Sunday, 21 October 2012

Garden update, Gertrude and vegetables

I seem to have been getting behind with the garden, its updates here and life in general.   Today I went to see the music in the main street and then came home to cut wood, collect kindling and pick beans, but there is more happening here.  I came home to water the vegetables as well... with Gertrude watching and from her vantage point, she could also watch the neighbours...
 ...  she is standing (precariously) on the edge of a bathtub that has been used previously as a feed or water trough for a pony.

The pond is beginning to be healthy again.....


My second planting of beans is doing well.  The birds pecked the leaves from my first attempt.  (This year is very dry and difficult,  so I can't blame them) but I have planted the next lot under wire netting....
 ... and they are emerging, safely protected from the birds....


Other crops are doing well,  and at this time of th eyear,  the garden looks quite "suburban" and organised.  Here is the garlic and some of the potatoes....
 leeks and baby beets....
 Teh bird bath surrounded by various salvias and borage (which is everywhere)...


... the newly planted summer stuff....

zucchinis are ready to produce... there are tiny female flowers already....


the broad beans are still going.  I have been eating them, freezing them and I am now ready to leave enough for next year's seeds.

Seeds are also forming on the kale.  This is the "black kale"  (Tuscan kale or Cavolo nero) and is one of two kinds that I grow.   The other is Russian kale and that seems to be less invaded by green caterpillars  of the "cabbage moth" variety.  I didn't collect seed from that this year.  I have only an acre and if both kinds go to seed at the same time,  I can't manage seed production.   Next year I will collect Russian kale seed, and then decide whether to persevere with both varieties.  We'll see.


Kapunda Celtic Music Festival 2012

I attend the music festival every year, and this year was no exception.  I love live music, and it (almost) doesn't matter which genre it belongs to,  i love to see people making music in the real world.  This doesn't mean to say that I don't enjoy recorded music and that I don't download whatever I want from iTunes,  but I really love live music.  Today that was re-inforced wonderfully.
I went to the Kapunda Celtic Music Festival... free music in my own town.  Yesterday I saw the Fiddle Chicks and a couple of other groups... they were wonderful.. and today... the Bearded Gypsy Band!
I hadn't even planned to take photographs,  but these are too good...

The venue is a tent in Hill Street....  and a bit precarious at times...  though the weather was kind today...

... the mandoline player...
 ... and then he played the violin....

The bass player sang... the song was one that he had written....

The guitarist was amazing....


and the drummer (apparently the drummer varies at times)...she was not only incredibly competent,  but  obviously enjoyed her role as well.  I know that the performers' enjoyment is probably not the point of  the event,  but it certainly shows and adds to the audience's pleasure....

The fiddler/mandoline performer was the most intersting though... dancing through his performance in sock clad feet....  notice the blue and yellow striped sock here....
 announcing items and playing beautifully.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Blog action day 2012... the power of we.

Blog action day is an interesting phenomenon.  It is supposed to be a day when blog writers publish a post on a particular theme, and this year it is "the power of we."  

In the past there have been themes such as water, climate change, poverty and food.   While the grammar leaves something to be desired (surely it should read "the power of us") the idea makes me think of community.

I have been actively involved in community and political work for many years, and I have made significant progress here and there... in local government, volunteer work, state-wide elections and in national elections, but the most rewarding involvement (for me) has been my election as councillor at Light Regional Council where I was able to be involved in, and to help my own community.   Much of the work in local government is in policy making and in committees where planning and policy are discussed and recommendations for the council prepared.  This is a place where it is possible to make a significant contribution to the community.

Projects in which I have had a significant influence, along with other people,  are the "community garden" and the "men's shed" and both of these have increased the feeling of community in Kapunda.  Both of these places are particularly good at involving older people with school students and "loners" with our more gregarious citizens... and this, to me is the real meaning of community.

Our town is big enough to have everything that one needs....  even a live theatre venue... and a serious lack of public transport has made it just a little bit more self contained.  It is still the case that if one is having a bad day,  a trip to the post office can cure it all....  the walk along the main street means a series of conversations with friends and neighbours and the kind of community support that changes one's day.

As life in the 21st century becomes more difficult with respect to those other issues (water, climate change, poverty and food)... and it surely will,  community will be the remedy, or at least the support that many of us need.





Thursday, 11 October 2012

Rain brings rosellas

I merely needed to mention the dry garden to bring a weather system from the south with wind, rain and cold temperatures.  We had 15mm overnight last night and more today.
As I walked across the yard on my return home this afternoon,  the rosellas were back at the nest hole in the gum tree.  I've been back out with the camera,  but they're not there now.
I do think that it's the rain that changes their attitude to nesting.  I'll be checking again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dry weather and spring flowers.

I hadn't realised how long it was since I'd posted here.  I have been adding a few photographs to my facebook page,  and somehow the blog has been hibernating...  I have been very busy.
At this  time of year,  there are still quite a few vegetables to pick and patches of garden to be mulched. We have had very little rain,  even comp[ared with "normal" years.  The amount currently is running at about two thirds of the annual rainfall,  and winter is over.  The spring has been quite dry and I have had to water vegetables quite regularly.
I have been planting some new seedlings (from thte nursery) and, with the dry weather, I am being very careful just what I am planting, and where.  I have already commented that I now grow most food during the winter and put some away for the summer.  Much of the garden is watered and heavily mulched for the summer.  This preserves the micro-organisms that grow in the soil and that can be killed by the heat during the summer.  I have described this before, here.
Spring has been very variable this year.  Some days have been hot and dry and windy, some have been quite cold (though no rain!) and on one night lately I heard the pump running for quite some time... that is an indication that the temperature is low enough for the hot water system to drain itself to prevent frezing.  It wasn't actually freezing, but cold enough during the night that I turned the water to the house off.
Today though, it it lovely outside, and the seedlings are looking healthy (cucumber, tomatoes, jalapenos, eggplant, carrots, beans.)

My favourite rose is flowering...
 ... this is actually a climbing rose,  though a friend "pruned" it a while back and so it is looking like a bush at the moment.  The flowers are still lovely.

The third orchid flower has turned out to be yellow....
 ...  it is spectacular.

The borage continues to flower.  I have been collecting seeds from the borage but the other intersting thing to notice is the colour of the flowers as the season goes on.....
 ... I have noticed this before and I'm not sure why this should be so.  As the plant ages,  there are a number of pink flowers on most bushes.

The quince tree, still tiny, is flowering.  The flowers are pale pink when they open,  though these have faded already.


The coriander has now mostly gone to seed.  The flowers are still around and the hover flies are busy, but the seeds are forming.


Among the onions and leeks, I found three tiny poppy plants today.  These come up every year, and seem to be multiplying....
 ... the tiny flowers are lovely....


Inside, the sauerkraut is ready....
.... I'll be looking for goatmeat sausages (or lamb if I can't find any) to have with some of it.