Thursday, 5 March 2015

A productive trip to the Orange Grove Markets

The Orange Grove Markets are a weekly tradition for many people around Rozelle and Lilyfield, and with good reason.  They are organic farmers markets, so the emphasis is on organic produce and locally sourced food.  There are also a number of bakeries, and other meal producers, so you can also pick up all the essentials like cronuts, delicious gluten free baked good, olive oil, dips, and lots more!

But I was there for the plants.  I had been told you can get citrus trees for a good price, and I really want to get a few - my mother in law has even promised to buy them for me for Christmas (yes I know it's March.  We are just a bit slow!)  So I went to check it out.  You can indeed buy citrus trees, many with a lot of fruit, for around $35 for a dwarf lemon or a lime tree.  All great - but I walked there, and it's a good kilometre or so.  So if I'm going to buy up I need to have a plan for how to get them home - that will be for the next visit.

In the meantime though - I found the seedlings.  And who can resist a bargain?? So I started buying.  Then I got offered a box to carry them in - so I really had to fill up the box to make it practical to carry home....

Not sure about the angle but that is the box full that I lugged home - it is a longer walk than you think when you're carrying a lot of plants!

The spoils of the day were -

I've never eaten kale - and I don't think I could stomach a green smoothie - I was told to saute it though and it's really tasty

Kale - the current super food favourite.  Apparently grows well over the cooler months, and is ok in part shade, so will be going out in the back yard.

Six little celery seedlings

Celery - it also seems to like the mid seasons.  I think I have to do a bit more research on this, to blanch the celery so it grows tall and not too bitter - but for now it is in the part shade areas of the garden and we will see how we go!

Rocket - every salad needs it.  I tried to grow this from seed and wondered what happened to the seedlings  - now I've seen that slug (read about it here) I think I know!  But these are bigger plants already so hopefully survive.  It's gone into full sun in the front yard.

Coriander - I love this herb but it often seems to bolt easily.  I realised perhaps last time I had it in too sunny a spot, so this time it has gone out the back under my clothesline - this might let it stay more leafy for longer I hope.

Dill - always makes me think of a nice fish dish.  So giving this a try for the first time.  It appears to need full sun and can apparently grow very tall, so it is at the back of the beds in the front yard.

The mizuna got a bit squashed on the trip back home

Mizuna- I bought this not even knowing exactly what it was, but I needed an extra herb to make my 5 plants for $10.  I'm glad I got it though - it sounds tasty.  Also known as Japanese mustard, the leaves are supposed to have a mustard or peppery flavour.  Also a leafy salad vegetable, these grow in part shade, and smaller leaves will be more tender and more tasty (or so I have read!)

Chives - always a kitchen staple.

So all of those cost me $17 - $10 for 5 for the herbs (including rocket and mizuna) and the celery and kale were 6 seedlings in a punnet, and 2 punnets for $7.  Bargain!

 In addition to those I had also made a sneaky trip to a nursery on my way home from work on Thursday, so I also had four six cell punnets to plant out (they were buy one get one free - couldn't resist) - so in addition to all those I also now have curly lettuce, leeks, dwarf broccoli and spinach which has been planted in various pots and garden beds around - hopefully in the not too distant future I will have a veritable salad bowl in my garden!

Plus, tomato and capsicum plants self seeded and have sprung up when I moved my compost heap - so I have transplanted them to pots, and if they survive I will perhaps replant into a larger pot or into the garden bed for some late season fruit.

Lovely marigold


Blurry pick of my possible snap dragon

Then to fill up the box I decided to get some colour - needed to replenish my hanging pots.  A petunia, alyssium, marigold, snap dragon (I think!) and a blue plant that I don't actually know the name of all went in - they were also 5 for $10.  So for a grand total of $27 I had more plants than I know what to do with - and had to carry them all home!!

The last thing I bought was two bunches of dahlias - because who doesn't love brightly coloured fresh flowers?

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