Sunday, 17 July 2011

Computer issues and gardens in winter

It's a whole week since I have posted here,  but not for lack of trying.  My problem is that I usually rely on photographs to explain what is happening in the garden, and recently, my computer can't cope with any more information in its hard drive (I keep getting warnings about its lack of memory) and my camera doesn't seem to be able to send photographs to it.

However, the garden continues to produce and we eat well.  Over the past week, the last of the baby lambs are in the paddocks, the grain crops are all green and tall enough to wave in the wind and the first almond blossom is out.

This winter, so far, is much colder and wetter than usual.  The rain is very much appreciated, but the cold is slowing things down considerably.  Currently, in my garden, I have plenty of cabbage, broccoli, and an assortment of root vegetables...  beets, carrots and potatoes.  Meals are often long-cooked soups or stews on the wood stove which heats the kitchen at the same time.

I have been checking out the Digger's catalogue for new seeds that I'll begin to plant as soon as the weather  warms the soil.  One is supposed to wait until it's comfortable to sit "bare bottomed" on the ground before planting seeds directly into the garden.  I won't be testing the ground with my bottom, but since the garden soil has become more "organic" I have found that it warms up more quickly.  The texture of the soil with extra organic matter is "lighter" and the colour much darker.  Perhaps the darker soil absorbs more heat, or perhaps the micro-organisms produce a little bit of heat during their own metabolism, but one way or another, in the springtime, as soon as the days become sunnier, the soil warms up very quickly....  all ready for the new season.

Today, it is gently raining, and between showers I will collect the vegetables for soup.  The rest will be bacon bones, preserved tomatoes, some beans and peas and barley and later I'll make some bread to go with it.  I'm warm in here by the fire and the house is comfortable but I really am looking forward to spring.

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