Monday, April 30, 2012

Oh goodie, new seeds

My seeds from Baker Creek arrived today. I went straight out and planted the ones that can be planted now. 'Tainong Emperor' heading mustard, celtice, exra dwarf pak choy and rocky top lettuce blend (a fun mix of coloured loose-leaf lettuces. I had to dig a couple more beds but it was worth it to get the seeds in. Can't wait to see how they go.

I was delighted this morning to see that my rat-tailed radish seeds were germinating. This is a special and interesting crop and I am excited to see how it sells at the market.

I had two markets over the weekend and was really happy with the reception I got at both. On saturday I had my usual table at the Hamilton Farmers market and though I didn't have much to sell, people were really interested and I sold out quickly. I didn't have a moment to be bored - there were so many people asking questions. I hope I get some customers for my CSA program from it. Time will tell.

My Hamilton table on Saturday.

On sunday was the Casterton market. I was only there to promote my gourds but I also had seeds for sale. The seeds sold well and many people were interested in the gourds as well. It went really well and I gave away more flyers for the CSA.

It looks like the market garden will be a goer, and everyone was really interested in buying unusual and 'different' vegetables.

I ordered some more seeds off Ebay and should get them at the end of the week I hope. More beds to dig, *sigh*

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hamilton Market

Had a great time at the Hamilton Farmers Market today. I sold out of all that I bought, though I didn't have a lot to sell, and everyone was interested in what I will be bringing in coming months.

I was pleased that all my CSA brochures went so I hope I can get a bit of interest to get me started. I think I will be able to start for the winter season and I will have heaps of things coming on then. I will also ask some of the other stall holders if they want to put their stuff in the boxes as well. Maybe some preserves, fruit and stuff. This will make the boxes even more interesting for our customers.

With the recent rain the weeds are powering away and I think I will have to spend all monday on weeding. I'm looking forward to that, lol.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Where do they all come from?

At the moment, everywhere I look I see baby carrot and beet seedlings popping up - in the potting mix, in pot plants, around the paths - the little buggers are all over the place. I don't have the hear to pull out useful and edible plants but it is becoming ridiculous. I am even finding the odd tomato wildling, and it is nearly winter, sigh.

I don't know if it is the birds, the wind, or just that I carry the seeds around on my clothing, scattering them anywhere I stop and bend down to pull a weed. At least I know that they will eventually be gone as they grow big enough to eat or sell, but I think anyone who visits will just see some sort of weird planting plan where I just threw handfulls of seed willy nilly through the whole place.

I have to secretly admit though that I actually like it, just a bit. I like the naturalness of it, and the little surprises and I sort through the pot plants. They make me smile - but I won't tell any 'real' gardener that it gives me just that tiny thrill. As I get into more seed saving later I can't think what my garden will eventually look like. A wild jungle of food - at least I won't starve, lol.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lazy day today

Being ANZAC day I took some time off and didn't work in the garden. It is still a bit showery so the plants are loving it and I don't have to hand water. I will try to remember to take the camera out tomorrow and take some pics.

The kale is growing well and I should have a nice lot to sell next month. I have been busy making and laminating some signs for the stall and I will try to get some cane or wood baskets to give my stall a rustic look. If I go around the op shops I might be able to find some suitable stuff cheap.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Got the podded radish seeds

I got my rat tailed radish seeds in the post today, I am so excited. I planted them between showers in the bed I especially left for them. Can't wait to see how they grow.

With what I could find on the web there might be room for some breeding for much better varieties here. I think I could perhaps improve on the fibrousness of the pods at least with some time.

Had a nice drop of rain overnight and today. I won't have to water for a while now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Loving the weather

With a few showers and a cool day it was perfect for doing all the chores.

I planted ten new beds that I had dug and were just waiting for seeds. I weeded, and weeded, and weeded.

Planted Tete Noire cabbage, chives, Alba carrots for seed, Chiogga beetroot, Iceberg lettuce, snow peas, and a few more - can't remember right now.

Everything looks full and growing. Pity I will be a couple of weeks out for some veggies to ripen, in between markets. I will give the neighbours some stuff if it won't hang on till the next market. I had a look around and I will have beetroot, beet greens, Jerusalem artichoke, perennial leeks and some carrots to take. Not much but it is a start. I wish the dwarf bok choy was going to be ready as I think it will be a good seller. It is going to be a week or so out.

I just remembered that I am going to have to get stallholder insurange next month, another cost I can't afford *sigh*.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rain and upbeat spirits

A heavy shower of rain tonight really has me feeling a lot better. I hope if continues for a few days, fingers crossed.

I planted the last of my dwarf pak choy but I will be getting some more seed in my Bakers Creek order soon so I am not worried. I think they will be a good seller. I think I might cross some with the purple/red paks that I have planted and try to breed a red dwarf one just for something different.

I think I will start sowing some of next months seed this week, it can't hurt to have a bit extra.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lovely day, lots of work

Today was very pleasant, not nearly as pleasant as it would have been if it rained, but as good as I could expect.
I got four more beds dug - not a huge achievement as they are only 3 metres long, but they are full of couch which makes it hard work. I am just waiting another week before doing my next round of planting.

I have decided on a new system to help with planning my planting. I bought a plastic ring folder/binder and a heap of trading card sleeves. I am marking them all with months and putting packets of seeds in each pocket for the month. I should be able to just pick out the packets for the month and plant them, knowing that I have the right amount and am not doubling up or running out to get more seeds that I had forgotten.

I have just bought a couple of packets of seeds from Cornacopia seeds. I am looking forward to planting the rat-tailed radish. It looks so interesting and I think I can sell it to customers who are looking for something a little different.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sandford market and other things

Sandford market yeasterday was pretty dead. Only a handful of stalls and customers. I don't usually break even by going there but I like to support it and keep myself known. It is only a tiny local market. They are breaking till the spring.

Picked another white horned melon  but it was no better than they were a week ago. The plants are dying so they are as ripe as they are going to get. They taste like a mix of cucumber and unripe banana so I won't be growing them again. I was hoping they would be at least as good as Kiwano that they are related to. I will keep a few seeds as they are rare so someone might want to breed with them, perhaps.

Finely brought in the rest of the globe artichoke flower heads for seed so they don't self-seed all over the place. I am really disappointed that I only go one single seed off the jerusalem artichokes. Oh well, always next year.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Harvested my sweet potatoes

Most people think that you can't grow sweet potatoes down here but I thought I would give it a go anyway.

Today I dug up my two plants and got 7 tubers from them They are pretty small tubers but not surprising since they had no fertiliser and hardly any water. I think I might put in a couple of rows next year.
My peanut plants (That people also think won't grow here) are still not showing any sign of yellowing so I don't know when they will be ready to harvest. Maybe a frost will knock them down.

Today I have spent the morning weeding and watering. Tomorrow is a small local market and I think I will take some plants and some gourds to it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Slap on the hand

I deserve a slap on the hand for being so tardy with my posting over the last few days. What's been happening? you ask ....

The weather has warmed up again, and still no rain. We are having a week in the mid twenties so I am still watering. I might have to look into a watering system next year if I can afford it.

Here is a picture of part of my veggie patch. You can see that there is not a lot of stuff ready to harvest yet.

We had our first frost this morning. Just barely a frost but enough to kill off the jerusalem artichokes and make me worry about the capsicums. I took off most of the gourds as they are ripe. I will clean a couple to take to the market and see if people are interested.

I am not going to have as much to take to the market at the end of the month as I had hoped but I will certainly be getting into things next month. I will have some seeds and a few lettuces and hopefully a wong bok or two, and a heap of jerusalem artichoke, but that is all.
My ground cherries are also bearing a few fruit. The Aunt Molly variety is delicious.

My sweet sorghum is almost ripe. I didn't have enough to try making some syrup so I am just collecting seeds this year.

Naughty me - I just put in an order for more seeds from Baker Creek. I just can't help myself.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sore muscles and satisfaction

Yesterday and today I have dug a heap of beds, put in a heap of seeds and am feeling generally good about myself.
I bought a punnet of red pak choy F1 which I will breed from to make an open pollinated variety. I put in some different coloured carrots in separate beds for seed production and done a heap of weeding.

I just went onto 'The Lost Seed' website to see if their heirloom potatoes were ready to buy but they are sold out till next year. They didn't even come up for sale - maybe they had a bad season. Bummer.

Later today I think I will dodge the rain - yes, we have had a few showers yesterday and this morning at long last - and put in some coloured beetroot for seed.

Some of my pepinos are ripening. I love pepino but the soldier beetles are destroying them. The only defence against them is a systemic spray but then I can't eat the fruit. At least I will have some seeds. I want to breed a better tasting one.

I put a couple of row covers over the wong bok and cabbages as the caterpillars have started on them. They are growing nicely. Note to self -  don't mix wong bok and lettuce seeds together. The wong bok is fast crowding out the lettuce. I should have known that would happen, seemed like a good idea at the time I suppose. I will go back to one type of plant per row.

My back and muscles are aching but I have achieved a lot over the past couple of days.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New seeds, hurray

I love getting packets of seeds in the post, mostly because I tend to forget what I ordered so it is a surprise package.
Anyway, I got my latest order from Baker Creek Seeds (Love that company), complete with pretty yellow "passed by customs" sticker. I have already put in my baby bok choy and Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage seeds and the others will go in tomorrow.
Can't wait to see how the baby boks turn out, I might even leave them for sed instead of selling them. The Green Macerata broccoli was an extra as I forgot that I already had one but I will use them later. Red lettuce and a couple more - time to get the spade out and dig a few more beds.

I was disappointed that I didn't get a free pack of seeds though this time :( 

As always when I get a parcel of their seeds, I was immediately back on their website to see what I would be buying next. I just can't help myself.

Must get the camera out and start puting up some piccies on this blog.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fine day, lots of work

They day has been fine and I am feeling well now so I managed to get a heap of work done.

Mowed the lawn, weeded, dug a few more beds, planted some cauliflower and spring onions. Whew, I was glad to get in and have something to eat.

My gourds are succuming to powdery mildew so it won't be long before I can harvest them, or leave them on the vine to dry - not sure yet. Can't wait to get working on them.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

market musings

Well, yesterday I took a heap of plants to the Hamilton farmers market and had a great day. I didn't have much to sell and my vegetables won't start being harvested till the next market so I am just happy that I made a profit this time. This was the second time I have had a table there and I think I am going to like it. Many people commented that they are waiting for me to bring veg so I think I will have good sales as my produce developes and is harvested.

Today I took some other stuff (non-plant) to the Henty boot sale. It was a small market in the middle of nowhere. I didn't make many sales but I think I broke even. I mainly went to advertise my upcoming gourds. There wasn't many people there so that was a bit disappointing.

When I got home I dug four beds ready for some seeds to go in. The weather is still warm and dry so I am holding off a bit on the brassicas but I think I will put in some more garlic and snow peas tomorrow.