Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More goings on in the blocks

I have been putting off posting as I am sick of having so few good things to talk about. I decided that even though it is hard this summer it does no good trying to ignore it, and next year when things are better I can look back over these posts and see that no matter how hard it gets it will get better.

 I am concentrating my efforts on the most necessary plants to get through the drought so some just have to do it on their own or die. Unfortunately it means watching trees die and having the strength to let it happen so I don't burn out.

Even some of the toughest, heat tolerant trees are dying like this feijoa. Luckily I have a few young feijoas on the seed block under irrigation so they are fine and I can replace the three in the garden at another time.
 I am just going to let the raspberries go. They are not taking the summers well, even when I cover them. I don't think I have been able to get any fruit for the past three years.

One surprising plant has been the Italian root cabbage. They love the heat. I sowed the seed a month or so ago and planted out the seedlings even though I was worried about the heat. They just say "give me more", even the ones that are not covered in the 40 degree heat. These are turning out to be my favourite vegetable. Not only are they delicious and tough enough to grow all year round in any conditions but when I pulled up the old plants that I had harvested seeds of, the ones that still had unrotten bulbs/roots were still good to eat - no sign of woodiness or fibre.

In the spring I bought 5 seeds of Chinese space chilli. Apparently a few years ago the Chinese sent a heap of seeds from various vegetables into space and the natural radiation of space caused a number of mutations in the seeds. After selection they chose the best mutated plants for commercial growing. This space chilli has very long fruits.

I managed to grow one plant and it has a few fruits on it (poking out the top in the pic), even though it has been very stressed with the heat. I can't wait for the fruits to ripen.

My Anasazi corn is starting to ripen. This is my favourite sweet corn.
With most sweet corn you would pick it at the stage I am showing in the picture - silks dead and the colours barely starting to show in the seeds. I have found that this stage is far too early for Anasazi, you need to wait till the kernels have matured but are not dry yet and the colours are fully out. This is when they are at their sweetest and best flavoured.
When you pic it too early it has no taste and is not enjoyable to eat. Luckily with this corn it never goes starchy even days after picking, and it is so sweet and flavourful that you would never grow another sweet after growing this one.


  1. The posts you do make, are all interesting and looked forward to. Sorry you're not having much luck with the heat.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Hopefully next year will be much better with El Nino moving on.

  3. Thanks for your comment. Hopefully next year will be much better with El Nino moving on.

  4. Any progress with the Chinese space chilli? What do they taste like?

    1. I think I bought mis-named seeds as the plant is producing pretty average sized fruits that are just starting to ripen now. Oh well, I was had - won't be the last time, lol.