You may or may not have noticed, but I’ve been missing in action here on my blog and for good reason. I handed it over to the loveliest person on Fivver who did a bit of an update for me. I’m a gardener not a technical whiz and I knew I wanted to update the look of the blog but was frozen with fear for ages that I’d stuff it up and lose everything. When I started out it was easy enough to do myself, but times have changed, and I don’t know my SOE from my CSS. Besides I’d rather be mucking about with NPK in the GDN. I expect I’ll still need to figure out a few tweaks to make it exactly how I want it, but for now I’m pretty pleased with it. Check out the Home Page as that is where most of the changes are.
But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. It may be winter, but things have been going on – gosh where do I start.
My cover crops have been seeded and are growing nicely – well most of them. My lupins didn’t come up at all, but I suspect all I did with those was feed the birds that were hanging around at the time! And the mustard cover crops up by the chickens got scratched up by a couple of escapees!
The rest of the beds – I’ve been working my way across them to add compost and bits and bobs to get them ready for spring. There are a couple left that need this kind of love – all the rest are hosting plants – some lingering from last season and some already new for this new season. It feels so nice to see the green of the mustard cover crops and the brown of a compost covered empty bed.
I dug up my kumara sweet potato and got a great harvest and considering the price of them in the shops I’m quite pleased with the haul from my 1 x 1m bed. I’ve also chopped back the asparagus and enriched the bed ready for the new spears to emerge. Last season they began popping up in August.
I finally got around to pickling my shallots – gosh it took forever. I had a good harvest and even though they are a lot bigger than previous years it still took 3 nights in front of the telly getting them ready to pickle. I rebelled from the instructions and soaked them in the brine during the day rather than overnight, as I didn’t want to make pickled onions first thing in the morning. It seemed too early in the day for that kind of thing. But then I boiled up the brine and got my salt back, which has a lovely hint of onion.
And then I planted the new season onions. There are 175 Pukekohe Longkeepers which should last us – it is strange to think by the time the onions have dried and cured we’ll be empty nesters and won’t need as many onions. There is also another onion bed with elephant garlic, red onions, white onions and shallots and some room for leeks to be planted later on.
Then I accidentally ordered far too many tree seedlings to go into my work in progress tree windbreak. It is so harsh here that there are a lot of casualties, but I figure if I keep planting things eventually the space will be filled with the strongest survivors. For now, I potted the seedlings up to give their roots a chance to get a little bigger and stronger before releasing them into the wild.
I’ve been out and about as well. I’ve given a couple of talks to some groups, encouraging them to pick up a spade and start growing some food and sharing my journey. I’ve even been a judge at the local secondary school deciding which House Group had made the best job of their garden space. That was a fun afternoon. And we took a trip down to Nelson to visit our son training to be a pilot, who took us up in the air for a trip over Abel Tasman National Park, which was breathtaking. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather.
I am more than conscious that winter, while it feels like it a long, miserable season, will be over in the blink of an eye. There are only 9 weeks until spring, and I have a lot of projects I’d like to have done by then. I’m not sure I’ll get them all done but I will have a jolly good crack at it.
And so there you have it – that is what I’ve been up to.
Come again soon – I’m back in business.
Sarah the Gardener : o)