Friday, March 30, 2012

Farmers market tomorrow

I wish I hade some more stuff to sell at the Hamilton farmers market tomorrow but I am really only going to keep my place. I only have some plants, spaghetti squash and a few tomatoes and some beet greens from my sugar beet. I may make my stall fee back but nothing else.
I am looking forward to next month when I will start having a good table full of produce.

My carrots and beets will be ready by next month. They are a bit sparse since most were eaten off but the table should still be colourful.

I am a bit worried that I haven't seen any advertising for the market. If they don't do enough advertising I might start going to other markets instead. The $25 won't be worth it on top of petrol and growing expenses. I have been having my doubts about them but I have only been once so I shouldn't judge them just yet.

I pulled up some salsify to put on the table but it was very disapointing. The roots were short and very forked but I thought I was giving them the right conditions. I will just collect seed off them now and experiment with different conditions in spring. I still have a few seeds left. I will also try to find some other varieties as well.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lovely weather and weeds galore

The weather has been warm yesterday and today, and continuing on till tomorrow. Weeds are flourishing and tiny veggie plants are germinating. Good to be out in the garden :)

Planted out a bed of perennial leeklings to harvest as well as some to produce for next time. They are not as good as 'real' leeks but I grow them because they are easy and there is always some around if you need them.

My brussels sprouts and cauliflowers are germinating but I am worrying that the soil is too soft for them to produce well. I might have to dig them up when they are a bit bigger, compress the soil by jumping on it, then planting them back in. I hope it will work. A good experiment anyway.

I really have to get out and dig a few more beds before my latest order from Baker Creek Seeds gets here. Now that I am not sick I really have no excuse.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back again

I am back from farm sitting - my friend is still in hospital but doing nicely and they have others to look after the animals now.
I am still feeling decidedly unwell so I haven't been able to do much except a bit of watering. I did plant some red cabbage but not much else. I despair when I look out at all the weeds springing up but I hope I will be feeling better soon. I will have to go out and do some weeding whether I feel better or not soon.

The good news is that I think whatever was eating all my seedlings has gone. The beds look sparse but I have time to replant.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New beds dug and seeds planted

The weather is cool today and we had 13mm of rain which was great. An inch or two would be better but I am happy with anything at the moment.

Put in some red brussels sprout seeds as well as more mixed colour carrots and arugula. If I could stop whatever is eating my seedlings now I would be on the way to having a good lot of veg for the markets in a couple of months.

The 'Aunt Molly' cape gooseberries have been ripening a few berries, not many but they were put in late. These are the best and sweetest variety of cape gooseberry that I have grown and I think I will stick with them only next season. I have saved some seed from them but I hope I can bring them through the winter anyway.

I ran a fever most of last night and am feeling a lot better, though tired, today. I should be able to catch up on some weeding tomorrow.

A friend has suffered a heart attack so his wife is accompanying him to adelaide and I will have to look after their chickens for a while. This is in Mt Gambier so will involve a bit of travel if they are away for too long as I will have to come back for work next week. Oh well, what are friends for. I hope it turns out all-right for them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sore throat

This morning I woke up with a burning sore throat. That is the problem with working alone at this sort of enterprise - if you get sick everything grinds to a halt. I had already told my sister that I was going to visit so I did and we did have a good time. I showed here how to set up a watering system for her raised beds and we had a good chat.
It was a hot day so I managed to get outside when I got back and water all the plants that really needed it but I am feeling terrible. I may not be able to go in to work tomorrow if I am no better in the morning.

There is a heap of weeding to be done in the beds but it will just have to wait.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Digging, digging - never stops

Today I dug three new garden beds and planted some green mignonette lettuce seeds. That is my favourite lettuce. I am not a fan of bitter greens so this mild one suits me nicely.

The day has been beautiful. Not too hot and no rain, just right for working.

I checked on my gourds. Most of them are ripe so I am letting the powdery mildew grow on the plants as it does at this time of year. I hope I can find a market for gourds as I would like to grow a heap of them next summer. They are fantastic to make art and craft objects out of.
This year I have goose, penguin and small dipper gourds growing.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sugar beet greens

I was out in the garden watering and noticed that the row of sugar beet that had finished seeding, and that I had not got around to pulling up, had started puting out heaps of fresh new leaves. I decided to pick some and take them in to try as a steamed green.

I was quite surprised they were very good. Very slightly bitter (though my mother thought salty) but not too bad and with a slightly sweet after-taste. Even better with butter and probably better again with garlic butter. This is a great review from me who hates steamed greens. I will definately use them again and maybe sell them at the next market if there is enough. I won't bother digging them until I see how far I can go with them and if they flower again at the end of the year.
I might try them stir fried next time.

Other news: I attended a garden conference and listened to a speaker talking about sensory gardens for the elderly and disabled. It was very interesting and I will put some of what I have learned into practice at Edgarley where I work part-time as a gardener.

Friday, March 16, 2012

First post

Welcome to my blog.

I have started a small 1/2 acre market garden to sell fresh heirloom vegies and fruit at the local markets. I started planting seeds at the start of Feb and they are all up but something is eating the seedlings off at the base. I will spray them with pyrethrum spray tomorrow.

I have some mixed colour carrots in as well as white beetroot, salsify (mostly for seed), scorzonera, red mangel worzel, and wong bok. The wonk bok is getting eaten by everything around. I don't know if it is worth growing.

Today I planted some golden beetroot, perennial leek, rainbow chard, and two varieties of garlic. Tomorrow I will be attending a garden conference here in town where they have a speaker talking about sensory gardens. I work part-time in a nursing home so they have paid for me to go and find out more. I do the gardening at the home so I might be able to start a sensory garden there.