Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Even colder

Last night was very cold.  It was frosty even before I went to bed at 10 pm.  I hung the socks by the stove in the kitchen to dry.
Having been woken up by the pump trying to keep the solar hot water heater filled,  I decided that it could empty and stay that way until the morning, so the water stayed off all night. It doesn't really matter and we can be sure that there'll be none wasted.
It was colder than usual.  
The potatoes have a few frost bitten leaves... not unexpected...
... though it's really patchy...
I have a council committee meeting to attend this evening,  so I made sure to get the weeds pulled, plants planted and crops picked early... 
I found a mizuna plant, self sown, so I weeded around it and left it in situ.  It's near where several of them did very well last year and they probably bring some interesting insects when they are flowering.  The flowers were small but a dark bluish purple...  just the kind that the bees would like.
I found the parsley that is to be the next crop of that also.  It's amazing what you find when you're weeding.  When the last parsley plants went to seed last summer,  I picked the top seedy part and stuck it in the ground in another spot.  I found the baby plants today, fighting among the other bigger plants.  I pulled out the self sown silver beet and flowers from around them to give them a bit of space.  Eventually when some of these go to seed,  I'll do the same thing again.  The never ending parsley.
You can still see the twiggy bit in the middle.  That is all that remains of the seed head.
The vegetables are growing bigger and it is a bit jungle like.  I weeded around these today. From the left I can see cabbages, leeks, kale and silver beet,  my path,  young cauliflowers and broccoli...
And here is what I picked today... broccoli, 2 cauliflowers, a cabbage, one beetroot, and two leeks.   I planted a lot of garlic, some peas (where the cauliflowers had been) and coriander (where the cabbages had been.)
The trick is to decide how to make such a combination into a meal.  It makes you look at some of the "peasant" food of various places and times quite differently.  Stirfried food can include lots of little bits (when there's not enough of any one ingredient to go around) and soups and stews, where you can incude whatever you have.  If you are really eating out of your own garden,  meal planning is quite different.  
Not only that, but if you want to pick food daily,  then you have to keep on planting.  I try to plant something everyday, though that's probably a bit extreme...   you certainly need to plant something every week...  and that's not too hard. 
Last weekend I planted some more onion transplants (thinnings from another row.)
Yesterday I planted about 8 shallots and six snow pea transplants. 
Today I planted about 80 garlic bulbs, 15 ordinary peas, and two handfulls of coriander seeds. 
There's not as much variety to plant during the winter,  though soon enough it will be time to plant seeds in trays ready for the summer crops.  Some of those need to start in August, though only inside at that time.

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