Australia, Now This is Winter

It is hard to believe that last week it was snowing 30 minutes away from our house (very unusual).  This week the nights are still very cold but the days are bathed with warm sunshine.

Time to venture outside after our recent hibernation stint. Time to finally pick the winter mandarins.

This photographed mandarin tree is a miniature variety.  We have had this tree and pot since we lived in the inner City of Sydney.  Proof that you can still grow vegetables and fruit even if you have very little outside space. Space doesn’t limit you – your imagination and belief does.




Wild Slippery Jack Mushrooms


Wild Slippery Jack Mushrooms are new to me.  I have been educated and enlightened by my friend at Little Field Mice Farm.

These yummy free delights grow wild on her farm, underneath the pine trees.  My generous friend gave me lots to take home, last time we met for our local Seed Savers event.

Foraging for wild food is something I enjoy, however mushrooms to date have been out of the question – dangerous with my lack of knowledge. 

Don’t you think it is cool that my friend teaches her children about wild mushroom foraging on their farm?

These Slippery Jack mushrooms have now been cooked up in my homemade soups, quiches and stir fries. Everyone in my family ate them with no fuss or complaint.

I just needed to peel off the skin from the top of the mushrooms, remove the stems, wash them, then squeeze out the water (slippery jack mushrooms are like a sponge).

Interested if you forage for any wild, free food?  What is your experience?

It Appears I Was Wrong About Chickpeas

Recently I wrote about foraging for chickpeas with our Little One.

My observation and research led me to believe chickpeas only grow three to six pods per plant (a lot of work for little bounty).

However after picking all the chickpeas a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that new pods started growing straight away.  Our Little One and I, will soon be foraging for chickpeas to eat again.

Let me tell you, if you have never had fresh chickpeas before, then you have missed out.  They are so sweet.  Would a toddler gobble them up if they weren’t delicious?

I can highly recommend growing your own fresh chickpeas – especially if you have young children.  They will love picking the pods then eating the treasure inside.


Getting Much Needed and Often Forgotten Vitamin G


I knew I was very ill these last couple of days, when I didn’t want to venture into the garden.

However the worst is over and the sun was shinning and I had enough strength – I longed for some vitamin G!

The Garden (vitamin G) is what I was craving.  Much needed medicine for my health and wellbeing. Harvesting produce from the garden, gave me a much needed lift to my spirits.

Potatoes, silverbeet, tomatoes, sorrell,  parsley, carrots and beans – all made a healthy and yummy lunch.

As always my little gardening shadow helped her Mummy pick the produce – signaling we were both feeling much better.

Foraging for Chickpeas, Makes a Fun Children’s Activity and Snack


Standing no taller than two foot, chickpea plants border our top veggie garden.

Little white flowers signal new pods are soon to grow.  This was my very first season with growing chickpeas and to be honest, I knew little before planting – just dived right in.

After seeing how few chickpeas, each plant produces, I actually thought I wouldn’t grow them again – long growing times, only two to five chickpeas grown from each plant is apparently normal but still disappointing.

I was disappointed until…


……I discovered our Little One foraging for chickpeas in the garden – obviously inspired by seeing Mummy pick the tiny green pods.

We sat under the shade of a large tree, popping the pods to access the fresh chickpeas.  Not waiting till the pods were dry, meant that the pods and peas were green.  Oh my goodness, the green chickpeas were so delightfully sweet.  Our Little One ate them all up (except two that I was quick enough to throw in my mouth).

We then went foraging for ripe cherry tomatoes.  Garden food foraging is always an exciting activity for children – picking their own healthy snacks!

In conclusion, I will be growing chickpeas again, just HEAPS MORE of them.

Note on the 3rd of March 2015, I wrote an update of this post.