Jo Elwin is editor of Bite and

In today's Bite: Fresh from the garden

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Sarah O'Neil's vegetable garden.
Sarah O'Neil's vegetable garden.

Though it would be nice, you don't need a 1.2-hectare garden like Sarah O'Neil's to enjoy the pleasures of growing your own food. The tiny 3-metre vege patch in my back yard is right now producing beans, tomatoes, spinach, rocket, lettuce, courgette, spring onions, tatsoi, kale, basil, bay, oregano, parsley and thyme. And yes, I do enjoy boasting about it, and wandering out to the garden to pick what's required in the kitchen. I am also doing my bit for the bees by letting things go to seed.

Garden pesto is my latest obsession because it enables me to incorporate my home-grown produce (including the flowers of those bolting plants, which also look pretty in a vase or as a garnish) into lots of dishes.

Your edible garden may be even smaller - a couple of pots of lettuce and herbs, even if they have bolted to seed, can provide just as much pleasure and satisfaction. Warren Elwin has drawn inspiration from Sarah O'Neil's garden produce to rustle up 4 weeknight dinners: A tomato and watermelon salad, an autumn vegetable shepherd's pie, roasted sausages and tomatoes and a quick autumn pickle for serving alongside grilled meats. Ray McVinnie is preserving eggplant in olive oil, making Moroccan salad pickles and whipping up a ten-minute berry jam for some tarts. If you've got pumpkin, here's a great weeknight lamb and pumpkin curry, and, if you aren't feeling good enough about all of this already Mikki Williden is here to tell you some of the nutritional benefits of eating all this local autumn produce.

Also in bite this week, Peter Gordon on paprika and Louise Thompson with more ways to start the day right.

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Jo Elwin is editor of Bite and

A young Jo Elwin could be found reading cookbooks on the school bus and delighted in being the ‘kitchen helper’ at her mother’s dinner parties. Twenty years within magazine publishing, many involving food, has lead Jo to her dream job as editor of the NZ Herald’s weekly food magazine Bite and website

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