04 November 2012

Slow Living Month - October

It's the start of November, so time to link up with Christine at Slow Living Essentials for our monthly update of the Slow Living Journal.

Even though my blog post output hasn't been very impressive this month (partly due to a very annoying persistent  internet connection problem - my apologies for being slow to respond to comments, sometimes I haven't been able to load the blog pages to edit them) it's actually been quite a busy month, with a huge change thrown into the mix as well.  So to get that one out of the way first... after much pondering and consideration and writing "pros and cons" lists, I quit my city job and have just started a completely new job/career...as a Vineyard Manager!  City girl gardener turns country farmer!  As you might imagine, that's kept me a bit occupied...

Apart from that, here's what else has been happening:

The start of fresh, light summery meals with masses of broad beans and peas harvested making it feel like Summer might actually be around the corner.  And my favourite, asparagus with poached eggs straight from the chickens.  That dish just says Spring to me so perfectly.  Now I just need home-grown tomatoes- how I'm craving fabulous tomatoes!

I double-shelled and froze about 4kg of broad beans to try to make them last a bit longer. And October was all about the transition in the garden into Summer planting in both the City and Country Gardens.  Winter/ Spring crops were finalised and I planted seeds in trays for Summer.  By the end of next week all the Summer planting should be sorted.

In October I harvested broad beans, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, celery, silverbeet and kale, cauliflower, peas, spinach, leek, rhubarb and various herbs.

We planted tomatoes, basil, marigolds, spinach, capsicum seeds, sorrel, zucchini, pumpkin, squash and  cucumber.

The potatoes are growing brilliantly in both City and Country Gardens; the early garlic is nearly ready to harvest; and there are tiny apples on the City Garden apple trees, although sadly some nasty weather just at blossoming time seems to have wiped out the nectarine crop for this year.

Potatoes, asparagus and carrot continued to be the vegies that I couldn't resist buying, but otherwise I harvested approximately 80% of the family's vegies in October.

Hmmm, might have let this one slip a bit I think!  

No shortage of new learning this month!!  I have a stack of books on viticulture and winemaking that I've been reading, and then once I actually started on the farm the new experiences came thick and fast.  Lesson 1- driving a tractor.... terrifying for something that goes so slow!!  Lesson 2 - making my own lattes on a commercial coffee machine in the restaurant kitchen, cos there's no cafe on the ground floor of my office to do it for me anymore!  Lesson 3 to 23... weather variances, vine protection, debudding.... so much to learn!
Aside from work, I also went on a fantastic farm tour of the beautiful and productive Taranaki Farm lead by Joel Salatin.

I attended an interesting forum on Community Food Projects.  It was great to meet local people from a variety of backgrounds who came together to discuss what they are doing, what challenges they face and what the opportunities are for bringing people together through food.

October was about planning in so many ways.  Garden, career, end of year holiday...  A challenging but ultimately exciting and really enjoyable month.
A brief sojourn by the sea in the middle of the month


  1. Wow! I have trouble keeping up with one garden at this time of year. My hat goes off to you! Congratulations on your new career. Good luck with all your learning.

  2. Congratulations on the career change, and indeed on double shelling 4kg of broad beans for freezing. My broad beans have only just started to produce so that seems like any amazing effort from both a time and a yield perspective.

  3. We too are enjoying broad beans but we eat them all so have none to store up. Well done on your month.

  4. Wow! I'm excited for you and your new job!!

    ... and of course the Broad Beans and Peas... so yummy. :-)

  5. Congratulations on your change of career! It's all sounding so exciting, lessons 1 - 23..onwards! All the best, I'm sure you will be a natural. You already have the tractor and lattes under your belt..they're the most important things, right? xx

  6. Thanks everyone for your lovely and encouraging comments. 1 week down in the new job, and I'm exhausted, aching and have a sunburnt nose, but have also learnt masses already and the coffees are getting better, but the tractor is still terrifying on steep bits! x

  7. Hello City garden Country Garden
    I am a garden writer for Your Vegie Patch and I would like to contact you regarding doing a gardener profiile for the magazine. Would you mind emailing me at sandrapullman@hotmail.com
    Kind regards Sandi Pullman