhaps.

Limoncello Recipe
If you want the recipe.
Limoncello Part 2
If you want to see what limoncello looks like during the process.

Let’s juice again, like we did last summer


Ingredients: Carrots, New Zealand oranges, ginger, beetroot, kale and spinach
From our garden: spinach and kale

The vegetable garden is very giving. My spinach seems to have gone from a weenie thing to a giant overnight. I think I blinked.
There is satisfaction in growing vegetables.
Kale is a little bitter so I only included three stems this time around and the sweetness of the oranges and carrots balanced it nicely.
I’m making smaller juices this year.

Limoncello Part 2


Lemon peel and vodka after one month sitting in the dark. End of phase one of making limoncello.

My limoncello jars have been sitting patiently in the dark beside the radiogram. They have been noticed. Today I fed them with sugar water. Limoncello has a sweet tooth. I have two large jars in the process. I made up 2:2.5 sugar to water ratio and heated up the sugar and water on the stove to a slow boil for 5-7 minutes. Let the pot cool right down. I then added the sugar water to the limoncello. Do not stir. Lids on again and banished to the dark corner of the room for another month. Poor limoncello. 😦


Sugar syrup BEFORE heating.


Sugar syrup AFTER heating.

Just so I’m clear, I used two jars so I doubled the mix and in total used four cups of sugar and five cups of water. Use filtered water.
Patience comes to those who wait. Watching the brew does not make it work it’s magic faster. Go and do something else. Distraction is the best medicine.

For the actual recipe in my earlier posting see Limoncello.

Woolly Nightshade

Common Names: Woolly Nightshade, Tobacco Weed, Flannel Weed, Kerosene Plant, Tobacco Bush Weed, Ear-leaf Tobacco, Wild Tobacco,
Latin Name: Solanum mauritianum
Characteristics: Purple flowers with a yellow centre, felt like grey green leaves, leaves smell like kerosene when crushed, can grow up to 10m tree.

A native plant of South America. Present in New Zealand north of Taupo. This plant was pointed out to me. I didn’t know what it was. I thought it looked quite nice until I was told it was a pest plant. Out it went. It is banished from our land. I will watch out for it just in case it tries to creep back in.

For more details on this invasive pest plant see Waikato Regional Council.

Kahili Ginger

Common Names: Kahili Ginger, Wild Ginger
Latin Name: Hedychium gardnerianum
Characteristics:  Stems up to 2m high. Large scented flower head (25-45cm long). Lemon-yellow flowers with red stamens ( January-March). Large waxy leaves, arranged alternately on stem.

The root systems of the wild ginger spread out and send up new shoots. Very invasive pest plant. I am trying to get rid of the wild ginger. Have removed half of the plants on the land. The rest have been cut back. Will remove each clump until all are gone. This plant is nice to look at but it is invasive and a threat to native forests and plants. Grows anywhere even in the shade. Labelled as a weed in New Zealand.

For more details on this invasive pest plant see NZ Department of Conservation.

Chinese Privet

Common Name: Chinese Privet, Privet
Latin Name: Ligustrum sinense
Characteristics: flowering evergreen shrub that is used as hedging. Shiny green leaves, leaves are opposite each other on the stem. Small white flowers.

Another unwelcome uninvited guest that is in our garden. This plant will keep coming back if cut back to the stump. Immediately paint herbicide over the entire stump surface. Dig out if small.

For more details on this invasive pest plant see Waikato Regional Council.