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Friday 25th October, 2019
What happens if you are a tad cheeky
Cecilia and I were working the weekend, and it was that time of the day that I said to Cecilia to grab a break before it got super busy. "Not yet" she says ... "I'm waiting on hubby to bring lunch over"... and with superb timing he duly appears with hot home made lunch in a basket (bet everyone wants a partner like that! LOL)
Being a bit cheeky I said "where's mine", I was just kidding of course, but hey, next thing he returns with a thermos full of freshly cooked soup and a couple of home made buns. I think I was meant to share the soup with Tony but he wasn't around and it was so good that I managed to eat the lot... didn't want any going to waste.
Cecilia told me the soup is traditional fare originating from the poor coal mining families of Lota, Chile, and I asked if I could have the recipe to share and yahoo here it is. I haven't made it yet but it is on my agenda to give it a go... it's like a complete meal in a tasty broth... I know that Cecilia often has it for lunch and the sample I had was certainly delicious.
This Chilean dish is a dish with history, that even today is consumed in all Chilean homes with the name of "Chilean Carbonada". It was born in the coal mines of Lota to cover the needs of the families of the miners, very poor and numerous. With this preparation all the members of the family were equally satisfied. It's main ingredient is meat cut into squares, simulating pieces of charcoal, which was the energy resource for cooking the dish.
•1 kilo rump steak
•2 garlic cloves
•1 onion chopped
•1 stalks celery
•3 medium red potatoes
•1 cup of rice
•1 cup of frozen green peas
•1 cup of frozen sweet corn kernels
•1/2 tsp ground cumin
•salt, pepper, coriander, oil
Cut meat into cubes, also cut into small cubes onion, carrots, pepper, and celery.
In a large pot add 2 litres of cold water, add beef and garlic cloves, cover and leave to simmer on a medium heat. Once it starts boiling add carrots, celery, diced potatoes and rice. After 10 minutes, add sweetcorn and green peas.
Cook for 20 minutes over medium heat covered.
Adjust the seasoning.
When serving, add freshly chopped coriander.
OMG where are all the plants going to fit
It's a worry when I look at all the plants arriving and think OMG where are we going to put it all! It's all plants that we still need to be able to offer but honestly the place is just packed full with amazing plants.
Two varieties of Kumara (Owairaka Red and Tokatoka Gold) have arrived however most of these have been pre-ordered, emails have been sent to all who ordered them. There are more due to arrive the week after Labour weekend including Beauregard orange. We won't be carrying large numbers of these as being bare rooted they need to be planted fairly quickly so we are only ordering enough to cover orders and a few extra for the shop. All varieties will be sold in bundles of 25 plants for $12.99 per bundle and the freight on these is only $8 for up to 4 bundles anywhere in NZ so very affordable.
I know that we have some Tokatoka Gold available in store for this weekend but all the reds are backordered so if you haven't already done so do go online and get your booking in for next week.
We have been waiting weeks for red stemmed Rhubarb and now we get 4 varieties all at once. Ruddy Fool, Pink parfait, Claret Cobbler and Ruby Tart. My understanding of these red stemmed clones are that they are evergreen and have pickable stems through the winter... I find the leaf of Rhubarb to be quite attractive and it looks great in the potager or eating garden.. but the stems of these varieties... just look amazing.
Pepino is that unusual south American fruit that tastes like rock melon and now is the time to get them in the garden. I know that Cecilia has planted some of these and I'm thinking that I should put some in the display garden potager for something a bit different.
Cape Gooseberries are something that many will remember from their childhood and are such an easy plant to grow, well I certainly do remember popping them out of their papery lanterns and eating the sweet golden fruits... If you managed to harvest a crop then cape gooseberry jam could be just the thing to make other wise they will add sweetness to a salad.
Potatoes... and there is still time to plant a crop though you may be scratching to harvest anything other than a baby size tattie for Christmas... what we have left in stock can go at half price as its time to get them in the ground, still a good selection of varieties to choose from.
Asparagus... these need to be planted too so out they go at half price and all peas and beans seed half price too.
Ang has topped up on the Herbs that can go into the garden right now and this includes a range of Basil, Chillis and French Tarragon just to name drop a few .. I must make mention of the large grade lemon grass that is on the table for sale as well plus a mental note for me to grab one as well to put in the herb garden at home.
You can find all these and loads more in our Culinary selection.
A newbie.... well to us anyways though prob need a sheltered spot
Dracaena Draco or dragon tree and we don't often have this very structural plant that is well suited for pot culture.. Obviously the supplier had an abundance as I thought these were quite the bargain at only $9.99 each..
Dragon tree because when you cut the leaves a reddish resin exudes lol like dragons blood but to be fair the tree looks quite prehistoric to me. Interestingly is a monocot that belongs to the Asparagus family. Apparently there is a example of a dragon tree in Tenerife that has the nickname of being over 1000 years old though I'm not sure that this is the case.
These unusual plants grow as a single stem for approx 7 to 10 years at which point it flowers, then the branching begins and then the pattern continues. You can then guess at the approx age of the plant by how branched the speciman is... how's that for some Friday trivia?
We have added to our palm collection as many have been enquiring about these.
Washingtonia Robusta AKA Fan Palm has spiky stems, The leaves resemble hand fans, hence the name, and are bright green. These palms cope well with stormy winds.
Trachycarpus maritinus aka Windmill Palm is native to Nepal. The fan shaped fronds are arranged in such a manner as to give the appearance of a windmill. This palm has moderate frost tolerance.
Rhapiolepsis fergusonii or Indian Hawthorn and these are truly the best plants that I have seen being bushy and well... robust looking ... fergusonii is smaller growing with white flowers than some of the other more hardy varieties and probably my pick if you want the white flowered form.
Asplenium Maori princess. I just love this one so it gets a mention, it does well in semi shade and is quite tolerant of quite dry positions which is unusual to our perception of ferns. Most of the fern family does like quite a lot of available moisture but I have this apslenium thriving on quite a dry bank under some largish Totaras.
Lavenders are coming into flower, especially The Princess, she is looking amazing at the moment in full bloom and stunningly colourful so I'm marking this lavender down from $19.99 to $17.99.
Aloes and echeverias are available in a limited range. Echeveria Zipper is a gorgeous frilly edged succulent that has a pink tinge to the edge of each petal while Echeveria Violensia is a lovely rich plum colour with hints of blue. These are great coastal plants that thrive in hot dry spots. Aloe Striata forms a lovely large low rosette while Aloe speciosa is the handsome tree aloe and again these both love the hot dry spots. These are all good for container growing as well.
Can you believe that its Labour weekend already and that means we are not that far from (dare I say it) the countdown to Christmas... From a weather point of view it hardly feels warm enough but apparently the sun is going to shine tomorrow... Yeah right ... well I will believe it when it happens... But I'm sure that you all know the drill that labour weekend is the time that the ground get warm enough to sow all our favourite seasonal veges and herbs. Really it's more that your plants should just romp away from here on as the ground is warm and moist. The roses seem to think so as they are so full of bud just about to burst, many have some flowers on already (those early ones that just cant wait to face the sun) The colour of the roses is always most intense when first opening and like anything fades as it gets older so from here on is the time to come see them.
... and on that note
We are open from 8.30 am to 5 pm every day including Monday Labour day
Its a short week following and so we will only have two days dispatch but will endeavour to get all orders out as per usual.
Waikato rose show will be on from the 16th to 17th November this year. Always included in the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival which begins 14 November. This is a wonderful event where the public can vote for their favourite roses and you can see the roses that may be the future new season varieties. Breeders from around NZ and internationally will present their very best so definitely worth a viewing. This year it is called The Grande National Rose Show and you can see more info about this on our events page.