Sunday, January 1, 2017

A new year and a new beginning on the farm

I'm Baaaack

And a happy new year to you all. I hope you have a great one :)

I am loving the mild summer weather we have been having, that is a first, lol. Usually I start every post off with a rant about the weather. Up til now it has been fairly cool with only a couple of days touching 40 c. In a few days it will get to those temps again but I am happy if we just keep getting a couple of hot days then cool ones, rather than our usual weeks of hot weather at a time.

I am very hopeful for the year to come on the farm. After the drought, then floods, then such a cold spring that all my planting was 2-3 months late so all my cold sensitive plants were a write off, I am still happy and even though I have to start again with no seed to sell to speak of I think things will get a lot better. Even though I have little in the ground and won't have sany seed to sell next winter I can see the next seed harvest after that as a great one.

I am having an open day in Feb. Normally I would expect that the farm would be overflowing with ripening beans, melons, capsicums and pumpkins, this year I think I will be showing everyone what happens when everything goes wrong - and that is important too.

My first seed grown loquat has ripened its fruits. They are pretty good, not quite as good as its parent and a bit more seedy but still worth keeping. It is not as 'apricotty' as the mother tree but still sweet and my parents were impressed too.
I really like loquats and the trees are nice to look at also. They stall green and lush all year round.

I have started hand pollinating the miserable few melons that managed to survive the cold. These are the tomato clips I use to close the male and female flowers that I will be using the next morning. I go out the night before and put clips on the flowers that will be opening the next day so the bees don't get to them first.

All the melons are looking very poor but I don't have much seed so I have to hope they each produce at least a couple of melons.

 The farm is looking weedy but very bare with so few plantings surviving. At least I will be starting to put in the brassicas in a couple of weeks and that will fill it up.

The cool weather has allowed the weeds to explode and having a lot of bare beds means that I can get them under control before the new plantings go in.
There are still so many weed seeds in the soil after years of neglect that it will take a couple of years before the place looks neat.

The last seed of the few brassicas that survived the wet are getting harvested. This is a small, red cabbage called 'kalibos'. In a week I will have it all in and I can chop down the old plants.

One of the great things about the cold and wet weather we have had is the proliferation of frogs I am finding among the plants. I have to be careful harvesting the seed.

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