Harvest time for strawberries and loquats

After returning back from holidays, the first thing my daughter wanted to do after jumping out of the car was to hunt for ripe strawberries.  After disappearing for about half an hour, she returned triumphant with almost a kilogram of ripe strawberries!  She then found the cream in the fridge and made us a nice mix of strawberries and cream as her special dessert.

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Home grown strawberries are back!

With the recent warmer weather, the first of our home grown strawberries have started to ripen.  This is probably the most exciting time of the year for the kids as they come home from kinder / school / childcare and hunt around in the garden for the next ripe berry.  The novelty wears off a little once the berries are in full production, but we very rarely have any berries left over.

Here is the first of the home grown strawberries with a very excited little girl!

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Spring flowers in the garden

What a great time of year!  In the last couple of weeks all of the plants and fruit trees have been bursting to life with lots of colourful flowers and new growth.  It is amazing to see how fast this happens.  Within a few weeks the garden is transformed.

It looks like this year will be the first for some cherries – if I can keep them away from the birds and little hands.

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Homemade electrolyte drink without artificial sweeteners and additives.

Over the winter months, I spent a fair amount of time on my other interest which is cycling.  Having just completed Amy Gillett’s Gran Fondo on the 14th of September in Lorne, I thought it might be helpful for all the fitness enthusiasts to share my experience with hydration and supplements (or lack thereof) to get through an endurance event such as this as best as possible, with a focus on electrolyte energy drinks.

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Where it all began – my first veggie patch

I was looking through some old photos the other day and I discovered some pictures of my first ever veggie patch.  Surprisingly, the patch actually looks really healthy, despite the fact that I had very limited knowledge in how to grow a good crop.  I guess it was some beginners luck.  I do remember my Italian neighbours being very surprised that I was able to grow so many beans!

Here is a sample of one of the first harvests…

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I miss my smoothies !

After recently breaking yet another blender, I have had to go without my regular Saturday morning smoothies for a couple of weeks.  After experimenting with a number of different ingredients and combinations over the past couple of years, I have finally got to the point where the taste (and texture) is accepted and loved by all the family.  The biggest advantage of this is that I am able to pack so many healthy ingredients in and still make the smoothies taste like a treat for the kids.  Here is a link to some of the combinations I use.  I always ask for feedback from my daughter after trying a new combination of ingredients.  If the response is “best smoothie ever dad!” then I know that the others will love the taste too.

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Finally some home grown tomatoes !

There’s nothing quite like the taste of the first home grown tomatoes for the season.  The supermarkets don’t even come close to the sweetness of our vine ripened tommy toe cheery tomatoes.  This year we had to wait another couple of months due to the colder start to summer.  But it was worth the wait – we now have a couple of handfuls home grown tomatoes ripening every day.  The kids make sure they don’t stay on the bushes too long, but we still have plenty left over for our salads.

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