30 July 2012

Spring - Summer Planting Plan

I've finally managed to sit down and work out the Planting Plan for the coming seasons in the Country Garden.  The last half-year plan that I did was difficult because I was trying to rotate all the beds for the first time.  After that I thought I'd worked out a good system, but because we're about to add three new large beds to the garden, I've had to pretty much start again.  

I've mentioned before that our strategy for this coming season is to have more quantity and less variety. I'm trying to keep the same groups of vegetables in each bed as are planted now where possible, but will make some changes to cater for the change of emphasis from brassicas to fruiting and foliage crops and for the additional space.  As I did this year, the crop rotation will happen in Autumn next year.

I'm sure this Plan will change a bit and be developed further, but here it is for now.  It would be great to hear how other people do their seasonal planning.

Exciting Chicken Update!

Red (aka Edna) has started laying!  Three eggs so far in five days.
Very small but delicious, we ate the first two ceremoniously last night!

22 July 2012

In Loving Memory

This week I lost my dearly beloved grandmother at the age of 96.  She was an amazing woman: stylish, gutsy, adventurous, loving, super-intelligent and a talented gardener, cook and photographer as well - a true inspiration to me in my life.  These beautiful camellias are from her much loved garden.

16 July 2012

Promises of Things to Come

We haven't quite hit the "hunger months" in the Country Garden but the diversity is certainly reduced at the moment.  Today I picked silverbeet and kale (the old faithfuls), carrots, fennel, pak choy and radish.  I feel like a stuck record writing about harvesting those vegies for what seems like many months now, so I thought I'd add some photos of some of the things that aren't yet yielding but are looking full of promise.  

I got a new camera last week and today was my first chance to really try it out.  It's way smarter than me, so I suspect I've got a long way to go before I'll be happy with the results, but I decided to be brave and post a few photos anyway... another promise (hopefully) of things to come...!
Broad Beans
More cabbage (or possibly Brussel Sprouts?)

07 July 2012

From Studio to Farm Shed in 5 Easy Steps

Have you ever wondered how to turn an inner-city backyard studio into a farm shed?  Well I've succeeded, and if you follow my simple 5 Step Program below you could too!
1. Store a bale or two of straw in there, not forgetting
to keep bits of hayband in handy locations all around
the shed for future use!

06 July 2012

The Great Cafe Challenge

The growing city/country divide is one of the large challenges that we face in understanding and addressing the issues of food security.  Here’s one really simple idea to further increase the understanding and reduce the divide.  Alison Fairleigh and a few friends came up with a challenge to every cafĂ© in Australia to stock one rural newspaper each week.  That’s it, really simple, but quite brilliant!  The idea being that our lattes and BLT toasties aren’t possible without farmers, so we all need to connect a bit closer and understand the issues that face rural Australia in the process of producing our food.  You can read about it here on Alison's blog.  There’s a list of all the cafes that have taken on the challenge, and you can also follow the Challenge on Twitter @CafeChallenge.  So far it’s spread around Australia and even been picked up in New Zealand and the UK.  It’s spreading to doctors’ surgeries and hairdressers’.   Is your local on the list?  If not, why don’t you encourage them to join up?  

01 July 2012

Slow Living Project - June

Not sure where it went, but somehow another month has gone by and it's time to link up again with Christine at Slow Living Essentials for the Slow Living Project, where a group of us are looking back at our achievements at the end of every month.