Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Garden

I went out to the vegetable patch this morning to water to find that the chooks (chickens) had dug up my newest seedlings of lettuce, tomato and beans. How frustrating!! I like to let them free range, but not at the expense of my vegies. I have shut them into the yard, but they fly out. We took the netting off their yard because it was filling up with gum leaves. I don't want to clip their wings because I like that they can fly up to roost at night, and stay safe. We'll have to come up with some kind of solution, otherwise what is the point of having a vegetable patch!

I am pleased that the beans and potatoes I planted last week are already coming up. I also noticed that there are other seedlings coming up, broccoli I think because I let the Romenesco broccoli grow feral and self sow. It is probably too early in the season, but I'll play it by ear and see what happens. I think the main problem with brassicas in the warmer months is from white moths, but I can control that with Dipel.It is harmless to all other animals and considered organic I think.

As much as I'd like to be a totally organic gardener, I can't say that I am because I don't really know what is in the manure we buy to put on the garden. I know it isn't certified organic, so I think it is safe to say it probably isn't. Which means the manure may have traces of chemicals or antibiotics. I hope it hasn't, but I don't really know.

We have to add a great deal of organic matter and compost, manure etc to our very sandy soil. It is lovely living this close to the beach, but it does make for very useless soil. So we constantly top it up, feed it, water it, and have had some good crops.

Last years potato crop was delightful. We fed the potatoes well with Blood and Bone, and Western Minerals. We love the minerals, thanks Frosty! Home grown, fresh potatoes really do taste wonderful. I think it is true of all home grown vegetables, they just taste so much better than shop bought. What we buy from the farmer's market is pretty good too, but I love being able to wander out to the garden to gather what you need for the evening meal.It doesn't happen often enough, but that is my New Year's resolution - to have a productive garden that we can pick from every day to supplement what we buy. Wouldn't be great if I didn't have to buy vegetables at all?

I have already started planning this winters crops. I will try the crimson flowered broad beans from the Diggers club because they look so pretty. I reckon they'd look great next to purple broccoli!

I will have to take a photo of the patch, Mike made such lovely limestone paths, it looks great and will be very practical, especially for keeping the weeds at bay.BUt that'll have to be another post.

1 comment:

  1. Ange
    It's so wonderful to see the fulfillment of your dreams and hard work. As I send my last off to preschool this week I'm leaving that full time mothering behind and wish I could have some of those times that we shared again. Love Jen