Garden visits and other things

I had the pleasure of entertaining Frogdancer’s veggie garden group yesterday and we spent a pleasantly warm afternoon wandering around the garden, swapping veggie growing notes. Lots of pressies came my way too, including tomato seedlings, home-made soap and, for the compost, a bag of coffee grounds from Shane and a bag of shredded newspaper+chook poo from Frogdancer’s  girls. Shane’s Ground to Ground coffee grounds blog is worth a read if you don’t know anything about the benefits of coffee grounds for the garden (I didn’t).

And now I want a paper shredder. I get The Age delivered every day and have been using it for sheet mulching and lighting the fire in winter. The excess goes into the recycling bin. With a shredder, I can use the paper under the chook’s night roost and on the floor of their coop, instead of the wood shavings I’ve been buying for the composting toilet.

Stupid not to make good use of the paper, really. One of my maxims is that if you’re growing your own food, then you should make sure no nutrients leave the property,  or if they do (when you give away food for example), then there should still be a net gain, i.e. more nutrients enter the property than leave it.

If there’s a continual drain of nutrients from your property, then eventually the soil won’t grow anything unless those nutrients are replaced. So if you’re not composting food scraps, or you’re silly enough to put out a bin of green waste every week for the local council to pick up, then you’re ensuring that eventually your soil will become depleted of nutrients.

So…. enriched with chook poo, all that carbon in my daily newspaper will go back into the soil.

Meanwhile…..

Oh, no! Not asparagus, again:

They’re really bearing well at the moment. And there’s still another 2 months of harvesting to go!

No chickens yet. I was expecting the breeder to phone last week to say they’re ready. Meanwhile Barney, the tin-pot rooster waits patiently for his girls atop the chookyard roof:

These zucchini seedlings are going well:

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t buy plants at the supermarket, but outside Coles last week there was a display of plants which included punnets of capsicum seedlings which looked so healthy and were streets ahead of my seedlings (which have only just germinated), that I bought a punnet. I’ve potted them into small pots, from which they’ll go into wicking boxes:

I’m madly potting on tomato seedlings into their final pots before planting out. If this warm weather continues, I’ll be itching to get them growing and planted out. The first tray is done:

I bought this healthy, well-grown tomato seedling at the Sunday market yesterday. It’s Cherokee Purple, a new variety for me:

I’ll put it in one of the deep wicking tubs, as it’s a tall-growing variety.

Eating from the garden at the moment:

  • Asparagus
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Silver Beet
  • Lettuce
  • Endive
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Radishes
  • Celery
  • Oranges
  • Mandarins
  • Cape Gooseberry
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Rocket
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4 Responses to “Garden visits and other things”

  1. Frogdancer Says:

    You poor thing. It must be horrible to have too much asparagus…

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  2. Darren (Green Change) Says:

    When you buy a shredder, try to get one that cuts the paper into strips. I got a cross-cut shredder, which cuts it into little diamonds. They aren’t much good for chook bedding, as it just packs down flat into a mat. Strips will act more like straw bedding.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Thanks Darren. The guy at Officeworks recommended the strip shredder, fortunately. He said the cross-cut one wouldn’t work for newspaper. I liked the look of the strips anyway and I agree they’re better.

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