Friday, January 23, 2009

A Year in My Garden - Gardening Despite Dumb Practices

I'm not well ... Last  weekend was the Wellington Anniversary weekend and monday a public holiday and i was ill right through it  .....


Felt a lot worse again  yesterday ...a Sore throat, aches, stingy eyes, tired ..... Better today .. Today I just have a Sore throat, aches, stingy eyes, and I'm tired 


It was raining at the weekend anyway ....So thats alright then .... I'd not been outside of the house. McD did ..She did a small shopping run and then paid a little visit to the vegie garden for a cabbage ....


 


Photobucket


 


McD slices it up and stir fries it with a little butter and a lot of ground pepper..... Then she adds roast chicken, roast potatoes and Kumera, Cauliflower from the garden and lashings of gravy and Bobs your uncle (that you never like to talk about ), you have a meal that rivals any meal in the swanky Wellington city restaurants and at a fraction of the price .... 


 


Photobucket


Won't reduce the waist line much though ......


 


I could eat it again now ... except it's 11:30pm and almost time for bed (as Zebadee once said) ....


 


Photobucket


 


But this weekend is fine and sunny...and the waikanae gardens are open for viewing....And in the week McD put her back out ...So she's walking around like there's an ironing board up the back of her blouse....And neither of us have slept for 3 or more nights now ....  


Anyway ......


The vegie garden has kept us stocked of food for weeks .. If the tomatoes were ripe and the bell peppers had actually grown more than a millimeter or two this past few weeks we would be amost self sustaining as far as vegetables go ... (Dunno know why ...They didn't move at all in the raised beds ... I've some in pots around the place that are the size you would expect and are in flower ...The raised bed ones are pale and still look like seedling ... Time to throw them out me thinks ....)


Photobucket


 Well that and the need for more room to grow more root crops such as the potatoes, kumera etc ... and perhaps carrots we could leave to grow to full size... But boy are they tasty carrots picked at 'gourmet' 'finger' size ... The Paris MArket are ideal for the raised beds as they grow round rather than long. Nutri Reds are my favourite but the white Belgian carrot, Purple Dragon and the karoda orange ones are sweet and tasty as ....  Well tasty as carrots of course...


Photobucket


 


Pumpkins .. I built a box against the side of the bank in the sunniest position and filled it with compost and horse manure and straw... and when it settled I planted two Pumpkin plants - oh and without thinking also planted a scallopini ...or maybe a butternut pumpkin .( So much for me labelling everything.. Dumb eh,  kind of, as you don;'t want that pollinating your oversized pumpkin ... So until I have the required numer of set fruit on the main pumpkins the male flowers of the unknown pumkin thingy are being sacrificed ...


 


*****  The update on this is that I've just found a very healthy small cucumber on the supoposedly scallopini plant .... We are very dumb gardeners ...Cant even label plants properly ...


 


Anyway


The idea was to grow the largest pumpkin I can, just for the hellovit... Pumpkin seeds bought from our trademe (kiwi E-bay equivalent) site ..Called "first prize" and came with claims of fruit up to and over 140 kg .. We'll see..Not that that comes anywhere near the 1,000 LB plus world record sizes .....


 


Photobucket 


Anyway


The fruit I do have set is bright yellow rather than the orange I'm used to. I guess it changes as it ages that or I've been done ....McD is still asking the question "how do you get a 100kg+ pumkin down the hill to weigh it ??" Thats a problem to worry about in april/may says me :O)  We can always push them off the edge I guess and roll them down ....


 


And weigh the pieces :O)


 


Photobucket 


 


But at this point the biggest is at basket ball size and will have to be removed because of its location far too close to the centre of the plant... The vines have taken off. One, as wanted, went up the side bank and is now making its way along the fence line ... if I can just get a fruit to set there that will be great ....


 


Photobucket


 


The other vine is heading down the hill, snaking it's way through grass and regenerating gorse to the house ...Which would sort out the transportation issue in april/may .. except it has decided to set fruit half way down hanging from the side of the hill ...Will have to bring the vine back up I think to a flat bit ....


 


Photobucket


 


 


 


Photobucket


 


I planted and tended for a number of climbing bean varieties.. ANd none of them have done well ... Don;t know what it is ..I even had one or two die back at around 5 feet high on the canes ... Some are finally looking more like a happy climbing bean plant, but the harvest will be small from them this season.


 


Photobucket 


 


 


Photobucket


 


Courgettes/Zuccinis ... Well what ever it was that McD bought they are growing large, weighty, marrows a plenty ... By the time the female flower opens the friut is the size of a average courgette...by its flowered and you look again its now looking like a small marrow ...blink again and you have dark green, fat torpedos hanging over the raised bed.... 


 


Photobucket


McD and I made some marrow chutney as we have a glut of marrows .... First chop about 3 1/2 pounds of marrow the recipe says .... "Shall I go up and see if we have any smaller ones up there? " I ask .......   


Anyway


 The chutney turned out ok... A little too sweet for my liking ...One recipe was to have dates added to the ingredients ...Well thats just jam at that point people !! so we missed the dates out .... Although the end result, with the sugar caramelising as it cooked, does have a slight "date" after-taste to it .... 


The next recipe is with tomatoes which I think is a good idea .....


Photobucket


 


TAlking of which I must write about my tomato rearing escapades next time ......


 Meanwhile, we now have a few squares empty as we harvested the last of the broad (fava) beans and pulled out the plants ...along with harvesting garlic (Type unknown. Again from trade me. Found growing at the top of the south island and now propogated for sale. It's a wonderful garlic .. .not too heavy and overpowering in flavour just right and great for cooking with ). We;ve also havested the egyptian onions  and are ripping into the various coloured beetroot...... . 


So tomorrow is plant up the vegie garden day ... Some for eating in a few weeks and some for the longer term autumn/winter harvesting .....


Photobucket


 


 


 


Photobucket 


 


Spose I should hit the hay then and get better .......As you can see in the pictures there is a major tidyup needed as well. The grass is growing high and I want to get the paths done with weed mat and bark ....   


 


 


 


 


Photobucket


 


   


Photobucket


 


">Photobucket


 


 

2 comments:

keewee said...

hope you are feeling better soon. Your vegetable have done rather well, I sure hope I have as much luck with mine this year.

Kay said...

Vege heaven !!! - hope you both recover soon.