Monday, April 4, 2016

Figs Glorious Figs!

When you are blessed with a fig over abundance it can be hard to keep up.  Figs produce two crops a year in Summer and Autumn.  We have a Black Genoa which fruits continuously for three to four months, one crop directly following the other.

So what to do with all these inside out flowers!  Here are my top 5 things to do with figs- eaten fresh, baked and made to last all year round as delicious preserves.

1. Figs and Rosewater. This is my favorite way to serve figs, simple yet impressive. Slice 3-4 figs into rounds and add a scattering of strawberries. Sprinkle with a teaspoon or two rose water depending on taste.  You can also add a drizzle of honey and toasted almonds. Rose water and figs is a match made in heaven.

2. Fig and Rhubarb Jam  Pale pink, with a slight crunch of fig seeds and tart rhubarb undertones this is a jam for the mature palette.

 3. Fig and Ginger Chutney Alison Alexander's delicious dark and sticky chutney, needs to be aged for 6 weeks but its worth the wait. Great with cheese, roast veggies and cold meats.

4. Glorious Fig and Nut cake from Amber Rose's book Love Bake Nourish. This cake is sweetened with honey which contrasts beautifully with the slightly bitter flavour of cinnamon generously dusted on top.  

5. Fig and Almond Pastries Easy to whip up in the evening but beware these are very addictive.

1 sheet puff pastry
1/3 cup almond meal
4 large fresh figs (320g)
30g butter or 25g nuttalex
2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Heat oven to 180 degrees, line oven tray with baking paper.
2. Cut  pastry into 4 equal squares, and sprinkle almond meal into the middle, top with figs.
3. Melt butter and maple syrup together brush on top of pastries folding in the four corners and edges, covering figs and pastry.
4. Bake 20min or until puffed and golden. Eat warm!

 Words and Images by Elspeth Brock.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gardens for Food, Learning and Play- Professional Development Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Make the most of the treasure that is a garden to stimulate children's imagination, creativity, learning and enjoyment of the natural world. Examine the value of both and structured and unstructured experiences, and learning experiences that are social, sensory, physical and emotional, to support you in your role as a facilitator of nature play and outdoor learning. Grow food plants to enhance your school grounds, develop ideas on how to share fresh produce and try some simple recipes that kids will love tasting and sharing.

When: Tuesday 10 May 2016
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens
Time: 9.30am to 3.30pm
Cost: $85 Bookings: 03 9252 2358  
Royal Botantic Gardens Victoria

Nature Play Week 2016

Come and celebrate the 3rd annual Nature Play Week with fun activities in Melbourne Gardens, in partnership with Kids in Nature Network.

So what is Nature Play?
"Over the past 30 years, we have moved indoors and screen spaces have replaced green places. Nature play is a term used to describe the creation of simple play opportunities in the natural environment. Nature play encourages kids and parents to see the natural environment as a place to enjoy, play, imagine, relax and explore." (Nature week website)

Float a boat in the rill, play in autumn leaves, or build a cubby with bamboo.


Thursday 14 April
10am to 12noon


The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden and Oak Lawn
Melbourne Gardens
Getting Here



Bookings / Enquiries:

T 03 9252 2429
for more information and other great activities check out

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