Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last Farm Gate for the year

Globe artichokes, basil and shiso.

It's that time of year. The soil is still damp around here, it's getting late, but not too late, to plant those summer annuals like tomatoes and basil. The garlic needs harvesting, and it's our best crop ever this year. This season's young chickens need to be moved to a run where they can have a little more space, the grass needs cutting before the fire season sets in, the Scotch thistles are about to flower (ouch!) and to top it all off it's almost Christmas!

It feels a little wrong to me to promote anything for Christmas gifts, as so often it becomes a storm of junk with something like $500 million being spent in Australia on gifts that are unwanted. But, with two garden fairies here, Christmas is loads of fun and it is beautifully nostalgic trying to give them the joys that we remember from our childhoods. And an unwanted plant is easily passed over the fence to a green thumbed neighbour.... 

I reckon I'll find myself at Salamanca early on Saturday to pick out the last few things we need, including some gorgeous scarves my fantastic mother in law sells from a project she visits in Luang Prabang that supports women to work in traditional handicrafts (she can tell you more about this wonderful project), or some ceramics from the gorgeous Alex and Marion. And our friends at Harvest Feast will be there on Christmas eve with healthy, delicious food, including local, organic berries and Pigeon hole bread.

At Farm Gate Market this weekend it's our last market before Christmas, a great place to find gifts and food, made or grown by the hands that sell them to you. There will be herbal teas, gorgeous soaps, jams galore, wine, cheese, ham, honey, vegetables, Dorper lamb and Boer goat and, I'm led to believe, a certain red and white clad bloke, with a big beard, will be coming to wreak havock among the small people...

Yesterday Sam and I picked out some plants that we think would make lovely Christmas gifts, including some gorgeous French alpine strawberries in flower, nice purple sage plants and wasabi for those with a cool, damp patch in the garden. I've also printed up some gift vouchers for anyone who can't decide. We're planning on putting together some little boxes of plants, like tea garden plants, a beginners herb garden, or a bush tucker selection. We'll also bring down some pretty plants in ceramic pots ready to go on the  kitchen doorstep.

Angelica archangelica. A joy to have in the kitchen
and the garden.

Sea celery. Perennial herb native to Tas with earthy
parsley flavour. These will be in our bush foods pack
or as single plants in small tubes or larger pots. 

Dianthus plumarius. Hardy perennial with edible,
clovey-sweet petals. Very ornamental.
These will be in our edible blooms packs
or as single plants in small tubes or larger pots.

Hope to see you there, this Sunday the 18th from 9am - 1pm. We'll next be at market on the 8th of January. Have a fantastic Christmas!

Purple sage, variegated lemon thyme and wasabi.