Wednesday, November 18, 2015

There's lots happening on the farm at the moment

Sometimes I am grateful for the hot days as they give me an excuse to sit inside for much of the day. I still get my work done as I go out to work as the sun comes up and that is around 6am at the moment and work till it gets hot, then go out in the evening for a couple of hours of watering.

I love working for myself as I can set my own hours and I don't like to exhaust myself, I just potter around moving from job to job as I like. It is nice to be able to choose what I do and when.

.... Excuse me, I just has to pause writing to watch activity out the window. We have a little cherry tree out on the lawn and the starlings learn how to get the cherries every year so we don't get any. Well, I was watching one flying against the bird netting until its body weight brought the netting close to a cherry, then it grabbed the fruit and wiggled until the fruit dropped. Then the bird dropped to the ground and got the net in its beak and wriggled it around until the net uncovered the fruit. It got its prize with a lot of work and ingenuity. Good on it I suppose....

 Ok, back to it. I am in the middle of harvesting my tronchuda kale and Italian root cabbage seed. Covering the plants with shadecloth mostly worked to keep the birds off so I am going to have plenty of seed.
I am also harvesting white alpine strawberry and snapdragon seed now, and am nearly finished the broad beans.

Next year I am going to have to buy a mouseproof shed and work out how to make it into a seed drying shed as I will have a lot more seed and I can see that I will not be able to dry it all as I am doing with the small amount of seed I am getting this year.

I have started getting my first melon flowers now. It always makes me feel good. I can't wait to be chowing down on juicy melons.

With having to grow more melons and pumpkins etc I will have to get help with the seed collection. I am thinking of offering the fruit to people free as long as they return the seeds.

The neighbour of D block decided to remove the trees that were sheltering my tamarillos so they are all exposed to the summer sun and frost now.

It will be interesting to see if they survive the summer, and if they manage to fruit in the heat. The fence behind in this pic is 7 feet tall so you can see how big the plants are.

Since Vivid choi is so strongly flavoured I have doubts that any company will want the seed to after wondering weather to just not grow it, and after a bit of conversation on a forum I decided to start selecting it for the bulbous roots which are much milder in taste, actually delicious.
This plant often produces small 'bulbs' but I might be able to improve on that. This is a picture of after I have finished my selection process, it looks like a bomb has hit it.

These are some of the smaller roots that I tossed. There are better ones to keep.

I started with eighty plants and ended up with 28. I kept plants that had nicely swollen roots like this one.

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