Sunday, 8 July 2012

Around The Vegies

It's high time I stopped talking about building things, today is a growing things post.  It's been a while since I photographed growing vegetables in our plot, so here is what is happening.

Do you remember my little raised box that I planted back at the end of February?  It proved to be very fruitful, we have eaten the lettuces and carrots, and I am currently going through the dozen baby beetroot growing, particularly as I have recently discovered how delicious raw beetroot is grated over a green salad.  Still in the box is plenty of coriander and dill and some spring onions.  The marigolds went mental in the box, flowering like crazy, interesting as the ones I put on the ground were pathetic in comparison.  The only thing that didn't grow well (or at all really) was the spinach, perhaps the weather was too warm.
So many lettuce germinated in the box that I transplanted heaps into a ground bed, where they grew like mad.  Having pigged out on many green salads, the lettuce has just about come to an end.  Need to plant some more seeds.  Even better is that the red lettuce seed was collected by Steve last year when he let some plants go to seed.
Rocket has grown in abundance, it's always so dependable.  I love the nutty taste of the young leaves.  This is another plant that is easy to keep the seeds of, I have a big jarful!
The broad beans are growing well, I think we have about 20 plants in, so come spring I expect we will be inundated with pods!
Steve is a happy happy boy.  He has longed to grow brussels sprouts and was never able to when we lived in Perth - too darn hot.  So, da-ta - here are some healthy, happy brussels sprouts growing.  We have five plants in, it will be interesting to see how many we get from each plant.
Delaware potatoes.  As you can see we have been pillaging these.  Nothing more tempting than new potatoes!  These plants got a bit of a battering in the storms last month, but they are cropping quite well, and would crop even better if we stop picking walnut sized new potatoes. :-)  We have also recently planted a bed of King Edward potatoes and we have yet to dig up the rogue purple potato plants that have sprung up amongst the brussel sprouts and broad bean plants.  We also bought some Nicola and Norland seed potatoes which Steve will plant soon.  Home grown potatoes are so yummy and we have found new varieties this year we've never grown before.
The sweet potato bed.  Now that the weather is cooling off the foliage is starting to die down.  These were  planted a bit late so have never grown as much as they should.  I've bandicooted around a touch and found some small sweet potatoes, will have another look in a few weeks.  Next year I'll get the runners in much earlier.
The garlic is doing well.  We bought some cloves from the local farmer's market about 7 weeks ago, popped them in and were amazed to see them sprout within 48 hours!
Steve has planted lots and lots of shallots.  We have a supply of small shallots that our friend Laurie kindly gave us to get started, plus we bought a larger variety from the local market.  Home made pickled shallots are yummy!
Cabbage, there are 8 growing.  This is a variety we have never grown before, it's called Sugarloaf.  They are an interesting shape, sort of conical.  We picked the first one the other day to have with a roast dinner - OMG, it was wonderful!!
Sprouting broccoli, or broccolini, 8 of these growing too.  I love this vegetable, and I am amazed that for years and years I never ate broccoli stems.  The stems on broccolini are suberb and I love the way when we  cut the broccoli then within a couple of days the tiny new stems have shot up ready to pick.
Snow peas and sugar snap peas.  We had a load of seeds from a few years ago so Steve planted the lot.  At the moment all is calm but give it a month I expect we will need a machete to fight through the pea forest.  There are many many many plants of which this photo is only a few.  But I am happy, nothing is more fabulous than wandering through a vegie patch, plucking peas straight off the plant and into the mouth. :-)
A new bed of carrots.  I find it very hard to let carrots grow to a decent size, they are so nice tiny!
Newly germinating spinach.  I've planted heaps of seeds as it's a great winter growing vegetable.  Since I took this photo a couple of days ago, we've had lovely sunny weather and I reckon they are three times the size.
Steve has planted mint under the fish cleaning sink.  I should think it will love all the rotting stuff seeping through the soil from the green food digester thingy next to it.
Along the back of the shed is a 1.2 metre steep slope where the shed was cut into the hillside.  It's just sat there for 18 months, shedding sand.  So I've undertaken to dig a terrace along it, to stabilise the slope plus have another spot to grow things.  The tiny rootlets of comfrey I put in about 7 weeks ago have gone crazy, plus this is a very deep rooted plant so that will help stabilise the loose sand of the slope.  I dug a heap of pig poo in to nourish the soil and the comfrey is obviously grateful.  I use comfrey as a compost activator and to make comfrey tea as a fertiliser for the vegies.
Another bed of garlic in the terrace of the cut-in slope.  These ones needed protection as they are not within the fencing of the vegie beds, and we have discovered that kangaroos think garlic leaves are grass and pull them up!  Thus, a handy use for an old screen door.
  And a newly planted bed of shallots in the terraced bed of the slope.
Wow, cataloging all we are growing into one blog post makes it look like we are growing heaps and heaps.  I suppose we are when I think about it.  What we are finding amazing, at least at this time of year, is the lack of bugs on the plants.  I think this has something to do with the huge population of tiny birds that spend their days fossicking around the vegie beds.  I can walk over to the vegies and 40 or so silvereyes and wrens will suddenly shoot out into the tree above.  It's wonderful, organic cycles of nature doing their thing.

We can't wait to get started on planting the orchard, but first we have to wait until the plumber tells us where the huge leach drains are being put from the septic system.  We are hoping to have those put just uphill from the orchard, but will wait to put the trees in.  It would be awful to plant heaps of trees and then have them wrecked or have to dig them up again.

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