Saturday, June 30, 2012

What's Rowan Growin'

How's that for the title of my online newsletter (that I have not started yet). It was suggested to me at the market and I love it. Anyone who wants my monthly online newsletter just let me know.
Anyway... I didn't take a lot to the market today and I sold out again, as usual. The weather was rain and hail but enough people came out to make it worthwhile. I can't wait till I will have enough stuff to harvest to make up a huge table.

People loved the oca I had out and bought up all the Jerusalem artichoke. I had no idea people loved it so much. I always sell it all. I will have to look around for a less knobbly type to grow though.

I hope it clears up enough for me to dig some more beds on my 3rd block. I am going to have to work hard to get it ready for spring planting. I need a week of good weather to get a heap of beds done. I have to remember to buy an electric fence to put around it to keep the neighbours horse out.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

Today I spent the morning at Merino primary school checking out their Kitchen Garden sceme. All I can say is WOW. I wish all schools were a part of this program. The students work on their food gardens and then pick and cook what they have grown. It is so impressive.
Kids that a couple of years ago couldn't use a knife or fork properly and rarely tasted a vegetable now can easily make their own pasta, read recipes and more. WOW again. This is a program that should be manditory in schools, primary and secondary.

I spent the afternoon picking veggies for the market tomorrow. I thought I would have more than I picked but the van looks depressingly empty again. I hope I have a good day anyway. It is supposed to rain :(

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rain and sun, nature can't make up her mind

After a few days of drizzly weatehr where it always looked like it was clearing, then when you go outside it rained on you we finely got a nice day today.

I had to work at my 'normal' job this morning so I didn't have a lot of time to do anything in the garden. I did spray the grass in my new block. I hate to spray Roundup but it is necessary to start with - it would be impossible to get rid of the grass by hand, but my first block is nearly grass free and I am able to keep on top of it and the weeds by hand and mulching.

I have been busy on Ebay again buying some bamboo seeds and yam tubers. I am looking forward to spring when I can start planting.

I have been selling some vegetable tubers on Ebay and they have sold really well. In them are yacon, oca, Chinese artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Herbs and beneficial insects

I planted a heap of thyme and oregano plants today. Now that the beds are all done on my first two blocks I need to add flowering things to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects. In the spring I will be planting marigolds and some other stuff as well as a few more flowering herbs.

I spent most of today tidying up and throwing out a lot of weedy pots and plants I don't want. Will fill the pots up in the spring with more edible plants for the markets.

I was too bored this morning and went on a buying spree on Ebay, naughty me. Got seeds of a number of unusual tuberous vegetables like two varieties of jicama, two types of yams and Chinese fingers. Damn, I should control myself, lol.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rat tails starting to flower

Well, not really but they are close. I notice that they are starting to put up flower stalks so it shouldn't be long now. I am really looking forward to those.

Had some good rain last night, about an inch and a half. We really need it.
Talking of water, I have decided to try my hand at water chestnuts as well - yes, I am going to grow everything I can, I will be very busy, lol. I bought a tub to grow them in and will get a few more soon. Luckily I don't need to hurry until spring. I have a bid going on Ebay for some corms so I will be ready.

I was walking around the blocks today and I think I will finelly have enough to go to market with and have a good showing. I will have carrots, lettuce, dwarf pak choy, perennial leeks, oca, napini, rocket and mangle wurzel ready and maybe a couple of other things as well. I baked some oca and mangle wurzel tonight to eat and they were delicious. I love them baked then sprinkled with lemon juice and butter.

Check out my Wiki website for recipes and growing info on all the plants and produce that I sell:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Starting on block J

WOW, that is all I can say. The soil on my new block is so good. It is a rich, dark loam with heaps of big, fat worms, and, amazingly, no curl grubs. Quite different than my block behind the house that is only 400 metres away.
I was expecting it to be clay but I was surprised that even digging deeply revealed no clay. I can see this block producing really well. Can't wait to see the huge harvest of melons and pumpkins I will get in the summer.

It has rained most of today so I didn't get much work done except for that little bit of digging. Tomorrow is supposed to be the same but it should clear on the weekend.

Here is my rocket, just exploding with growth at the moment. Luckily with the cold weather the bigger leaves are not too strong tasting.

My purple potatoes I have harvested and I cooked last night. This is purple congo, goes well with my purple peeling knife, lol. I also have a few other colours for the table but had a poor harvest this year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peeling garlic the easy way

Check out this great video, and yes, it works.

Amazing way to peel a whole head of garlic in a few seconds.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yay, new block - Block J

I have found a new houseblock to grow on, and it is only across the road. The lady who owns it is very nice and said that I could grow whatever I like on it and for as long as I want - I hope she doesn't fall off the perch anytime soon, lol. I will use that block for my vining plants like melons, pumpkins and gourds as well as the tuberous vegetables.

I need to do some work on one fence as it is very wonky and has horses on the other side. I think I will get a battery powered electric fence.

I dug the last few beds in block D and come into clay. It was hard digging but I will finely be able to grow some decent cauliflower. Because I have sandy soil mostly the cauliflower have been growing tiny heads (buttoning) but I will put some seedlings in the clay tomorrow.

The day has been lovely so I got heaps of weeding done. I'm feeling good about how everything is going.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oh no, I think I have lost block 3

I caught up with the lady who was going to lease me block no. 3 and I think she is changing her mind. I don't know why but she seems cold and making up excuses why I can't start working on it. Damn, I really need that block. I hope I can find another soon.

I dug up the rest of my oca today and the yacon. I was going to leave the yacon a bit longer but the tubers are all split because of dry then wet. I thought I might as well save what I can. Next year I will have to water them better and more regularly.

Here is a picture of the size of my oca tubers this year. I am very happy with them.

Here are a couple of my yacon tubers. They are  abit small this year because I didn't look after them as well as I should have. Mmmm, I love yacon.

I noticed that my rocket is trying to flower so I trimmed off all the flower stalks. I hope I can keep it going for a few months yeat as it is a good seller at the market.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A fine day to get things done

It was a lovely day today so I spent most of it weeding. I also put out some blood and bone, as well as digging up half of my yacon.

The yacon tubers were a bit on the skinny side so, since they have not died down yet, I decided to leave them for another month. I will have lots of growing tubers for next year and I have just the place to plant them. I think I have a chance at another small house block and if I get it I think I will put my tuberous vegetables in there.

I got a bucket of oca tubers yesterday when I got to and dug them up. It was a bit disappointing but one lot had hardly any tubers under them and I don't know why. I got some monster tubers from the rest though. Bigger than any I have ever got before (pics coming). I hope I get big ones again next year. I still have a few plants to go and I will sell the tubers from those to people for growing.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mmmmm, lotus roots

I'm excited. My friend has agreed to let me use her dam to grow lotus roots. I can't wait till spring when I can plant them.

I know many of my customers will not have tasted lotus roots before but I'm sure they will be pleased when I have them at the market and in the boxes. I love them microwaved then just dipping the slices in melted lemon butter while I watch TV. Mmmm, crunchy.

I'm so excited, did I tell you?

Anyway, I spent most of today weeding but didn't make much of a dent. I wish the veggies would grow as fast as the weeds *sigh*.  With the cooler weather the vegetables seem to have stopped growing all together and I am worried (again) that I will not have enough stuff for the market in two weeks. I just can't get things to grow as fast as they should. I seem to be much too impatient. Must put in a couple more beds tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back again

Well after arriving back from 5 days visiting my sister I will be out first thing in the morning to check on my veggies. I will have so much to do. As well as weeding, I will have to dig up my yacon and oca so they will be ready to sell at the market at the end of the month.

While I was away I got two enquiries about vegetable boxes so I will follow them up. It is good to start getting some customers. I am excited.

I would love to have stayed longer but I just have too much to do so I will go up again soon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Not a lot to report today

With the cold and wet weather we have been having the last few days I really haven't done much in the veggie patch. A bit of weeding is all I have got up the courage to do.
Luckily I don't have a lot to do at the moment, the weeds are about it. I have got all my seeds in for this month and a couple of spare beds to plant as well but I might fill one of them up with onions if the day is fine tomorrow.

This forced holiday has helped with my sore back though and done it a lot of good. I won't have to get down on my knees and throw clods of dirt around for another couple of weeks. I must say I am enjoying this rest but in a couppe of weeks I will be back to it *sigh*. With the rain now I won't have to water until at least October.

My artichokes are huge, they are loving the cooler weather.

With the lull I have decided to go up to visit my sister in Murray Bridge for a few days. I will head over there on Thursday or Friday.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Garden club and soy drink

Last night I popped in on a meeting of the Henty garden club, a tiny club with some passionate and very interesting members. I had a great time and got to chat about a number of topics with various members. I met a teacher at the Merino school who is involved with their kitchen garden program and learnt a lot about that.

Yesterday I also received a call from the soy drink company Vitasoy. I had sent them an email asking if their soy contained GM soybeans as the package no longer states the fact. I was assured that the soybeans are not GM. It has me wondering why they took that statement off the packaging at all as it would be important to many people who buy the stuff. I much prefer Vitasoy (which has whole soy beans in it) than Sogood which comes across as cheap and nast to me, and doesn't even contain soybeans, just the protein isolate.

Today was a glorious day for the first day of winter. I did some weeding but not a lot else.