Archive for March, 2011

Busy days…..

March 31, 2011

Haven’t had time to write a proper blogpost recently….been busy with other things. I’m planning one on growing from seed, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, here’s a few links to some favourite bits & pieces:

This one is titled, ‘Garden as if your life depended on it, because it will’.  I’ve given up trying to get the average person to understand what’s coming as far as energy decline goes and now merely concentrate on emphasising the benefits of eating tasty, healthy home-grown food. It’s a good read and the author sets out five good reasons (not including ‘tasty’ and ‘healthy’) for starting to grow your own. The title says it all.

I’ve been a fan of John Michael Greer (aka the Archdruid) for some time. He manages a post a week at his blog (would that I could do likewise!) and this is his latest. It focuses on the average American’s excessive use of fossil fuel energy, but could equally apply to wasteful, energy-guzzling Aussies.

I discovered this blog recently….. The Greening of Gavin…..and it’s now become a regular read. What this guy has accomplished is amazing! As he says in his intro:

“An Ordinary Australian Man Who Has A Green Epiphany Whilst Watching A Documentary, Gets a Hybrid Car, Plants A Large Organic Vegetable Garden, Goes Totally Solar, Lowers Consumption, Feeds Composts Bins and Worms, Harvests Rainwater, Raises Chickens, Makes Cheese and Soap, and Eats Locally. All In The Effort To Reduce Our Family’s Carbon Footprint So We Can Start Making A Difference For Our Children & Future Generations To Come.”

Hedgewizard’s  Diary has also been a long-time favourite. He can be really funny, in a non sequitur sort of way. He’s now in the process of shifting to another site…..Farm in My Pocket…..which looks as if it’s going to be as good as the original. The original site is still up, though, and is worth a read.


PS  In case you thought you weren’t going to get a photo, here’s one of a nest box I made for my friend’s chickens. (the eggs are china ones—to give them the right ideas about what they need to do).
I’m told that Barnie (the Barnvelder) and Bridie & Molly (the White Sussex) were quite chuffed with it. No eggs yet, though.

Still eating out of the garden

March 21, 2011

All I’ve bought at the greengrocer in the past three weeks are  a couple of onions and a sweet potato, both for a dhal recipe I wanted to make.  It’s a great feeling to be able to eat  healthy, chemical-free  fruit and vegetables for so many months on end as I’ve been doing.

I also bought some garlic, but that was for planting, not eating, because today is the autumn equinox and that means garlic planting time. Actually I jumped the gun a bit and put mine in on the 18th. It was a significant anniversary day for me, so I decided to make it garlic planting time as well. I should mention that I had to buy fresh garlic this year for planting, because last year’s harvest was so miserable it wasn’t worth replanting. I hope this year will be better.

I also planted 35 garlic cloves and 15 well-grown leeks in my friend’s garden, plus seedlings of kale, broccoli and mustard greens. This is the garden I wrote about here. She’s been picking beans, and her cherry tomatoes are just starting to ripen. I hope to write a bit more soon about what’s happening there.

I’ve pulled out most of the tomato plants and the climbing beans that had grown through them. There are dozens of pods to shell and dried beans to store for next years crops.  I haven’t bought bean seeds for many years now.

There are still Cabbage White butterflies about, but I’ve planted kale, cauliflower and broccoli anyway. I just have to remember to inspect the plants every couple of days and flick off any eggs that have been laid. As soon as we get the first cold snap of autumn, the butterflies will disappear.

This is a mixture of green and red bock choy, direct sown into a water-wicking box. The seeds germinate in less than a week and grow very quickly. It’s a great way to get a quick feed of baby greens. I’ll use these in many ways—stir-fries, salads, chopped as garnish for soup or in an omelet or a rice dish. I don’t bother to trim off the tender roots, just pull up the entire plant and wash off the dirt. As they’re thinned the survivors will grow bigger and eventually I can leave a few to grow into full-sized plants.

Here’s a photo taken earlier in the season of a Gross Lisse tomato with some nice-sized fruits ripening. This one was planted in a water-wicking tub and also had some Purple King climbing beans rambling through it:

Last week’s harvest:

  • Snap Beans   270 gm
  • Black Russian tomatoes   534 gm
  • Red Pear cherry tomatoes   877 gm
  • Reisentraube cherry tomatoes   93 gm
  • Burnley Bounty tomatoes   1231 gm
  • Green Zebra tomatoes   198 gm
  • Grosse Lisse tomatoes   54 gm
  • Gold zucchini   203 gm
  • Lebanese zucchini  765  gm
  • Supermarket cucumbers   309 gm
  • Roma tomatoes  84 gm
  • Red Delicious Apples  7348 gm