Article by: Sought After Seedlings
Designer of the Bryanston Organic Food Garden
Supplier of Franchi Sementi Heirloom Seeds & Victory Ticket Organic Seedlings
If you have been planting Franchi Sementi heirloom seeds and following Linda from Sought After Seedlings, on DSTV Gardening 101, on Growing Organic Vegetables, you will need to get your knowledge up to scratch on what to do with the bountiful production from your organic vegetable garden.
Here are a few pointers to help you prepare:
Zucchini: When growing zucchinis, you can harvest them as baby marrows or you could leave them growing and they will grow to become monster size marrows, which can grow up to an average of 40cm! These are delicious when peeled, deseeded and stuffed with any stuffing of your choice. Some lovely combinations to stuff marrow with, include: minced meat and herbs, spinach and feta or pine nuts, onion and butternut. Simply cut in half lengthways, deseed, stuff, pour a little olive oil or melted butter over it and pop it into the oven and let it bake. They can also be a healthier alternative sweet snack, by sprinkling cinnamon and sugar over them and roasting the marrow until soft and delicious!
If you choose to harvest them as baby marrows, try pickling them for a wonderful alternative to the regular cooking methods!
Tomatoes: Always remember to protect your growing tomatoes from greedy birds with grow bags, which are available at your favourite GardenShop store. Simply pick your tomatoes from the vine and use them fresh, roasted or slice them and oven-dry them in an oven on a very low heat or sun dry them in a cool, dry place. Easy peasy organic deliciousness!
Beetroot: This versatile vegetable plant can give you crops right through the year, so never be afraid of not having enough! The great thing about beetroot is that you can eat them at virtually any stage of growth, thus you can quite easily succession plant beetroot through all the seasons.
Beets can be boiled and salted, roasted or pickled – you can even make chutneys out of them! They can be served hot or cold and are wonderful inclusions in summer salads. If you have grown the lovely Franchi Sementi striped beetroot, slice it very thinly and include it raw in your salad, this will visually enhance any dish instantly! The same principle applies if you have grown mixed beetroot, including the lovely golden beetroot and the dark red ones – these also add a yummy depth of flavour and look simply scrumptious! Remember that the leaves of your beetroot are the same family as Swiss Chard (what many South Africans call spinach) and can be cooked and eaten at any stage.
You will be so inspired by your beautiful, bountiful organic harvest that you might even find yourself with a little business supplying to a local weekly market – now that could be fun and profitable!