Winter Anecdotes from the Kitchen Garden by Heidi

August 02, 2023

Winter Anticdotes from the Kitchen Garden by Heidi

Autumn and Winter in Brisbane are my favourite seasons to be growing vegetables.

Our frost free climate here in Brisbane enables us to grow a myriad of vegetables, herbs and home staples all year round.

When the weather warms up, it's a good time to remind yourself of the benefits of growing some of your own produce at home.  perfect time for improving and enriching your beds with the boost they need for the approaching warmer months.

For those that know me and my involvement with the Kitchen Garden at Brookfield Gardens, will be aware that I am a massive fan of Rocky Point's Active Grow.  I use this product every time I am planting something new into the beds.  Its quick, convenient and provides excellent results. It’s my product of choice when it's time to improve the soil in the Kitchen Garden.

Rocky Point has just released a new product called Organic Health. This product was specifically designed with the goal to maximise the nutrient levels of the produce grown.

We were fortunate enough to be able to test this before it came on the market when we needed the beds topped up and the results spoke for themselves.  Vegetables were strong, robust, healthy and grew quickly.  The research, time and money that went into the production of this product was phenomenal and we were lucky to have been offered the opportunity to see it first hand in the Kitchen Garden.

I always try to grow a diverse variety of vegetables and flowers all year-round.  The diversity allows for plants, pests and beneficial predators to have a good balance which in turn gives you healthier plants while enhancing your diet and health.

Gardening is a great way to improve your health.  Being active, moving with the sun shining, bees buzzing and eating the fruits of our labour are positive to our mental and physical health.

To me there is an amazing satisfaction of growing your own vegetables.  It’s not just knowing exactly what has gone into the food we are eating, it’s also the knowledge you gain of growing and harvesting from start to finish. Garden to plate, it’s a beautiful journey.  There are often failures and lessons learned (God knows I’ve had my fair share) but they make the wins even more rewarding.

I also get a nice buzz of oxytocin when I'm providing nutrient dense food that I've grown and prepared for friends and family, those that are dear to me.

Food obviously provides us with the nutrients we need but the joy of it is immense.  Food can feed friendships and offer comfort and healing during times of need.

I was going to share a winter salad recipe this week but with all the flu and sickness amongst my beautiful work colleagues and greater community at this time of year I am going to share a great autumn/winter soup recipe that has stood the time in our household since my kids were crawling.

Keep this for when a loved one is unwell.  This soup chases away chills, soothes the soul and leaves you feeling warm and loved all over.

Heidi's Chicken Healing Soup

Serves 6-8
Season: Autumn/Winter

  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 125g (4oz) carrots, roll cut
  • 250g (8 oz) leeks, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 150g (5 oz) celery, diced
  • 250g (8 oz) fennel, diced
  • 300g (9.5 oz) celeriac, large diced
  • 500g (1 lb) potatoes, large diced
  • 1 whole organic free-range chicken
  • 8 cups (2L) vegetable stock
  • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Half a bunch (or more) of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Wash all vegetables well. Place cleaned chicken and all vegetables in pan cover with vegetable stock, add the salt, bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Allow to simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove chicken, cool a little and take meat from the bones, set aside. Discard the bones. Bring soup back to a simmer, add the lemon juice. Place chicken back into soup, serve sprinkled with parsley.

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