Seasonal fresh food guide

Not sure what fruits, vegetables and herbs are available in each season of the year?

Use the year-long schedule below as a quick and easy guide to see what you should be planting in different months and what is available to buy if you’re not able to grow it yourself.

 Please note, this is an Australian guide.

January

Fruit: Apricot, banana, berries, cherries, fig, grapes, lime, lychee, mango, melons, nectarine, passionfruit, peaches, pineapples, plum

Veges: Beans, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, celery, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce,  onions, peas, radish, rhubarb, squash,  sweet corn, tomato, zucchini

Herbs: Basil, chilli, chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme

February

Fruit: Apple, apricot, banana, berries, fig, grapes, guava, lime, lychee, mango, melons, nectarine, passionfruit, peaches, pears, pineapples, plum

Veges: Beans, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, celery, cucumber, eggplant, leek, lettuce, onions, peas, pumpkin, radish, squash, sweet corn, tomato, turnip, zucchini

Herbs: Basil, chilli, chives, coriander, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme

March

Fruit: Apple, apricot, banana, berries, fig, grapes, guava, lime, melons, nectarine, papaya, passionfruit, pears, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, yellow peach

Veges: Asian greens, beans, beetroot, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, celery, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, onions, peas, radish, silverbeet, squash, sweet corn, tomato, zucchini

Herbs: Basil, chilli, chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme

April

Fruit: Apple, avocado, banana, cumquat, custard apple, grapes, guava, lime, melons, papaya, passionfruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, quince

Veges: Asian greens, beetroot, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, celery, leek, lettuce, onions, peas, parsnip, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato, turnip, zucchini

Herbs: Chilli, garlic, ginger, parsley

May

Fruit: Apple, avocado, banana, cumquat, custard apple, imperial mandarin, lemon, lime, melons, navel orange, passionfruit, persimmon, quince

Veges: Artichoke, Asian greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, celeriac, celery, fennel, kumara, leek, lettuce, onions, peas, parsnip, silverbeet, swede, sweet corn, tomato, turnip

Herbs: Garlic, ginger, horseradish, parsley

June

Fruit: Apple, avocado, banana, custard apple, grapefruit, imperial mandarin, lemon, lime, melons, navel orange, passionfruit, persimmon, strawberries

Veges: Artichoke, Asian greens, beetroot, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, carrot, celeriac, celery, eggplant, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, kumara, leek, lettuce, onions, peas, parsnip, pumpkin, silverbeet, swede, sweet corn, tomato, turnip

Herbs: Garlic, ginger

July

Fruit: Avocado, banana, custard apple, grapefruit, imperial mandarin, lemon, lime, melons, navel orange, papaya, passionfruit, pomelo, quince, rhubarb, strawberries, tangelo

Veges: Artichoke, Asian greens, beetroot. broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, carrot, celeriac, celery, eggplant, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, kumara, leek, lettuce, olives, onions, peas, parsnip, pumpkin, silverbeet, spinach, swede, tomato, zucchini

Herbs: Garlic, ginger, horseradish

August

Fruit: Avocado, banana, cumquat, custard apple, grapefruit,  lemon, lime, mandarin, murcott, melons, orange, passionfruit, strawberries, tangelo

Veges: Artichoke, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, capsicum, cauliflower, carrot, celeriac, celery, eggplant, fennel, green beans, kale, kohlrabi, humara, leek, onions, peas, parsnip, pumpkin, silverbeet, swede, tomato, zucchini

Herbs: Garlic, ginger, horseradish

September

Fruit: Avocado, banana, cumquat, custard apple, grapefruit,  lemon, lime, mandarin, murcott, melons, orange, papaya, passionfruit, pawpaw, strawberries, tangelo

Veges: Artichoke, beans, beetroot, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, capsicum, cauliflower, carrot, celeriac, celery, eggplant, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, humara, lettuce, onions, peas, parsnip, pumpkin, silverbeet, spinach, swede, tomato, zucchini

Herbs: Chillies, garlic, ginger, parsley

October

Fruit: Avocado, banana, grapefruit, mandarin, loquat, mango, papaya, passionfruit, pineapple, tangelo, watermelon

Veges: Asian greens, asparagus, beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, cucumber, leek, lettuce, onions, pumpkin, rhubarb, spinach, tomato, zucchini

Herbs: Garlic, parsley

November

Fruit:  Avocado, banana, berries, cherries, grapefruit, lychee, mango, papaya, pineapple, oranges

Veges: Broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, peas, radish, rhubarb, sweet corn, tomato

Herbs: Basil, chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano

December

Fruit: Apricot, banana, berries, cherries, grapes, lychee, mango, melons, nectarine, passionfruit, peaches, pineapples, oranges

Veges: Beetroot, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, celery, chestnut, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leek, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, swede, sweet potato, turnip

Herbs: Basil, chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, watercress

applepickignApple orchard from http://www.metro.us/

Thanks to Martyna Angell from Wholesome Cook for contributing to this post. Much appreciated 🙂

Happy planting!

HL

Balcony gardening: Part 2

This is the second instalment of balcony gardening, specifically focusing on vegetables and/or fruits. I hope the last post inspired you to begin thinking about it setting up your little gardens, or better yet, inspired you to have actually set it up! So for those super keen gardeners looking to expand their gardening horizons past herbs, this is the post for you!

I started growing tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants last year and I can’t even begin to explain how easy it was. I had no idea what I was doing, yet I still managed to get a pretty decent amount of produce out of it. So much so that I was giving it out left, right and centre to anyone who would take it. I’m lucky enough to have the very little yard space I have, but the conditions of growing my vegetables were relatively the same. I chose to grow some of my veggies and my strawberries vertically so that my herbs and chillies were left untouched. Many veggies can just grow in planter boxes just like herbs though.

FOR VEGETABLES

 

What you need:

  • At least 6 hours of sunlight on your balcony a day
  • Planter boxes for most vegetables like carrots, garlic and tomatoes (if you prefer to grow them there)
  • Alternatively, you can use trellises for tomatoes and other hanging vegetables, or found goods if you’ve got something appropriate
  • Your desired vegetables for planting

Here you can see what others have used, so get creative and assess what your space would suit the most.

 vertical Vertical garden to grow lettuce.

gardenThis reuses old cupboard drawers. It takes a bit of handy work, but very worth it.

pipe gardenAn extremely clever way to reuse old pipes and save space.

7e06054c06ac3f08ed3f2f5aab5795c4These hanging pots take little effort to create and are great because you can grow pretty much anything in there.

59de4dda6afad45281794d7a922cda69This is some serious stuff. You can get this sorts of structure from Bunnings or Kmart. So great because they’re designed to hold up hanging vegetables so they will stay strong.

aae83fa032912a18ab4d43f5f5b95722These strawberries have been placed so that they grow around the structure here. Great if you have something similar on your balcony for your fruit of veggie to grow around.

gardenlettuceThese use old pipes cut in half and are nailed to the wall. Great space saver.

What to do:

  • Position your planter boxes or gardening structure in an area that will receive the most sunlight throughout the day. North-facing is ideal
  • Give it a little love at least once a day, with some water and supervision so no pests or infestations can occur
  • Prune regularly, otherwise they’ll get out of hand. This will also ensure you’re aware of any bugs or nasties that might come and nibble away at your precious produce while you’re away
  • Compost as much as you can. This will reuse any waste that would otherwise be thrown out and make your vegetables herbs thrive and flourish

Happy planting!

HL

Balcony gardening: Part 1

This post is for all you apartment-dwellers out there! Don’t let small spaces stop you from getting your hands a little dirty and starting up your own little herb or veggie patch. Not only will this liven up your otherwise unused balcony, but it will prove most useful when you have DON’T have to drive to Coles in the middle of traffic hour just to get a few tomatoes, or herbs to finish off your otherwise perfect meal.

FOR HERBS

This post is just the first instalment of our balcony gardening post, focusing on HERBS. Stay tuned for our second post on balcony gardening for VEGGIES and FRUITS coming up soon.

Here are a few tips on how to get started:

What you need:

  • At least 6 hours of sunlight on your balcony a day.
  • Your desired seeds or potted plants. You get a lot of satisfaction seeing them grow from seedlings but if you don’t have time for that, potted herbs are quick and easy. If you’re not sure what to grow, check out our post on companion planting for herbs.
  • Planter boxes- You can get proper ones from Aldi quite cheaply at the moment. You can also get these from Kmart, Bunnings, nurseries etc. Make sure you choose ones that will fit on your balcony comfortably and will also fit full-grown herbs. They can sit either directly on your balcony rail, or on the floor somewhere out of the way. Otherwise, founds boxes will do nicely too.

There’s a few types of planter boxes and pots to you can choose from:

Be-a-balcony-garden-bandit-620x360You can use any old box, just make sure there’s a couple of drainage holes at the bottom.

balcHanging planter boxes are fantastic for saving space. They’ll also position your herbs so that they get the most sunlight on your balcony.

balcfloorPlanters just placed on the floor are great too, if you have the space. They’re less likely to get damage from the wind.

What to do:

  • Position your planter boxes in an area that will receive the most sunlight throughout the day
  • Plant your herbs apart so there’s room for them to grow. If you’re growing from seeds, give maybe 20cm between them, or less if you’re willing to prune them more often.
  • Give them a little love at least once a day, with water in the morning and some supervision so no pests or infestations can occur
  • Prune regularly, otherwise they’ll get out of hand. Give excess herbs to a neighbour or your friends. Alternatively, you can dry them out and place in containers for later use.
  • Compost as much as you can. This will reuse any waste that would otherwise be thrown out, whilst making your little herbs thrive and flourish.

Voila! Uni students, get started on your herb gardens! It’s super easy, and there’s so much satisfaction out of growing your own edible garden.

Happy planting!

HL

Inspiring small space gardens

The whole point of Eat Fresh is really to encourage uni students to begin growing some of their own produce and cooking with it. Understandably, not many of us are lucky enough to have the gardening space to really begin tapping into the potential of self-sustaining all of our desired fresh produce.

Luckily, when there’s a will, there’s a way.

Here are a few encouraging pics of people who are still able to make it work for themselves and the tiny spaces they have. These prove there is potential with ANY space, so get inspired and start your garden today!

1.

balcony garden

Balcony planters- great for growing common herbs.

2.

palletReuse pallets for vertical gardens. They save on space and give you room to grow lots of things.

3.

ladder

Place your pots on a ladder if you don’t have much space in the backyard/balcony. It’s practical and looks good.

4.

balcaony

Even without a proper balcony or backyard, growing all your herbs is still possible.

5.

gardenYou can grow veggies and fruits with this great idea.

6.

gardeningThese potted herbs are painted in chalkboard paint so you can write what is what and change as desired.

7.
pipe garden
This is a great hanging idea made with old pipes. Grow cos lettuce in these or any herbs.

8.

potplantsUse pots your already have and connect them all by wire or string to save space.

9.

verticalThese vertical gardens are awesome for growing all hanging veggies and fruits.

10.

dce92c5d8a565e89325c8519836fa4bbLabel your herbs and hang outdoors or near the kitchen window. 

Happy planting!

HL

Home-grown herbal remedies from your garden

Like clockwork, every semester of uni plays out the same, no matter how hard I try (intentions count right?). I start out positive, organise my pens in the right order, then the workload begins piling up and my state of denial begins, then I descend into mild indifference about said pile, before spiralling into a heaped mess before the semester ends. Somewhere in the middle to end, I always end up getting sick and run down due to all the sleepless nights I’m up both starting and finishing an assessment hours before it’s due.

Instead of spending atrocious amounts of money on vitamins and minerals to help ease the pain of each semester, I’ve switched to more natural remedies.

Here are 6 common herbs you can easily grow in your garden that can naturally treat a variety of ailments:

  1. Coriander: A powerful digestive aid and cleansing agent that helps to remove toxic agents from the body. Use any way, particularly in foods.
  2. Lemon Balm: It’s fragrant leaves and flowers have a relaxing effect on the stomach and nervous system. Drink as a tea.
  3. Peppermint: Fantastic for digestion, indigestion and vomiting. Delicious in tea.
  4. Rosemary: Stimulates energy and helps concentration by bringing oxygen to the brain. Use in cooking
  5. Thyme: A great antibacterial and antiseptic. Can also relieve mild diarrhea. Use in cooking
  6. Lavender: Apart from smelling amazing, lavender can alleviate stress, tension and insomnia. Great in cooking for a more unconventional taste or just rubbed into your temples for instant relief

remedy

HL

Garlic and herb breadcrumb recipe

After discovering how amazing a teeny tiny spoonful of delicious breadcrumbs can be in a simple dish of pasta, I decided it was essential I learnt how to make it. Jamie’s Italian was the inspiration to this, where my usual order of Penne Arrabiata is always delightfully sprinkled with these magical herby crumbs.

If you’re counting your silver coins again until your next payday and want to brighten up umpteenth bowl of pasta this month, add some of these delicious breadcrumbs. They will make a world of difference to your dish.

Of course if you’re more conventional, use these to coat your meats and fry up for a delicious schnitzel or stuff in some sort of vegetable, like capsicum or in a mushroom. Whatever way you choose to cook with them, you will not be disappointed!

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 slices of stale bread, torn apart
  • 3Tbs of olive oil
  • x3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • Handful of fresh thyme
  • Handful of fresh oregano
  • Pinch of salt
  • x1 fresh chilli (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, whizz up your bits of bread and salt until it forms fine crumbs
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and chilli
  3. Fry lightly, add the breadcrumbs and coat well
  4. Toss and fry for about 5-7 minutes until the crumbs are crisp and golden

 HIENrecipe

VOILA! Delicious, garlic and herb breadcrumbs.

*NB. Fresh breadcrumbs (skip the frying stage) are best used immediately, while dry breadcrumbs (after frying) can be stored for a few weeks in a cool place, using an airtight container, or up to 3 months in the freezer.