Warm? Really?

They’re saying we had the warmest September on record. Well…I don’t know what happened to it once October hit. We had a week of freezing (well, cold), gale-force winds that saw a lot of trees and branches come down around Melbourne and culminating (at my place, anyway), in a humungous hailstorm that had me panicking about what to save first…the chooks or the solar panels. The solar panels came through it OK and when it had passed, it was hilarious to watch the Girls trying to pick up pea-sized hailstones in the belief that this was some new kind of treat that Mum had thrown at them.

I usually plant my first crop of beans on the first of October and subsequent batches on the first of every month thereafter, up until about February. They normally take 2 months to bear and I have a continuous supply of beans until autumn sets in. I checked the soil temperature in the wicking boxes and at 10º C there was no way I was going to plant them just to see them rot away. I’m still waiting for some warmth.

I also have this tray of curcurbits (zucchini, pumpkin and cucumber) to put out:

cucumbers 003

I want to plant them on the hugelkultur mound but the soil temperature there is even colder than in the wicking boxes.

I’ve put out some tomatoes…ones I bought some weeks ago from the old guy at the Sunday market. I don’t know how he manages to get his tomato plants so big, so early, when my own seedlings are only centimetres tall. His tomatoes don’t have stems; they have trunks! I only buy from him when he has varieties I haven’t grown before and then I can collect the seeds and add them to my collection. I bought Golden Girl, Cherokee Purple and Black Krim. He reckons this one is better than Black Russian so I’m anxious to try it. It’s supposed to have a slightly salty flavour along with the typical richness of the black varieties.

Down in the garden, the salsify is flowering, so this photo is for Fran of The Road to Serendipity who sent me the seed:

sunday 001

If it sets seed, I’m going to broadcast some of it into the food forest as bee forage. The flower stems are taller than I am:

sunday 002

I have a nice patch of calendula growing in one of the veggie rings. I’ve been collecting and drying the flower petals in the hope of getting enough to make calendula ointment:

sunday 003

These red currants are setting fruit already. I didn’t know they’d flowered:

tuesday 001

Oh, there they are. You wouldn’t call them spectacular. I wonder what pollinates them:

tuesday 003


I wrote this post a week ago and it was left in ‘drafts’ in favour of the solar posts. So I’m happy to say that warmer weather has arrived (forecast 30º C today) and I’ve planted those beans and some of the curcurbits.


A question for all you computer geek WordPress bloggers. In the above post I’ve got two celsius temperatures quoted. You’ll notice the little degree sign º between the figure and the C. Can anyone tell me how to do this without leaving the blogpost edit page?

Here’s the roundabout way I go about it. Return to desktop leaving blog page open. Open Microsoft Word to a new document. Click ‘insert/symbol’ and find the degree sign. Add it to document. Copy degree sign to clipboard and close Word. Return to blogpost edit page and paste degree sign into place.  It’s giving me the irrits doing this. I know I could just type 30 C and everyone would know what I mean, but I’m a stickler for doing things right. I annoy myself intensely about this. I suppose it’s the scientific training.

15 Responses to “Warm? Really?”

  1. inte fan gör det det Says:

    Lucky you to preparing for spring/summer!
    Here across the World, its getting darker and colder ( even though yesterday was the warmest day in october for years- 19 degrees )
    We ar waiting for the snow to arrive 8 up North in Sweden its already been snowin….
    Have a great wednesday!
    Greetings from Stockholm, sweden!


  2. notsomethingelse Says:

    Enjoy hearing your news and photos as always.

    I don’t claim expert status but I recently found that it is simple to get special characters into your WordPress posts.

    On the Edit Post page in Dashboard there are Toolbars for selecting fonts etc., and one of the options is an Omega sign (Ω). If you hover over this it will say ‘Insert custom character’ and you will be able to go to town and add pretty much anything that you like from there. Enjoy.


  3. narf77 Says:

    I think I love you notsomethingelse cheers for that! I am hoping that it is for WordPress free blogs and not just WordPress.org as I am seething with envy at all of the great free stuff you can do with WordPress.org ;). I am beaming with delight that your salsify is flowering Bev! How awesome that something I picked from the side of the road at Bonnie Beach on a dog walk is now flowering and growing like crazy in Victoria :). I think if it grows wild and you collect the seed, as soon as it gets a bit of love it goes nuts :). Love the garden pictures and we are still waiting for our soil to warm up (drying out a bit would be nice as well but not too much!). I am off to see if notsomethingelse’s hint works. I, too, am a stickler for symbols where symbols are due! 🙂


  4. narf77 Says:

    Can’t for the life of me find where you could do this in the free WordPress blogs…this must be for WordPress.org methinks :(.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I just found it. It’s the icon at the end of the line above the box where you type which has bold, italic, etc. Stupidly, it’s called show/hide kitchen sink. Kitchen sink!!!! I saw it there ages ago and wondered what on earth a kitchen sink was (apart from the obvious, of course). Now I can enable it permanently. Bluddy wordpress!


  5. rabidlittlehippy Says:

    Nope Narf, I use the same sign. 🙂 You get 2 choices as to your editing options, simple and more detailed. It’s int he more detailed bit. When chrome starts working again I’ll send you a how to. 😉

    To my surprise we dodged the hail but the icy weather we have had and there is frost due again later this week. Still, I’m pushing things with our last frost date here anyway which is generally set at cup weekend but the reality is we don’t HAVE a last frost date really. Not when there has been frost on New Years Day (a few years back).

    I was mega late starting my tomato seeds so not sure what will be big enough to plant out in November. I dread the thought of buying all the plants I need as I want enough to be able to bottle nearly 100kg of fruit this year either as paste, sauce or just diced tomatoes. That means a LOT of plants as we don’t have an overly long growing season here really and at $5 or more per plant… 😦 So fat I have a hint of a cotyledon peeping up but nothing more. 😦

    Here’s hoping we get some more seasonal weather soon, nice rains for the gardens and tanks, enough warmth during the day for perfect humidity and not too cold at night. I think in todays unsettled climate I might be asking a bit too much.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      With climate change underway, you just can’t bank on anything anymore. Cheer up! The day will come when you can grow mangoes and pawpaws in Victoria.


      • rabidlittlehippy Says:

        And taro and bananas and all sorts of things. But we might well lose cherries and other high chill fruits. Does the head in doesn’t it.


        • foodnstuff Says:

          Duh! Didn’t think of that. But they’ll be growing them in Antarctica by then and exporting them to OZ


          • rabidlittlehippy Says:

            True and with the melting polar ice they can access all that “lovely” previously untapped oil to ship it with. 😉 I guess we have the low chill varieties to grow in sub tropical Tasmania and tropical Victoria then though. Wonder what they’ll grow in the vast empty equatorial desert then though.
            Jokes aside, it’s all more than just a bit screwy hey. 😦


  6. notsomethingelse Says:

    Sorry you can’t find this so far. I am using a free WordPress.com blog as well.

    Here are some pics of what I see. Do you see something different?

    Take a look at this support page from WordPress which shows the same thing as being part of the standard WP editor: http://en.support.wordpress.com/editors/

    I am not sure if this may be part of the free Dashboard update they offered recently as a download because I don’t recollect seeing it earlier. Did you get that download? Unfortunately I can’t remember how I got notified of that update but if it is meant to be part of their standard editor now then you should be able to see it also.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Thanks again, Bernie. Sorry your second comment didn’t get on till later. WP wanted me to approve it for some reason. It doesn’t usually do that to people I’ve already approved.


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