The start of Spring has to be one of the best times of the year. Spring feels so hopeful and full of anticipation of longer warmer days, easy living and relaxation… I can’t wait!

We have been looking after a goat the last few weeks… Here she is – Paolo! It has been great having her here – all she wants to do it eat! She has a voracious appetite and is doing fantastic work eating blackberry, kikuyu grass, honeysuckle and a range of other garden weeds in the bottom half of our section (the over-grown bit). We have been warned that there are a few things she isn’t supposed to eat: avocado, azalea, datura, holly, yew, nightshade, oleander, rhododendron, rhubarb or tutu (Maori for coriaria arborea), but we haven’t had any problems with any of those things. We have her on a chain (she would eat through a rope) and wire so she can move quite a long way. She also has a little shelter, as apparently goats don’t like getting soaking wet.

So we are planning to fence off perhaps two areas of the section and let her free-range… much quieter than a weed eater, and she fertilises the soil as she goes!

On the garden front, the strawberries have started growing, and we have been putting seeds into pots for our summer garden. I choose to grow the things that are expensive in the supermarket, don’t store well or just less available in Coromandel: capsicums, cucumbers, aubergines, cherry tomatoes, jalepenos and watermelons.

Until all those things start producing in my garden, it feels that we are in that in-between time… the weather is starting to warm up and we are craving fresher foods, but what’s actually ready to eat right now looks a bit thin.

So here is a perfect early Spring salad, fresh, crunchy and delicious.

This isn’t my photo btw. I found it here.

Fresh Spring Salad


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp apple-cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 cups raw finely sliced kale and red cabbage (50-50)
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tbsp diced red onion
  • 6 tbsp seeds (I use a mixture of sunflower, linseed and pumpkin)


  1. In an empty jam jar, shake the olive oil, mustard, and apple-cider vinegar together to form a dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the kale, cabbage, carrot, parsley, and red onion with the seeds.
  3. Season, dress and serve the salad with crusty bread or a baked potato.

Happy Spring!

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag #coromandelflavour – I love to see what you’ve been making and any feedback is really welcome.