Category: garden


Spring is back!

Just when I started to think I might have been a bit over zealous in planting my seeds a few days before spring officially started, the seeds start to shoot up and new life forms appear.

This year I am going to grow my best ever garden.  How do I know this? Simple I am determined!!!!!!!!!! I have a number of new raised garden beds, made from a used shipping crate, and a large delivery of fresh compost/soil to fill them with. I will beat the buffalo grass now. I will beat the snails and slugs now too. How? Armed with my new Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden book, (which I have just been given as a present) I will fight off all the baddies with natural products. My plan is by mid summer to just create entire meals from my garden. Maybe I will call it my vegetarian summer.

Look at these lovely bean seedlings and those peas a coming along really well in the background.

I nearly forgot to tell you… Those lovely little chickens we were raising have all grown up. It turned out that out of seven eggs we got 2 hens and 5 rosters. Not very good odds really. The good news is though that the 2 hens have finally started laying and I can eat fresh eggs again. There is nothing quite like cracking a fresh egg in to a frying pan and seeing it all plumped up, instead of running everywhere like older eggs do. Yummy yum.

A surprise in the garden.

Something I didn’t plant grew in my garden. This commonly happens in my garden, I get loads and loads of tomatoes and pumpkins that I haven’t planted growing out of my lovely compost.This time I was not exactly sure what was growing, but it looked like it might grow into something eatable…..so I let it grow.

 

I didn’t really give it any special treatment, in fact I pretty much just let it fend for itself. After all, I thought  it was a bit late in the year to grow many things, so it probably won’t do anything. Well it just kept growing, and I it got some fruit on it. My first thought was that it might have been a watermelon, it was small and round and smooth. I have tried in the past to plant watermellon seeds and nothing has ever grown or if it has, the snails have quickly eaten them. As the fruit got bigger it started to roughen up. It was quite a mystery. Finally the vine itself started to die from the cold and the fruit was either to be picked or forgotten. I picked it, this small round fruit and tried to guess what it might be. After smelling it I got an idea and I was right…..it was a tiny rockmelon fruit!

 

I was given some plums……

I was given more plums than I have ever been given before…….and all from one tree.

Well then the fun began.

Here are two out of the three pots of Jam cooking.

The small pot on the right holds 9 litres!

I had already started to give away a number of jars before I remembered to take a photo.

I must have made over 27 litres of jam!! I thought that was probably enough plum jam so I made a pot of plum sauce too. Then stewed up another 7 or so litres and finally gave away a couple of bags. That must be one mighty plum tree!

With all of this finished what else can you do but go searching in your own garden to see what other goodies you can cook up.

Our poor old tomatoes were just not going to be able to ripen, we are well in to autumn now and the last of the tomatoes needed to be used, what better than a few jars of green tomato pickles. Yummy!

Next it was finally time to harvest those potatoes we planted ages ago.

Believe it or not this is just a very small sample of my very very busy week, last week! Enjoying some quieter times now!

Can you eat Caterpillars??

My poor garden. Everyday I go out and pull half a dozen caterpillars off the broccoli. I went away for the weekend and boy did they have a party. I pulled off 15 caterpillars when I got back!! I used to be able to feed them to the chickens. As we have no chickens now the question is what do we do with them. I have heard that insects are full of goodness, is that true? Should I eat them? I must admit I don’t think I will, but it seems such a waste that my poor vegetables sacrifice their goodness to these critters and I have no chickens to eat them and benefit from it! I really need to get more chickens!!!

Look closely see if you can spot the caterpillar?

What do you do about pests in your garden? Do you buy spray? Do you plant garlic? Does it make a difference? Do you have a home made never fail recipe? I would love to know your secrets!!

I am pleased to say that the lettuce is surviving the onslaught so far!

best corn ever!

How nice is it to be able to go out into your garden and just pick something for tea. It’s so exciting, I even think it makes the food taste nicer!

I should have picked this one a bit earlier but it still tasted good!

 

With all of the rain we have been getting here, my garden is just rocketing along. In fact I have been eating rocket leaves in my sandwiches fresh from my garden every day!

In there behind the potato leaves is the rocket!

Now it’s time for some sad news. I am sorry to say that we have had a night visitor. One who likes chickens almost as much as we do. I think it was a fox. Unfortunately there were no survivors. It is all quite sad. After hatching them as chicks four years ago and having them as part of our everyday lives they will be missed. Goodbye Grassy, Goat, Dohdoh and Milicent.

It’s a growing!

Finally I am pleased to say that my new raised no dig garden is growing something!

After discovering the chickens in there a few weeks after planting out seeds I had begun to loose hope of seeing anything from that batch of seeds, when suddenly things just started to pop out from amongst  the straw….yeah!  I seem to still have some corn, but hardly any tomatoes, not sure what happened there? I didn’t think tomatoes were a chickens choice of food?

Grow corn babies grow!

The other things that are in this garden are rocket seeds, and some potatoes. There is not a lot to look at there yet but I have had a very nice sign made for both corn and my potatoes. Thanks boys!

Maybe I should have planted some of those orange sweet potatoes to match the sign!

Of all the things in my various garden bed around my house the thing that is the most surprising is the wheat that has grown up right near my back door. Just four grains so it is either come from the straw or from the chickens. Either way it has been fun to watch it grow in to some very healthy looking plants.

I don't think four plants gives would give us quite the status of farmers yet! haha!

With the focus of the day being the garden here is just a few more photos from around the garden!

Blooming roses!

 


 

Watching over the lemon balm.

I will finish with my little friend who sits and watches me while I chill out on the deck!

I love garden art!

I love this weather! Spring is wonderful. Get outside and enjoy it….that’s what I’m going to do!