Archive for March, 2009

Early Autumn?

March 17, 2009

After a cool summer, sporadically broken by stints of >40°C, we have hit a period of coolness and…. yes, believe it or not… rain!

Just as all our reservoirs of water were reaching the bottom, we have had some nice amounts of precipitation that have almost filled the 4000Lt tank and all our 190Lt olive barrels.

The pumpkins are only now starting to really produce fruit, as are the eggplants.

Lebanese Eggplants

Lebanese Eggplants

The various pepper/chilli bushes are also fruiting, whilst the only tomatoes that are still producing are the Yellow Fig Dwarfs, and the self-seeded Cherry.

Various varieties of Peppers, including Jalapeno & Cayenne, an eggplant bush and the Watermelon vine

Various varieties of Peppers, including Jalapeno & Cayenne, an eggplant bush and the Watermelon vine

Now that the tomatoes on the north side of the chook pen have gone, the chilli bushes and the Boysenberry vines are really coming into their own.

Boysenberry and chillies next to the chook pen

Boysenberry and chillies next to the chook pen

With all the rain, we have also noticed some other self-seeded stuff:

Parsley that has self seeded

Parsley that has self seeded

Self-seeded Borage

Self-seeded Borage

Golden Cluster hops hanging from the front porch

Golden Cluster hops hanging from the front porch

The Hops are coming along nicely, and should be ready to harvest in a month or so.This lot are growing on a trellis on the front porch and is basically in almost full shade. This bine definitely faired better over the summer, and certainly has produced more flowers.

Cascade hops growing up a trellis on the northern side of house

Cascade hops growing up a trellis on the northern side of house

The cascade variety didn’t do very well, but then this poor plant got moved twice before the bines really had the chance to get nicely established. Just as it was getting used to growing up the trellis, along came the scorching summer sun, which really took out a lot of foliage and early flowers. But it has bounced back, albeit rather bare.

The lebanese zucchini are now providing us with plenty of fruit. Once these have done their thing, we figure we might start to plant herbs along here, so that their root systems don’t interfere with the roots of the citrus trees.

The Lebanese Zucchini amongst the citrus treesThe Lebanese Zucchini amongst the citrus trees
Vlitta: Leafy Amaranth growing amongst the Pumpkins

Vlitta: Leafy Amaranth growing amongst the Pumpkins

The Leafy Amaranth (Vlitta) is really happy, as are the Bush Beans. We have been happily picking and eating this wonderful substitute for spinach. Seed heads have started to appear, which means its time is running out. This plant definitely prefers warmer temperatures.

Our first crop of corn has not been so successful. Some of the cobs lacked kernels (shows poor pollenation), whilst others were either dry or tough and starchy. We haven’t had any luck with the beans we grew with the corns, but the Jap Pumpkin is now starting to do its thing. You can also see the Haas Avacado in the foreground, as well as a smattering of eggplants, beans, tomatoes, and peppers

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Seedlings: Genovese Zucchini, Beetroot, Parsely, Dill, Broccoli, Feverfew, and Qing Ma (TCM herb)

Seedlings: Genovese Zucchini, Beetroot, Parsely, Dill, Broccoli, Feverfew, and Qing Ma (TCM herb)

There are also the first batch of seeds that have been sowed, getting ready to transfer these seedlings into the beds that are being prepared now for the next couple of seasons: beetroot, carrot, broccoli, the last batch of zucchini (Genovese), and leeks; as well as some herbs such as Dill, Feverfew, and a Chinese Medicine herb known as Qing Ma.

The Fruiting Goji Berries

The Fruiting Goji Berries

The Goji berries are really starting to come along. I’m not sure how big these are meant to get, but I am hoping they get bigger, and I can’t wait to try them. Apparently, when they lose their leaves, this is the best time to prune them back, and this is the way to develop these plants into a hedge.

Marble & Bubbles alongside the Bush Beans and Pumpkins

Marble & Bubbles alongside the Bush Beans and Pumpkins

The ducks have grown considerably, and now that they have a lockable house for night-time, they are left to wander the garden freely to purge the place of the dreaded snail and slug population.

Eggplants, Rosemary, and Perennial Rocket, just in front of the Apricot tree

Eggplants, Rosemary, and Perennial Rocket, just in front of the Apricot tree

The lovely variety of Rocket that we stumbled along continues to grow, and we have collected plenty of seed from it. These eggplants tucked in amongst them and the Rosemary are only now starting to take off and fruit. The Avacado tree in the pot is of the Bacon variety, and is waiting to be planted into the ground near its Haas cousin. Its necessary to have two trees of different types (A and B groups) to encourage cross-pollenation, and double the yield of fruit.

With the cooler weather definitely coming on, we are getting ready to do some tree transplanting. Once the trees have lost their leaves, they will be pruned back to encourage good growth come spring.

Now is also the time for plants that prefer the cooler temps: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, leek, garlic, carrots, brussel sprouts, snow peas, broad beans, chard, kale, etc.

Our Garden in March 2009

March 9, 2009

When I go back through old photos of our place I am always amazed at what we have achieved in such a short time.

I also feel reassured that we could reproduce a functional garden anywhere and in a much shorter time frame.

Just remind us (and you) of where we started.

March 2007

March 2007

March 2009

March 2009

hidden behind the fence

hidden behind the fence

The Good Bug Garden 2009

The Good Bug Garden 2009

March 2007 there was no food, herbs in our front garden, in fact there was no life, even the ants had vacated.

What can you find in our garden now?

This isn’t a complete list but it is the best I can do on a Monday afternoon when I should be studying 🙂

As of March 2009 we  have;

Fruit Trees/Vines 26

A Tangelo Tree

A Drawf Peach

A Tahitian Lime

An Australian Lemon

Eureka Lemon

Kaffi Lime

2 Mandarin trees

A lemonade tree

2 standard Peach Trees

A Nectarine Tree

An Apricot Tree

A plum tree

A Tree Tomoto

A White Sapote

A Pineapple Guava

A Avacado – Hass

A Avocado – Bacon

A Navel orange

A Blood Orange

A Valentino orange

A red Passionfruit

A Banana Passionfriut

Goji Berries

Boysonberries

Grape

Pomegranate

Veggies/Annuals 23 this season

Zuccini, a number of varities

Okra

Pumpkin, a number of varities

Vlita (Leafy Amaranth )

Silverbeat

Beetroot

Carrots

Corn

Sunflowers

Onions

Garlic

Lettuce

Rocket

Eggplant

Rainbow Chard

Warrigal Greens (Native Spinach)

Taro

Rhubarb

Beans – too many types to mention.

Chickpeas

Potatoes

Hops – two types

Tomatoes

Herbs and others 20+

Chives – Onion and Garlic

Oregano

Sage

Basil

Thyme

Parsley – Italian and triple

Celeric

Mint – many different types

Chamomile

Rosemary

Feverfew

Scented  germanium

Corn Flower

Comfrey

Brahmi

Dill

Fennel

Self Heal

Tansey

Lucerne

Livestock

4 High Line Brown Hens

2 Indian Runner Ducks

millions of composting worms


Duck Update

March 9, 2009

It has been a very busy year and I haven’t the time to do a word blog but we would love to share some photos our newest arrivals to our urban farms.

Our newest arrivals

Day old babies

Day old babies

Saving Water

Saving Water

Nona's bath

Nona's bath

Two momth old indian runner ducks

Two month old indian runner ducks