Eating Locally this Spring

Photo by: Down to Earth

Spring has sprung in our garden. The tomato plants are taking over their world (they seem to be much bigger this year), the apples and oranges are maturing, the beets are ready to harvest and the squash are poking up from the earth. I love this time of year. New life in the garden makes me feel alive.

I’ve also been inspired to try some new recipes to eat up the bounty of our harvest. As I type, I have a ‘Whole Orange Cake’ in the oven. It’s called a whole orange cake because, you guessed it, it’s made from a whole orange! Just put the whole thing in the food processor and add a few more ingredients, transfer to a baking tin and bake for 40 minutes. This is my type of cake. If the batter is anything to go by, this is going to be one tasty treat. A big thanks to Rhonda at Down to Earth for the inspiration.

This week, I’ve also discovered a new edible in the garden. Garlic Scapes. They are the stalk that my garlic have sent up in preparation for flowering. I’ve left a few scapes on to flower, but the rest have been removed for a far more satisfying (to me) purpose.

Photo from: The Hungry Mouse

Last night I made this Garlic Scape Pesto from The Hungry Mouse. The finished product is delish (as long as you like garlic of course). It’s quite a strong flavour and sits somewhere between raw garlic and spring onions. We spread it over Brendan’s homemade pizza last night and it was fantastic. We only got one jar of pesto from our small garlic crop, but I imagine it’s going to make its way into a lot of recipes in the next month.

Photo from: The Hungry Mouse

My next challenge is working out what to do with the six punnets of strawberries I bought at this weeks farmers market. They are so very tasty, but there is only so many strawberries one can eat in any given week. I don’t have any pectin left for Strawberry Jam, so I’m thinking Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt and frozen Strawberry puree might be the best way to preserve the remainder. Any other ideas?

This afternoon I’m going down to the local library where our town is holding its first ‘Home Harvest‘. It’s a monthly homegrown fruit, vegetable, and flower exchange that’s been founded recently by a group of dedicated backyard gardeners and local foodies.

A homegrown food exchange is a way of sharing what we have and reducing waste when we grow more than we need. In these times of economic challenge, a homegrown fruit and vegetable exchange is good for the pocketbook and good for the soul.

I’m excited to see how it turns out. It’s really great to see initiatives like this popping up in the local community.

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4 comments

  1. 6 punnets of fresh & truly tasty strawberries… I could certainly eat those!!

    Home Harvest sounds fantastic… I am sure you’ll blog about it for us, please!

  2. I don’t have a garden, but have been working on eating as locally as possible via a few bits in the backyard and regular visits to the farmer’s market. Sounds like you have a great set-up and some great food, though, and I can’t wait to try that cake.

  3. Yes, this is the week of garlic planting for me! No garlic shoots yet, but give us a few weeks and they will. I usually plant the week after Midwinter, but it has been so wet here that planting has been delayed until things aren’t so muddy.

    The cake looks good. I’ve stopped baking though pretty much altogether though – I found that baking makes my girth expand! So I’ve decided that while home baking might be nice in principle, it definitely isn’t healthy!

    Sounds nice and homey, until I can’t fit into my skinny jeans! LOL.

    My husband is grumbling a bit, but it just leaves more time for me to make lovely healthy dinners instead 🙂 Tonight some nice hot homemade soup and crusty bread – simple and filling.

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