Monday, 4 February 2008

Getting roots

Some of you may recall an emailed tome entitled "How to get a screw in Dar es Salaam" (which the benefit of recent recruits was about punctures) so will not be disappointed to find that this is about gardening. It will at least start off with crops from below the ground, thus justifying the juvenile attempt at humour in the title.

We purchased a fair range of 'upmarket" seed potatoes and then spent $50 on straw to get them heading in the right direction. There was initially some concern that the selected planting spot was too wet for them after a couple of plants chucked wobblies and Frances found some rotten tubers. However when we actually got to dig them up (very late January) most of them were in most bodacious shape and condition. The image is the produce from one of 8 rows, and weighed 14Kgs. This was one of the heavier yielding varieties: my guess would be that we got close to 50kgs in total.

The first lots of carrots we grew in what we refer to as the dog run, since that is what the area was before we moved in. This means that the soil was essentially as nature intended, rather than the imported and well worked over stuff in the rest of the veggie patch. as a result the carrots were weird shapes and rather short. Now we are working in the good deep soil we are getting much nicer results in the carrot department.

Things are also happening above ground. We got a packet of mixed pumpkin seeds and these were planted in another part of the vegie patch. They seem to have done rather well although these green jobbies looked as though they may have emulated the sharks (from West Side Story) and got a social disease. In fact the analogy ain't too bad since it turned out to be skin deep, and the insides were very amenable to being turned into excellent soup. There are also orange ones, green ones and Queensland blues still growing.

Of course the pot plants on the verandah continue to bloom. This is a tuberous begonia we acquired for a fairly steep price at a garden show in Melbourne. The size of the flower can be assessed in comparison to Frances arm: it was so heavy it broke the stem of the plant!

In addition to this cultivated stuff we have got several feeds of field mushrooms from the top paddock and the blackberries are now ripening. Picking them (so far we have collected 2.3kgs and there is a lot more to come) not only gets us some nice fruit to freeze for Winter but also stops them from propogating. However, it does mean that we will keep at least a small patch of blackberries for this purpose. That was written on 6 February: we got another 2kg on 8 February and 3kg on 9 February. Since the freezers have already got a good supply of broad beans and basil, we are beginning to run out of storage! The image (to the right for a change) shows most of the Ey family and Frances picking another 3 - 4 kgs for consumption in (Upper) Weston.

No comments: