Friday, September 26, 2014

Silverbeet, spring flowering, and what they don't tell you about growing vegetables

I was rushing around doing all sorts of things today, but still didn't get the lawn mowed. I will have to get that done after the market tomorrow.

 This bed of silverbeet was all bolting so I chopped them out to make way for something else. As soon as they start to bolt the leaves get more bitter so I don't sell them.
These were well grown plants so they will put lots of vegetable matter back into the ground when I chop them up and dig them in on Sunday.

This was a bed of my 'Pastels' mic. A mix of mostly shades of pink, cream and light orange. I dodn't think I will continue to improve or grow this new variety of mine as tests at the markets showed that people much preferred to buy the stronger mix of colours such as 'Rainbow'. Oh well, it was a good experiment.

I love watching the budding up of the fruit trees in spring. It just makes you feel excited ot think of what is to come.

My avocados are covered in flower buds. I am not hopeful of a harvest though since I only have one variety.
If avocado trees with self pollinated fruit are exposed to stress they tend to shed their fruit. My young trees are out in the open so the heat of summer and hot winds will stress them enough to drop any fruit that may form. I must remember to get an 'A' variety next year.

My young finger limes are showing lots of new little pink flower buds. As long as they don't get too many hot windy days I should get a fair crop this year, though they are still little trees.

Quinces have beautiful, showy flowers. I don't know the variety, I just took a cutting from a very old tree in an abandoned orchard a couple of years ago. It will be interesting to see what the fruit turns out like.

What nobody tells you about market gardening

1, Your life will revolve around the weather
2,  A majority of the conversations during your meal time will be about farming. Farm talk will become table talk anytime you are sharing a meal with others.
3, You WILL find random things in your laundry. It's a common thing to find bean seeds rolling around in my pockets, plant tags in the washing machine and weed burrs stuck in my socks (which fall off throughout the house).
4, Your trips out of town usually involve some sort of farm business... Whether you are going by the hardware store or to stop and look at "insert piece of equipment here", you never just go to town without doing some sort of farm business.
5, Weeding never stops. every time you finish weeding a bed and go inside for a cool drink, you come back outside to find the same weeds magically covering that bed again.
6, The more valuable the crop, the more pests love it.
7,  After a while you don't bother to change out of your stained clothes to go down the street.
8, You can spend a glorious morning stomping snails but if you cut a worm in half with your spade you can't forgive yourself all day.
9, Seeing the first ladybugs of the season have you smiling all day.
10, You love people dropping in unannounced, it gives you an excuse to stop weeding.

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