It is Christmas Eve. Preparations for Christmas are all complete, or should be.
I won't be seeing any of my children this Christmas... the same as usual... but I know that they are all ok, and that is the best news.
I have been preserving fruit today. It occurred to me that it is quite different here (compared with my years in the northern hemisphere) where the summer fruit season coincides with the preparations for Christmas... Christmas preparations here are always mixed up with Christmas baking and some serious cooking... turkeys, stuffing and puddings.
This year I am going to be elsewhere for the main "dinner" and so I am able to concentrate on fruit and its preservation.
I dealt with the cherries yesterday.
Today... it was apricots and nectarines...
... and, while I haven't finished all of them, I have done quite a lot... and the nectarines are looking good...
Outside, the garden is healthy too. These tomato plants, while not producing yet, are doing well. The row on the left were planted before I left for Santa Cruz. They had a hard time and looked very "sick" when I arrived home again. They had survived a couple of weeks of unseasonal 40+ weather... but at least they survived. I gave them a dose of seasol and some "blood and bone" when I returned and they are looking healthy and well. The newer plants are also looking good. The extra fertiliser will probaby delay fruit production, but there'll be more in the long run.
The jicama plants are coming along slowly. Behind them are some climbing beans... all looking healthy. The interesting thing now is that there don't seem to be as many earwigs. they gave me so much trouble earlier in the season, but seem to have been defeated by now.
The newest "horta" patch...
... this has plenty of coriander, and a number of other herbs and spices from the spice shelf, but these big leafed plants are mung beans... I have no idea what I'll get from these, but they seem to be incredibly happy, healthy and prolific.
And finally the zucchinis...
I usually grow these much sooner than this time of the year, but having been away when I would normally have planted them... and then waiting until the weather prediction indicated a few days of less than 40C, the timing was a bit odd, to say the least. But here thet are and looking good. If these prove to be as healthy all the way along, I'll be looking at a very different strategy for planting from now on.
Much of the information that I have been reading for years does not appear to be supported by the evidence here!
Tomorrow is another Christmas day! and I hope that it's happy for all of my family.
I was interrupted in writing this by a phone call from one of my children... made my day!