Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents 186 SCOOP SUMMER 2009
TOM AT O Tomatoes are a summer favourite and while they love the sun, it's
best to protect them from strong winds. Any soil with good drainage and plenty
of organic content will be fine, though you should change the position each
year to prevent pests building up. They pretty much run wild and, if left to rot,
the seeds from the fruit will germinate before long. Add bocconcini, basil and
olive oil for a winning salad.
BASIL Native to India, basil is now enjoyed throughout the world. New leaves
have the best flavour and picking them also helps promote new plant growth.
Basil loves a bright place in the garden, though it can be raised in any sunny
spot like the kitchen windowsill. The more you harvest basil, the bushier it
grows so don't be afraid to use it. Great for pesto!
COS LETTUCE Cos is a popular variety of lettuce most frequently used in
caesar salads. Plant lettuces in well-drained, rich soil with enough shade to pre-
vent them burning. You can harvest them by either cutting them at the base
with a sharp knife, or by removing the whole plant at the roots. Interestingly,
the faster the lettuce grows, the crisper and tastier it is, so a weekly feed with
soluble plant food helps.
CHIVES Chives can adapt to a range of soil types, though they prefer to be
planted in manured, well-drained soil in full sun. Of the two varieties, onion
chives are the more popular and are distinguished by a tubular leaf with light
purple flowers. They are a natural insect repellent and produce both flowers
and foliage throughout summer. To prolong the growth of leaves, remove the
flowers during the growing season.
The arrival of former McWilliams group winemaker Martin Cooper (pictured
above left) at Xabregas' Porongorups contract winemaking facility Wineworx
is big news for the entire Great Southern: in addition to looking after
Xabregas' wine, Martin will also be able to put his extensive experience to use
for all Wineworx clients. Winner of the 2003 QANTAS Young Winemaker of
The Year award, Martin is a self-confessed shiraz tragic and believes the Great
Southern will give him the opportunity to make the elegant, Rhone-style wine
he's always wanted to.
Winner of most successful exhibitor at this year's Geographe Show, Ferguson
Valley's Willow Bridge Estate has appointed Simon Burnell (pictured above
right) as its new senior winemaker. While Simon will be familiar with varieties
such as chardonnay, semillon, sauvignon blanc, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon
from his time at Margaret River's Cape Mentelle, Willow Bridge's plantings of
chenin and tempranillo will offer Simon something new to try his hand at.
So apart from having fresh organic herbs and veg at your back door, what
are the benefits of growing your own?
"The absolute advantage is the taste," says Patrick. "The flavour is so
different in home-grown produce. This is because modern commercially
grown plant varieties have been adapted ripen more quickly and transport
"Tomatoes have been engineered for transport and retail, with thicker
skins and more water content," he says. To combat this trend, Patrick
recommends using heirloom seeds that have been specifically grown to
maintain produce as it was originally intended. "If you put in a little extra
effort and use heirloom seeds, you can have the beautiful tomatoes you
used to get 40 years ago."
And, of course, as you enjoy the taste, you can rest easy knowing your
food is free of any herbicides or pesticides.
Guiding the way
Keeping abreast with all the Australian wine
industry's twists and turns is a full-time gig,
but it's a job Melbourne wine writer Nick
Stock does with aplomb. The sum part of the
last 12 months of Mr Stock's life, the Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide
2010 (Penguin Australia, $24.95) provides a succinct snapshot of what's
happening in the country's collective wine glass. At its heart, 1300 wine
recommendations with Nick's choices broken down by variety and in some
cases, price point. The inclusion of a short and sharp national regional
wine travel guide is just the ticket for wine lovers keen to go beyond their
local bottlo and makes the book an indispensable addition for both the
bookshelf and glove box.
Links Archive Scoop 52 Navigation Previous Page Next Page