Saturday, June 8, 2013

In the garden - June '13

 Over the past week we've had an unbelievable dumping of rain and our first proper frost for the year. Some days I have had two fires going inside in an effort to keep both ends of our house warm - when did it become a luxury to have dinner in a warm kitchen? I don't really know but it's ooohhh, so nice!! I sometimes recall the days when we lived in a house with central heating and how we regulated the warmth with the press of a button. Did we appreciate the instant warmth as much as we should have? Probably not, but gee, if we had it again now, I can be certain we would!

Outside, the ground is wet and the air is cold. Here is a glimpse at what's happening in our garden..

Little chooks are happy, two silkies and two hatchies from over summer - I can't believe my luck - I think the two hatchies are both hens! Small hens, but hens nonetheless. The black and tan two tone hen was originally all black and has changed colour as her feathers have grown. She was originally called Midnight, but with her change of colouring, I have been thinking of her as 'Eclipse' of late. 

Garlic is up!

And self sown silverbeet always seems to be around. We love it in a curry or frittata and any excess gets torn up and tossed to the chooks..

Our comfrey is on the way out for the season. Such a great addition to the veggie patch, being a plant tonic, compost activator and natural healer for bumps and bruises.

Something has been eating my kale!
 I have a feeling it's the three pesky swamp hens that have been hanging around lately, they have even demolished the kale in the hugulkultur bed way out the front. I hope it comes back!

Perennial leeks are calling out to be thinned and replanted. I know that with a little bit of growing room they will fill a gap in our garden over winter and provide us with virtually maintenance free offerings for soups and casseroles.

 The broccoli (in said bed waaay out front) are going amazingly well. I am very impressed with our harvests this year, which I'm putting down to the hugelkultur bed and timing the planting right..

Cauliflower on the other hand is taking much longer, as expected. I'm a little worried that the recent rains have spoiled the developing heads.

Rocket is always welcome and this is the season it grows so well. I love it when my girls race off to pick some while making their lunch, they just love to stuff it into chicken and salad wraps! Me? I just love to munch it any old time in passing..

Call me the chicken girl who chickened out. Delaying our home harvested chicken dreams for now (after the processing facility closed down!), I gave away our two excess roosters that hatched over summer, leaving us with one handsome Barnevelder fellow and a hen to add to our flock. There were no shortage of takers for the roosters, all of which I assumed would be heading to various pots but assured they would be going into enhancing flocks! Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to tackle home chicken processing....maybe one day..

With frosty mornings comes glorious sunny days and rolling the sleeves up to catch the sun is a must! Even if it's cold out there!

 I hope you manage to catch a little sun this weekend! 

What's happening in your patch? 

17 comments:

  1. You had me chuckling chicken lady, love the eclipse. We've got garlic up and smiling too. Waiting for seeds to emerge, had to dig up a broad bean to check they are happy, germinated and only a cm from seeing the light. Think I may be aslowlearner on the spinning front.

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  2. Your garden looks great! I think I have those perennial leeks, but not being sure, I'm too scared to eat them! I haven't had much time in the garden lately but the sun is coming up now and it looks like being a beautiful day. I plan to do a little work in the house and get myself out into the garden for a lovely afternoon!

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    1. Beautiful sunshine this weekend, isn't it Linda!

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  3. Most of my garlic last year was eaten by aphids. I've planted lots this year in wicking pots and every morning on my way out to work I scan them, looking for little black spots on them.
    So far, so good.

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    1. Oh, thanks for the tip, Frogdancer, I'll be sure to keep a look out for any aphids on our garlic now!

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  4. Ahh, nice! Always like to see what's happening in the other hemisphere, and finally it's our turn up north to have the sun :) Just posted today in fact a full inventory of everything I'm growing up here in Oregon, USA !

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    1. Ahh, enjoy that sun in your parts, EcoGrrl. :)

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  5. Lovely photos. I had never heard of perennial leeks so must investigate. Have you ever heard of Flower Sprouts? It is the latest vegetable being a cross between a brussels sprout and kale, producing little flower-like kale tops where the brussels used to be. Have a look at http://www.flower-sprout.com. I've got a few growing in my veg garden at the moment but they are only a few inches high so far. Here in Canada I have just planted out my tomatoes and cucumbers, and sowed my beans, corn etc. We have a very short frost-free season.
    David

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    1. Ohh, flower sprouts sound fantastic, David!! I will be keeping an eye out for them here, thankyou!

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  6. I'd take an open fire any day. We have central heating but it's in the ceiling of all ridiculous places. Even more ridiculous because it's an old house with super high ceilings. So the heat hovers way up high and never comes down to where we need it!

    The garden looks fabulous Christine. I could eat that broccoli raw.

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    1. Yep, high ceilings and heaters don't mix, Lisa. We use our ceiling fan more during the winter months than summer!

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  7. Hi
    Sure your kales not been hit by Rats ? My kale ( and cabbages) in my inner city Melbourne garden look similar & in my case its definitely rats coming from a derelict house close by .
    Am looking at building a cage for my brassicas - sick of planting them for the rats to chew on.
    Garden looks great
    Jill

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    1. Hmmm, it wouldn't be out of the question, Jill. We have big trees nearby that bush rats reside in..perhaps it could be them. I am going to have to get out there and net the bed! Best of luck with your brassicas. :)

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  8. Christine, I bought an organic comfrey plant at the feed store yesterday, and thought of you :)

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  9. Mmm, I can relate to your feelings about the chickens. We cooked our first home-grown chicken last month. It was an old laying hen. It was tough physically and emotionally. I traded some of the parts in exchange for the slaughter and prep. I'm not quite that brave yet. Now we also have some three young males to deal with. (Three roosters from four eggs and two broody hens) I'll have to pluck up the courage to cook them too.

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  10. My vegetable garden I starting to bloom now. Still planting seeds this weekend. I live in Croydon, Pa. USA Herb garden doing good to.

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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