Monday, 21 June 2010

Washing day and the winter solstice.

Today is the first day that it hasn't rained (sometimes only 1 or 2 mm) for about a week.  I'm doing the washing  It is hanging out on the clothes line and I'm hoping that it gets dry.  I have brought a few items inside to hang by the kitchen fire as I'm going to Melbourne for a couple of days  this week.  I need clean clothing for the city!
I have also made another couple of loaves of bread...  to keep everyone going until I get back.  And I have raided the garden for those vegetables that will need to be picked by the end of the week.
It is looking lovely out there in the very weak sunshine...  weak because the sun is so far north now... in fact it is just about as far north as it can go.  At 8.58pm  (my time)  tonight it will start the trip south again and the days will gradually become longer, the chickens will increase their laying and spring will be on the way.
Meanwhile, the peas are beginning to flower....
though I like the curly tendrils even better....
The first broccoli that I cut a few weeks ago has begun to produce its "side shoots"  of baby broccolis...
.....  and the jonquils are about to flower...
... one of my facebook friends commented that hers were already flowering a few days ago,  and so I have been checking these daily ever since.

Calendula (though no dark ones yet)...

These small seedlings are ones that I planted during the rainy days.  These are Tuscan black kale (my favourite) and a variety that I couldn't get seeds for this year.  I found these seedlings at the local nursery and planted them is a spare spot....
... they are looking healthy.

The first broad beans.... just two rows but these are in a more protected spot than most of them...
and the first three rows of garlic....
.... ubiquitous silver beet....
... chicories....  and these are looking really good now.  I'll be looking up Belgian endive recipes...  much the same...
... leeks...
... celery growing in a couple of chimney pots to make them tall...   I also have some "short" ones that are much bushier (I only have two chimney pots) that I have been picking and adding to soups and stews.
A flowering succulent plant down the back.  I was down there checking on the welfare of the baby fig tree and realised that the large leafed jade plant is flowering again.  I'm not an expert on these plants at all,  but this one has a similar form to the usuall smaller leafed jade plant that grows in other places in the yard and doesn't seem to flower as prolifically as this...
Two  rows of artichokes.  The large rows on the LHS are there from last year.  Each winter I take the biggest one and divide it into smaller clumps and so there are five new plants in the RHS row.


The insipid sun is doing its best to dry the wasing on the clothesline,  but I have brought the urgent items inside and ironed some dry....
... this is often the kitchen view in the winter.  I have three irons now,  though I still like the first two (the two on the LHS)  best.  I definitely need three though.

I have just taken the bread from the oven.  It has risen a lot,  and smells good.  The bread tin is quite long and makes one really big loaf.  I make it in two pieces and divide it before cutting.  I have usually added cinnamon and currants and some extra sugar to one end, though not today...  I'm not sure what the meals will be for the next few days.  But there will be plenty of bread and there are always "eggs on toast."
Only six hours to the winter solstice and counting!

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