16 June 2012

Slower Days

Things are definitely slowing down in both gardens.  When I got to the Country Garden yesterday morning my aunt and I took our usual initial walk  around  to observe the changes since the previous week and work out what's on my task list for the day.  I love this first little peaceful walk around each week.  

At first glance it seemed like there wasn't really anything to do.  But looking closely I realised that there is still some action, and there were several things to put on the list for the day:

  • Pull out rocket and dill that is finished, making sure all seed pods having been saved
  • Transplant coriander seedlings into that barrel
  • Plant out two seedling trays with onion seeds
  • Plant out another with radish seeds
  • Weed the pea shoots that are coming up through the pea straw protecting the brassicas
  • Add more mulch to the fennel bed

Using the polystyrene boxes that the restaurant gets its fish orders in as seedling trays has been working really well.  They are a good size and insulate the seedlings quite well.  But the nights are now getting really cold, so we have decided to buy some mini-greenhouses to protect the seedlings over winter and hopefully allow us to keep them growing.  We counted up that there are now nearly 30 boxes, so it will be good to "hide" them in the greenhouses as it's getting a bit out of control!!

The other exciting planning to be done is that we've decided that we really need more large beds, so are about to order another three.  I get excited when we get one new barrel, so three beds is like Christmas!!  The biggest priority for the beds is to satiate our huge love and craving for fresh, new, heritage variety potatoes.  We've ordered so much seed potato that we definitely need more space.  My next task is to work out the planting plan for the Spring/ Summer season with the extra space.  I'll post my plan once I've worked it out.

The final task of the day was harvesting.  The cavelo nero and silverbeet keeps going valiantly, keeping us in healthy greens, complemented by the Red Pak Choy (pretty sure that's what it is!); then there was fennel, celery, carrots, a few baby beetroots, leek, spring onions and radish, which I'm going to try tonight using Annie Smithers' recipe for them served simply with butter, salt and pepper.  The variety of vegetables is less than a few months ago, but thanks to the faithful greens, we are still able to eat almost entirely from the garden.  In the coming weeks/ months the peas and broad beans will kick in, followed by the brassicas, hopefully getting us through to Spring and Summer.


  1. I don't know what I'd do without my greens at the moment...well I do know i'd have to buy a lot more veg. 3 new beds - very exciting. Which potato varieties have you ordered?

  2. We pretty much went through the Diggers catalogue and ordered one or two of everything! So I think we have Nicolas, King Edwards, Kipfler, Desiree, Royal Blue, Toolangi Delight, Pink Eye, Dutch Cream and Bintjes. I know they all have different purposes but my favourites are definitely Bintjes, Pink Eyes and Nicolas. Last year we planted them fairly randomly so it was always a lottery to see what we would pull up. This year with more space I'll try to remember to be a bit more scientific and label the varieties so that we can pick and choose a bit more.

    I haven't planted any in the City Garden yet (as we discussed) but will try to get around to setting up a bag of them this weekend!

  3. I love the wine barrel beds you have, they look wonderful. I've fallen in love with growing potatoes too, I've dedicated a space a lot larger than last year, now I just have to decide on what varieties to try. I grew the Bintjes from Diggers last year and had a great harvest from a very small space. And thank goodness for the greens to keep us all going over winter.

    1. I'm impressed that you managed to choose just one type of potato to grow, I couldn't decide! I was surprised at the size of our harvest last year too. I actually looked up the average commercial crop harvest size and it was much less that we achieved (although we obviously did it at a much more intensive scale - I'm sure most farmers don't hand water their crop!!) Happy planting!

  4. How exciting about your new beds! Your gardens are so inspiring. Sorry I haven't been commenting lately, but I'm always happily reading. I did read your lovely post about porridge. I LOVE porridge! Happy solstice for tomorrow : )

  5. Hello, I love your blog so I hope you don't mind but I have nominated you the Sunshine Award. :)

  6. As I'm a bit of a potato fiend, I think that sounds like an excellent use of new garden beds! ;) It is funny that once our gardens reach a certain point, merrily coasting along, that we can still find plenty to do. Some days I think I'm 'just going out to do a little...', and then eight hours later I find myself running out of daylight!

  7. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog so much that I have nominated you for an award, see here http://thenewgoodlife.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/tuesdays-top-five-about-me-and-some-awards/.

    I'm not sure how you feel about this sorts of things. Please feel free to respond to it in any way, if at all, that you like.

    1. Thanks for the award Barbara, it's really lovely to get your feedback.

      Wow, two awards in one week, I'm feeling a bit special! I've clearly got a bit of work ahead of me to keep both of them going!

  8. I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing all the wonderful things that you grow in the garden. The photos are great and remind me that I need to do some more work in the garden when it stops raining here.

    I am currently conducting research into blogs that focus on sustainable living as part of my Masters at the University of New England, Australia. I am gathering information on the positive role that blogs play in inspiring people to live more sustainably.

    We are looking for people to participate in a short survey (5-10minutes), link below

    If you could help that would be greatly appreciated.
    Student Researcher, Master of Environmental Systems, Markets and Climate Change
    University of New England
    Email: lshashko@une.edu.au

    1. Hi Larissa, thanks for visiting my blog. I'm happy to fill out the survey for you. Best wishes for completing your Masters.

  9. Great idea with using the polystyrene boxes as seedling trays!

    I grew Rocket for the first time last year and wasn't really diligent with collecting seed. No matter since it self seeded itself quite liberally and I've got tons of new plants on the go now. I think I may do the same thing for next year and say it's part of my Permaculture-learning process (opposed to just being a lazy gardener ;)

  10. "Permaculture Learning Process"... I like it!! Might use that one myself!