5.2.09

Harvesting and planning

As the school term gets going I've enjoyed catching up and hearing what every one's been doing during the summer holidays. It' seems 3 out of 4 people I talk to have been camping, enjoying the top of the South Island's beautiful sites; Golden Bay, Marlborough Sounds, Nelson/Tasman and the West Coast. I sort of envy the "idea" of camping but actually hate packing up, getting bitten, sunburned, and doing all the Mum stuff away from the conveniences of home. Also 3 years living in a house bus and hand washing nappies, I think has put me off entirely. Admittedly I'm becoming a bit of a Nana in my middle age. It sounds like my friends all enjoyed their adventures even the hiccups. Lucky for L and I we have a "village" to raise our children so they haven't missed out on adventures, they've been away with good friends and family. We must be doing something right cos they get invited to go back again and again.

Back here in the garden, locals and blog readers have asked about the cannelini beans. They have been a super crop here, the first lot I harvested early as I grew them in the glasshouse but it seems there was no need because the outdoor ones which I planted around the fence lines have produced beautifully with no extra water after they got established. The little bit of rain we got a few days ago wasn't even enough to wet the soil underneath the corn and pumpkins. So to answer about the cannelinis; I leave them to dry off on the vine then once picked leave them in their shells for several weeks longer to dry right out. I learnt this is the hard way after harvesting some dryish pea pods and shelling them straight away, popping them into a paper bag only to find some of them went mouldy. Plants going to seed all over the garden make it look pretty messy and disorganised but I reckon it's a sign of a good productive garden. Mine is looking pretty wild but I know where to find the tomatoes, spring onions, lettuce, pumpkins, melons and beans. The kumara are putting on alot of top growth so I'm hoping too that there is something going on beneath the soil. They say when you're planning your garden to check out what's growing well in other local gardens, so I have to share that the Nashi pear is my best productive tree aside from my citrus. It's laden with fruit, grows beautifully organically and is just about ready! Highly recommended.

The glasshouse is producing really well though an aphid infestation will probably get the better of it soon. I'm watering, feeding and using pyrethrum to try and stay on top of it.
I haven't quite kept up with sowing all my own seed, recently I've sowed lettuces, leeks, brassicas, peas, coriander and parsley in my messy little nursery/shady spot. I've also bought extra brassicas from a good little plant stall in town.

The brassica's I've put in where the garlic came out. I've mulched them heavily and hope my little paper wasps can keep up with all the caterpillars. I sprinkled round a bit of blood and bone too as the soil was looking a bit depleted.Finally somewhere in the middle ground of this picture is a patch of horrible seedy paspalum grass overtaking the onions. I weeded it out twice but it got away on me over Christmas so my poor onions look like pickling onions! I must get onto pulling it all out before the seeds spread everywhere. "1 year seeding 7 years weeding" So that is how I'll spend New Zealand's national day "Waitangi Day" before I head over to the airport to see my bro.

2 comments:

Christy said...

You are just amazing in growing all those veges I'm in awe. I'm going to plant a few more things this year.

Enjoy your brother and his family visit.

Ruth said...

Thanks for the tip on cannelini beans!I'm moving this weekend so I don't have time to wait for them to dry on the vine... hopefully the next tenants will know what to do with them!