There's been a leek!


I swear, I will never, ever, ever, ever complain about the price of leeks again. This is the first leek I’ve ever grown from seed and it took almost a year! When I finally picked

it we were all stunned at its size and its human qualities – I had to fight the boys to get it for dinner. I never thought I’d live to see the day when my boys played with a leek. Hah! Who needs KMart …. they don’t sell monsters as crazy as this one!

We slaughtered the giant pumpkin yesterday too and it was the kids who loved it most …. they couldn’t get over the size of it. Dozens of people left the market with a piece, and some seed, and with a bit of luck we may see an invasion of giant pumpkins in Blackheath next summer.

I’ve spent the day cooking up my remaining piece …. an enormous vegetable stock, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin and orange soup. Last night we had pumpkin pasta and tonight we’ll have roast pumpkin risotto made with the pumpkin and leek stock. That should just about see us through. Interestingly it wasn’t even remotely woody as I’d suspected it might be. If anything it was quite watery and very mild in flavour but tasted fine when I added a bit of spice. If I make more soup I’ll simply add some potato for a bit of body.

Seeing as it’s not every day that you get to slaughter a Dill’s Atlantic Giant I’ve made a little slide show of the event. Looking at these photos, and remembering how lovely it was to have so many people contribute to our vegetable co-op, helps me deal with reading New Scientist today – the cover story is “The Collapse of Civilization – It’s more precarious than we realised.” Community Gatherings with the generosity of spirit that was evident yesterday, remind me where it is that we need to put our effort … and to see the children so happy …..



Potatoes from the School Garden



Our first slice!








7 thoughts on “There's been a leek!

  1. Rohesia

    Wow! My leeks are mere babes by comparison. If they turn out anything like as large as yours I’ll be very happy indeed. Did you save the seed from a previous crop or buy it?

    I enjoyed the market. I believe there’s some sort of farmers’ market starting up in Lithgow too.

  2. Lis

    It was great to see you there too. It’s a pretty amazing leek but it’s been there a long, long time. I was given the seeds by a friend. It being the biggest leek in the crop I probably should have left it to go to seed but I couldn’t resist finally picking it.

  3. Lizzie Connor

    Congratulations – on everything represented in the picture!

    In your pumpkin dishes you didn’t mention pumpkin pie (sweet), and since your pumpkin looks very much like a gramma (which is used to make pumpkin pie, and of which the butternut is a family member) I thought it might be worth trying – kids usually love it as a special treat. The wateriness wouldn’t matter because you reduce it down in the cooking, and, as you’ll see there are lots of spices.

    Here’s a recipe (from

    Gramma Pie


    1 1/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
    1/2 cup (125g) butter,chopped
    2 teaspoons granulated (caster) sugar
    4 tablespoons chilled water
    1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk for glazing

    1. Sift the flour into a bowl and add chopped butter,using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour for 2 minutes or until the mixture is fine and crumbly. Stir in the sugar, add almost all the water and mix to a firm dough, adding more water, if necessary.
    2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, press together for 1 minute or until smooth. Roll out the pastry until it is large enough to cover the base and side of a 9-inch (23cm) diameter pie dish, line the dish with pastry, trim away excess; crimp the edges; brush with egg glaze. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350*F (175*C), cut a piece of parchment (baking) paper to cover the pastry lined pie dish, spread a layer of dried beans or rice over the paper, bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and discard the paper and beans, return pastry to the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool.


    2 eggs (lightly beaten)
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
    2 cups (500g) pumpkin, cooked, mashed and cooled
    1/3 cup cream (I use “double skim milk”, ie made with twice the usual quantity of skim milk powder)
    1 tablespoon sweet sherry (optional)
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl, add the cooled pumpkin, cream, sweet sherry and spices and stir to combine thoroughly, pour the mixture into the cooled pastry shell, smooth the surface with the back of a spoon, then bake for 40 minutes or until set. (If the pastry edges begin to brown to much, cover the edges with foil.) Allow the pie to cool to room temperature and then decorate.
    2. Serve with cream or ice cream.

    Serves 8.

  4. Lis

    Oh Lizzie, yummmmmmmm

    I’ve got enough left to make it for the boys for afternoon tea today. Thanks so much! How did your kitchen garden workshops go?

  5. Susan Girard

    I can vouch for Lizzies Pumpkin Pie, it is well worth making.
    I only managed to grow Nugget pumpkins this year the Butternut and Japs failed to develope in the odd summer weather. I am quiet jealous.

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