I can’t believe it’s June

Oops! I think I said that last month, when May rolled around. Is this the May Update then? Sort of. How about I roll it into June and then I won’t have to do a June update.

Despite reading other food-growing blogs and seeing how much winter work other people are doing, I haven’t done much at all in the last month to write about.

I did manage to cut back all the asparagus fern, mulched it up, put it back on the beds and fed them with blood and bone and dynamic lifter (chook poo compost gets reserved for the wicking boxes). My asparagus beds aren’t really ‘proper’ beds; I just planted groups of asparagus seedlings amongst other plants, in small gaps in the food forest. I wanted to have the feeling that I was harvesting spears from a forest landscape rather than a traditional garden bed (I also hoped that the rabbits wouldn’t find them so I wouldn’t have to put wire around them). And because of this and owing to not removing the berries from female plants, I now have extra seedlings dotted around that I didn’t plant. And other seedlings coming up in odd places, not in the food forest, like this one in a tub (which contains a blueberry), so it will be repotted and planted somewhere more suitable :

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The tamarillo harvest is well down this year. The four main trees flowered well in spring, but were attacked by aphid-like insects and by the time I realised what was happening, most of the flowers had dropped off…so not a lot of fruit this year. I have only one plant of the yellow-fruited form and that was in a different spot so I’m getting some fruit from it and I have a half-dozen seedlings from last year’s fruit of that ready to plant, so I’m going to spread them around in the hope that if one gets a problem, they won’t all get it. The yellow variety is a bit sweeter than the red :

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It looks orange here, but it really is yellow. Why doesn’t the camera see what I see?

This motley crew are about to be planted :

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I’m selling plants at a local monthly market and these kale plants are waiting their turn to go. Red Russian and Lacinato. I sowed 2 seeds direct into each tube…that way the growth isn’t set back by pricking out and potting up :

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I found two varieties of strawberry seeds at the local garden centre…an ordinary variety called Temptation and mixed seed of the red and white alpine variety. I’m thinking the alpine variety should do well at the market :

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Egg-laying has tailed right off and tailed is the right word for it! This was the latest from Clover, the only one still laying :

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The New Girls ended their first laying season of 13 weeks, producing 107 eggs between them, an average of about 8 per week. Clover is still producing a couple a week, but I’ve told her not to bother, since I’m not getting much benefit from her efforts. There’s not much point, I told her, if you’re not going to do it through the day and then it drops out of your rear end through the night and smashes on the floor, or if you could only manage to put half a shell on the next one, so that my thumb went right through it when I picked it up, but thanks anyway for the funny pointy one and I’m sure it’s going to be fine inside.

I have plenty of winter greens for the Girls. This is mizuna, direct seeded :

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And this is corn salad, also direct seeded. The French call it mache. It has a beautiful buttery flavour when lightly steamed; almost too good to give to the chooks :

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This kale plant is about ready for me to try a batch of kale chips :

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This is is new variety of kale called Jagallo Nero. Nice lacy foliage :

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I’m looking forward to the winter solstice in a bit over a week’s time, when the sun will start moving southwards again, and the days start to get longer. And tomato season will be on the horizon. Yay!

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6 Responses to “I can’t believe it’s June”

  1. narf77 Says:

    You have been positively industrious in your garden compared to me Bev. Our course has us beavering away all hours of the day. I just spent 3 days (solid) developing a selection of web pages for a desktop, a tablet and a mobile phone. I want to get out into my garden! Is it now we plant spuds?! I was given a stack of purple royals or something like that by a friend who was moving out of her home and gifted the bucket of them to me. They are starting to sprout so I might just take them up and plant them out. We have a mountain of horse poo and an even bigger mountain of oak leaves like last year but this year they are right next to sanctuary so no double handling. At the moment that doesn’t mean much but come growing season when I want them on the garden it will be a great blessing. Found clean wheat straw large rolled bales for $30 so I bought one for the chooks and am getting another one this weekend specifically for Sanctuary. Fingers crossed, mulching the gardens with this will help water loss from the soil in our summer. Did you see that Pope Francis has come out against climate change? I love this pope and I am not even Catholic. Seems he has pissed off a lot of our richest and wealthiest. Can’t help but think his reign will be short but incredibly sweet. Have fun in the garden for me. I am going to go hunting for those alpine strawberry babies. I tasted some at the local community gardens and they were amazing! Cheers for the lovely post. At the moment I am living vicariously through other people’s gardening posts. I also found a way to comment on Bek’s garden blog. Cheers for sharing it with me, she has a very interesting slant on gardening 🙂

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Fran, thought you must have been busy, as there’s been no activity re Seeking Sanctuary. Developing a webpage? Wow! Wish I could do that!

      Potatoes? Well, I plant them whenever they start shooting in the back of the cupboard, but I note that the garden centres (Bunnings at least), always seem to have certified seed potatoes available in winter. I think the idea is that you plant them then and harvest sometime in summer, when the tops die down, or after they’ve flowered.

      The alpine strawberry seed came from Bunnings too. Let me know if your store doesn’t have any and I will send some across.

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      • narf77 Says:

        I remember seeing alpine strawberries at Bunnings and will drop in on shopping day and see if I can’t pick a packet up. This bucket of blue/purple spuds needs planting out soon as they are starting to sprout so I figure that is them telling me what they want to do ;). I have to write a blog post STAT before I forget how to do it! The problem is that we have to maintain a blog for our course as well as Seeking Sanctuary so the one that I get marked on tends to be the one that gets the posts…sigh…

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  2. Chris Says:

    I’m getting about 2 eggs a day from our 5 hens. I make do, even though I like to eat about 2 eggs a day, myself. We just eat less eggs. Most of our hens are older, so we get those funny looking eggs too.

    Loving all that green in your garden. Hope you make lots of sales at the markets. 🙂

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Chris, it’s good to know there’s nothing out of the ordinary with funny eggs. I tend to eat less eggs over winter too, but I do have a free-range egg farm at the end of my street, so I usually buy what I want there, just to support them.

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