One of the things we were really keen to do in living the sustainable life was to grow our own fruit and vege. In selecting a property, we did look for one that hopefully had some fruit trees and enough room for a large vege garden. At the moment though, the vege garden is still a vege patch.

But the patch is now bearing fruit. Well, the quince tree is bearing fruit. The vege patch is stuffed full of different types of lettuce, silverbeet, spinach, chives and carrots. And speaking of carrots – they are teeny weeny carrots. I suspect we’ve planted them all too close together and will probably need to thin out the rows.

At the risk of repeating myself, it’s FANTASTIC to taste organic veges. They actually have amazing flavour unlike the often insipid veges you buy in the supermarket. The quince tree has gone berserk and I’m contemplating whether to whip up quince jelly, quince jam or quince tarte tatin (a variation on the classic apple tarte tatin).

Once we get the hang of what grows in which season, we’ll be planting a large vegetable garden. We have a chestnut tree; blackboy peach tree; two apple trees; and quince trees. Quinces seem to be one of those fruits that have fallen out of favour but not in New Zealand. Quinces are everywhere and I’ve grown to love them.

We are not using any nasty chemicals or fertilizers on the veges. Horse crap is literally all we throw at them, along with a lot of water. The hares that used to be around the property have vanished to the back paddocks and I think this is largely because of Zeph and Zsa Zsa being around the garden area.

Tiny carrots but oh so tasty.

Fresh off the quince tree.

Different types of lettuce growing in their neat rows.

More lettuce.

Silverbeet aka Chard or Swiss Chard or Mangold.