Pesky possums*

* Warning: alliteration ahead!

Pesky possums have been a part of life in Melbourne for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house next to a park, so we always had possums playing. They loved to chase each other around the roof, sounding like marauding hordes. Then there is the unholy scream they make, enough to chill your bones.

I well remember one time when we were woken by our dog, Galahad barking on the front verandah. We had long ago dropped the “Sir” from his name, as he did not live up to his gentle, ethereal namesake. So image our surprise to find that a baby possum had ousted Galahad from the door mat and was keeping this big dog at bay. I felt sorry for this wee, frightened creature and went to pick it up. My reward was a bite on my finger, and later a tetanus injection that hurt more than the bite! From memory the possum scampered off, and probably grew up to be one of the marauding hordes on the roof.

Then I moved to my own house and I would listen smugly to gardening shows where there were inevitably complaints about possums.

“The possums have eaten all my rosebuds. What can I do?”

“The possums eat the rind off the lemons and leave the fruit to rot. What can I do?”

“The possums…..” “The possums….”

I say smugly because I didn’t have pesky possums. My roses and lemon tree had many other problems, but not possum problems. However, the Gardening Gods do not like smug gardeners…….and you know where I am going with this……..

Yep, I have possums, pesky possums.

My pesky possums are not pilfering the roses or the lemons (and that is not smugness ~ just give them time!). No they are plundering the vine.  And this is a problem because it is one of our main forms of summer cooling.

You may remember me talking about the vine before. We have ceiling fans rather than air conditioning, and rely on the vine to cover and shade the eastern side of the house. It’s been a great system as the morning sun doesn’t get a chance to beat into the house. But now the possums have come to play, and they just love to nibble the new shoots of the vine down to little nubs.

The weather has been hot this November ~ 36º today. We seem to have gone straight from the cold of Winter to the heat of Summer, without Spring in between. We are missing the covering of the vine.

So, I am trying to out-fox the pesky possums. Surely with some human ingenuity and the rampant growth of the vine I can get the tendrils up the wires. My thoughts are that if I can overwhelm the possums with young shoots some of them will sneak past and take hold. Armed with a ball of string and a rake I have been tying and training, trying to keep the young shoots away from places where the possums can reach out to take a nibble.

This is the state of the vine:

If you look hard you can see the string amongst the tangle of tendrils.

At the moment I think it is nil all, but it’s only half-time! And a long hot Summer ahead of us. I will let you know the final score!

Other gardening news….

It is time for the jacarandas to flower. Again I have written about them before.

I have had a delightful volunteer in the front garden, in among the onions!

A red poppy was a delightful surprise, and I wonder where she came from.

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Autumn

Autumn may be my favourite season but it’s like picking a favourite book. However, I do love Autumn. I love how it encourages us to wind down from the heat of summer, to enjoy the rain and the chilly nights, to see the world changing.

It is also a good time to garden. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, and there is enough rain to encourage you to believe that the plants will settle in okay. The soil still has some Summer warmth, and our Winters are mild enough to let plants burble along until the burst of Spring.

I cleaned out the summer vegetables, and prepared the soil for a winter crop. This was mainly compost and warm castings.

 

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Cabbages and brussel sprouts, with onions in the background. Over by the fence is the currant bush.

Now the cabbages are starting to look like cabbages. I spent time yesterday rubbing the eggs of the cabbage moth from the back of the leaves.

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We chopped back the rosemary bush and offered sprigs to the neighbourhood.

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The spring onions, pak choi and spinach are all holding their own.

The seeds for the pak choi and spinach were a gift from Hanna and Al, to thank us for coming to their wedding. If you know Hanna you will not be surprised to hear that these little tags were all hand-created by her, with some input from Al, I am sure!

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The silver beet (chard) is begining to flourish now that it has come out from under the beans. (Who knew there was any way to slow down the growth of silver beet?!)

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Work has gone on in the very neglected back yard. For a few years now it has been left to its own devices, it is time to wrench back a bit of control. I have been planting beside the fence…..a grevillia (Robyn Gordon) and a little eremophilia vernicosa. This is described as a delightful small shrub with pink flowers in spring, drought tolerant and good for heavy soils. What more could I ask for?

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The tiny leaves of the eremophila

Also planted is a ground cover, Helichrysum argyrophyllum. It has lovely everlasting daisies from early Summer to Autumn. Behind it is a small tea tree, Leptospermum scoparium. It sounds quite spectacular with pink flowers that cascade from Spring to Autumn, with narrow leaves that provide a dramatic backdrop. (Well, that’s what the label says!)

 

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Next to them are two roses, ‘Red intuition’ and a white Iceberg. The Iceberg is very special as it was grown from a cutting for me by my sister

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There is more work to do in the back. I have a big bush to remove and more plants to plant. They won’t get in the ground now, so will have to wait until the soil warms up in Spring.

I want to leave my Autumn theme with a little poem, or a blessing. It is by one of Australia’s unique treasures, Michael Leunig, from his little book “When I talk to you”:

Autumn

We give thanks for the harvest of the heart’s work;

Seeds of faith planted with faith;

Love nurtured by love;

Courage strengthened by courage;

We give thanks for the fruits of the struggling soul,

The bitter and the sweet;

For that which has grown in adversity

And for that which has flourished in warmth and grace;

For the radiance of the spirit in autumn

And for that which must now fade and die’

We are blessed and give thanks.

Amen

Trump

 

That title is deliberate. If you are sick of the whole election you can skim over this post. However, I am, like the rest of the world, and especially Donald Trump himself, trying to work out what happened this week and what the ramifications are. Not living in the States I can only understand the broad brush stokes of the election, not the fine details that are seen close up. But I can see that his victory has given heart to the Right Wing around the world. We saw Pauline Hanson and her cronies cracking open the champagne to celebrate on the steps of our Parliament; Marie LePen was jubilant, knowing that her Fascist movement has just been given an almighty boost.

Because of the time difference in Australia we watched the whole train wreck of an election in real time. Every time the maps and graphs were shown I was hoping that what I was seeing would change. There is always a happy ending….right? The princess gets saved, the murderer gets caught, the cavalry rides to the rescue. Not this time.

Now people are anxious and afraid, people whose lives are already affected by hatred, poverty and discrimination ~ people in the LGBTQ community, Muslims, people of colour, Latinos, women who need an abortion, women in general, migrants, those on food stamps and so the list goes on. To state the obvious, being President of the United States means that Trump’s decisions will affect the whole world. There are real concerns about climate change and humanitarian programmes.

The distrust with mainstream political parties and structures and feelings of hopelessness and alienation are common features around the world. Racism, homophobia, sexism, intolerance are pouring out through the cracks and being encouraged by the political right, both ‘respectable’ and extreme. But at the same time there are those who refuse to be cowed by intolerance, like the thousands have protested against Trump’s victory

While dismayed and concerned for the world, I have been heartened by the blogs I have read. Below are a few that have encouraged me to believe that humanity and inclusiveness are still strong values that are held dearly. If you have a post to share, add the link in the comments below.

In her pre-election post Alys showed me that Americans have an enthusiasm for democracy, and she has an official polling booth in her garage! Her post Dashed hopes sums up her despair. I love that her son wore black to school the day after. The comments are worth reading too.

Celia, who created the Fellowship of the Farmy over at The Kitchens Garden, is a New Zealander by birth but now lives in the US. In her very heartfelt post she writes about how her idea of Home and being Other has been brought into focus by the election. The comments on her post I am an immigrant need to be read as well.

Marina from Letters From Athens, puts the Trump victory in the wider global context in her post A general malaise  Follow the discussion in the comments too.

Francesca rightly points out that it is not the time to sit around anxiously navel gazing; it is a time to protest and speak out. Her post is A Saturday perspective.

Ailsa from Where’s my backpack? has challenged us to do something great. In her post, Great she has written the most amazing poem in response to Trump’s victory. It is worth reading just for that, but she goes on to say:

Do something great. What that involves is entirely up to you. Create something beautiful and share it with the world. Write something true from the depths of your humanity and share it with the world. Do something kind for someone in need. Embrace a different culture. Volunteer. Plant a tree. Tell someone how much they mean to you. Reach out to someone in your community you’ve never even noticed before. Try to understand someone else’s point of view. Learn something new. Teach your kids something new. Stand up to bullies. Protect those being victimized. Be brave. Be gentle. Be vulnerable. Nurture. Encourage. Forgive. Love. Shine.
❤

Many of us see that we are in a period of transition, of flux. However, the outcome of that transition is not predetermined. If we want this period of transition to be a transition back to humanity and inclusion then we need to act, to make our voices heard, to stand up for what we believe. How, where and when then become the questions to be answered, and I am still working through those.

But in the short term I am planting my veggie garden. It may seem an unusual thing to do in response but gardening is always soothing. When you plant a seed you are investing the future, and building hope.

As well, our vegetable garden is in the front yard and in full sun and full view of passerbys. It gives the Fella and me a chance to chat with others and strengthen community bonds. I know that others have been inspired to try their hand at some veggies too. So our garden is growing trust and hope as well as potatoes and tomatoes ~ well I hope so!

[Below are some photos of the work in progress. The plants by the fence are from the Last Chance section of our local nursery; slightly battered, but at half the price. The wooden planks are to make edging for the beds and came from our neighbour’s hard rubbish pile. The potatoes are very wizened because they have been sitting around for a couple of months. Even the worms benefitted, as they got the cardboard nursery tray!]

In my kitchen

In my kitchen in February was produce from the garden. Of course, being home grown, there is an abundance of the same ingredient. While it is lovely to have, you do have to be inventive to come up with different ideas!

Firstly there has been corn. I am amazed at how easy it was to grow. My vegetables grow in the front yard and I planted the corn by the side fence. It must have been the perfect spot ~ that and the Fella, who loves to make sure the area is well watered. (We call him the Undergardener, but lately he has been the one keeping everything going!)

Of course, when you have super fresh corn you only have to boil it for a few minutes, add butter and a sprinkling of salt and enjoy. A favourite of children as well!

 

I have made chicken and corn soup, which would have been better with proper stock, and corn fritters. These worked well. I cut the corn off the cob, added some finely chopped capsicum and chopped roquette, which is also growing well in the garden. Then I mixed in flour and an egg to bind, and fried lightly.

 

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I am going to try a herbed corn soup tonight with the last few cobs.

After they have been pulled out the corn plants go on giving. They make great compost and I have used a couple of the stalks to stake the begonia. Gotta love a plant that gives so much!

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There is an abundance of beans, super tasty when young and fresh and a treat as I picked them. Now they are becoming more fibrous. So I have been shelling them like peas, instead of cooking the pods. I have been tossing them into lots of things. I am thinking of making a dip. Any thoughts on how I would go about it?

Some of the pods are drying on the plants and I am collecting those seeds for dried beans in soups and stews.

There are eggplants too. One bush is rich, glossy and purple and the other is a heirloom variety that produces sensational stripy fruit.

Eggplant = ratatouille, of course. It’s a great dish, because it includes so many of the vegetables currently in season. I cooked up the eggplant, onion, garlic, a potato, capsicum, beans (of course!) with a tin of tomatoes and extra tomato paste. It was delicious just with a piece of toast.

Then I used the mixture the next night mixed with some cooked mince meat, added to a halved eggplant and roasted in the oven for a while. I do love these sorts of dishes, where I can just throw in a bit of this and an extra bit of that; no precision required!

Yesterday a little pot of sunshine was given to me. EllaDee, Kate and I (and the G.O. too. of course!) met up at the Botanic Gardens. We had such a lovely natter, and it was as delightful to meet these interesting, vivacious women as I hoped. EllaDee gave me a pot of honey that came from the area of NSW where she now lives. Doesn’t honey just sum up warmth and sweetness? Just like these wonderful bloggers ~ and the G.O. 🙂

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I am going to leave you with photos of the rampant beans and sweet potatoes. If the bean plants had been able to reach the sky I am sure that Jack, followed by a giant, would have come skidding down. Th plants had to be satisfied with wandering here on earth. The sweet potato is growing from remnants of last year’s crop. It will be interesting to see how many tubers, if any, are being produced. The strawberry plants have stopped producing, but are still flourishing.

A big thank you to Maureen from Orgasmic Chef. She has had a horror time lately, and yet still hosts the In My Kitchen series with such dedication. I wish her all good things over the next while.

What’s happening in your kitchen this month ~ or indeed in your garden?

Sustainable watering

Lately I have been very busy with my job at the holiday programme. I had forgotten how tiring it is to get up with an alarm at 6:00 and then work the day. I know that most of you do it every week day for much of the year, but it is a few years since I have done it full time, and I enjoy my leisurely mornings. I enjoy my holiday programme work too and it is a great way to keep a connection to kids. We do fun things. Last Friday we had Butterfly Adventures come to visit. The kids were able to feed monarch butterflies and see them close up.

I was able to find out something about monarch butterflies that had been niggling away in my mind. Were they the same species as the monarchs in North America? Apparently they are. Sam, the Butterfly Man, told me that in the 1800’s individuals were blown across the Pacific during huge storms, and colonised here in Australia. Of course this would have been happening over the millennia. The difference was that Australia had recently been colonised by the British who also brought plants that the monarchs need to feed on. So when they were blown across in the 1800’s they had food sources and multiplied here. As they  haven’t adapted to feed from native plants, they have not displaced native butterflies. [Do you know any more? Have I got this right? Happy to discuss with you.]

When I haven’t been at work or recovering, I have been busy with new ink feather drawings in my Etsy shop, and then all the attendant social media that goes with it. (Sorry that I haven’t been dropping by your blog to see what you have been up to.)

So, it was great to do something completely different on Saturday. The Fella and I went to a sustainable watering workshop.

I am lucky because my local council takes sustainability seriously. It supports a programme aimed at gardeners who want to grow their own food, create water wise gardens and attract wild life. I found out about the workshop through their My Smart Garden Programme website.

The Workshop was held at the Avondale Heights Community Garden. Avondale Heights is a suburb about 20 minutes from me, and is perched on the edge of the Maribrynong River. Apparently the area was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and his intention was to have community spaces, where the houses faced inward to these reserves. Unfortunately this didn’t happen and the houses were built to face outward to the road. However behind some of the back fences are open spaces, including the one that the community gardeners use. It is a lively space, with a number of flourishing garden beds.

After an introduction we were spit into two groups. One went with Karen to see a hands on demonstration of setting up a drip watering system. She was using piping that had holes along it in 30 cm intervals. Apparently this product doesn’t clog up with dirt, and you don’t have to physically punch the holes. It does mean that plants need to be planted close to the holes. Each hole allows 2 litres of water though in an hour. That is a good amount for most vegetables. You would need a longer time for fruit trees.

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The second group was with Scott, a passionate permaculturalist, who uses many permaculture principles in his garden. He was talking to us about using ‘free water’, such as the water that usually runs off drives when it rains or the overflow from the air conditioner. He advocated creating swales. A swale is a mound created to slow down the movement of water. Usually it is a mound of earth, but can also be branches or small rocks. The idea is that as the water is held behind the swale it soaks into the ground. It is stored there where you want it, rather than racing off into the storm water. They can be as simple or as complicated as you need. Suburban backyards probably only need simple designs. The trick is to understand where and how the water flows on your land.

A large soak was created at the end of the reserve. Scott explained how the depression and reed bed absorbed the water that would have run off down the drain behind. It had been planted it with plants indigenous to the area.

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I left with lots of information and lots to think about, especially how to preserve as much water as we can on our property. Grey water is something to consider. However there are health and safety issues involved with using this water, both for humans and the soil. While not the only issue for humans, it is important to remember to keep children and pets away from grey water. This link to lanfax labs has a lot of information.

Also it reminded me of watery habits I learnt and did during our long drought. There is still a need for those habits, such as using a bucket under taps for catching second hand water. We still do this in the kitchen to catch rinsing water, water from cooking vegetables etc. However I had stopped doing it in the shower. There is a good amount to catch while the water warms up.

What do you do to help keep your water on your property? Let the rest of us know in the comments.

Not only did we have two interesting speakers who willingly shared their knowledge and expertise, but we also got morning tea, with home made biscuits (!) and a BBQ at the end. As well we got a showbag to take home. Look at the goodies that were in the bag….

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In my kitchen, November

It has been wonderful to get back to the Vic Market this last month. There are many things to love about travelling, but it is difficult to find produce beyond the supermarkets. Then there is the issue of keeping it fresh. The fridge in the van works from three different energy sources — mains electricity, electricity from the battery and gas from the gas bottle. Each time we changed the setting we had to readjust the temperature control. Often things froze before we realised. Frozen strawberries are one thing, but frozen lettuce is not good, carrots went rather manky and cucumbers soggy.

Now the fresh produce from the Vic Market will stay in pretty good condition in the fridge. 🙂 As well I have been harvesting plump strawberries from the garden, often a decent handful at a time. That is if I can beat the snails and millipedes ~ and the little boy down the road who loves a strawberry snack!

Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015
Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015
Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015
Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015

The peas have been great too. I have been quickly boiling them with beans and asparagus, cooking them just enough to keep the crunch, then adding them to salad leaves, cucumbers and tiny tomatoes.

I have been trying to eat more fish too. I go through phases of not liking fish, but can usually always enjoy salmon. This recipe makes a tasty change from baking it.

Teriyaki salmon

Teriyaki sauce

1 cup of super dashi (I buy sachets of it and use one with a cup of boiling water)

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 tablespoon of mirin

1 tablespoon fresh ginger juice, made by squeezing grated ginger

1 tablespoon sake

  1. To make the sauce, add all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring quickly to the boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
  2. Place two salmon fillets into the saucepan and cook for about 10 minutes over a low heat. (The recipe actually says to fry the salmon in a frying pan for five minutes, before adding to the sauce. I prefer to put it straight into the the sauce and cook it a little longer.)

That’s it. So easy. The recipe came from Hideo Dekura’s Japanese cooking at home. It has good instructions for sushi rice too. No photos though, sorry.

In my kitchen I also have a yoghurt maker. We eat yoghurt every morning with fruit and muesli, and I had wondered about making my own. Then this one came my way. Thanks Denise!

The jars are so cute, and each one holds enough for the Fella and I to share in the morning. However, the batches so far have been quite runny. A Google search gave me some help, so I have been trying a few things. Apparently full cream milk makes a thicker consistency than skim milk, and I have added in three dessert spoons of powdered milk. So far the starter yoghurt has been shop bought, usually Greek and definitely unflavoured. I have done this because I am not confident that my yogurt would carry enough oomph to inoculate a new batch.

It’s quite edible as it is, but I would like it to be thicker. So, any thoughts would be most welcome.

What’s been happening in your kitchen lately?

The In my kitchen series is hosted by the wonderful Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. This month she is baking salmon and brownies (not together!) and her bread is as mouth watering as usual. Do go and have a look.

How does my garden grow?

Over Easter my garden decoration had a little help from the Easter Bunny. Miss C and Miss B came over on Sunday and it didn’t take them long to find the eggs!

Then we went inside an made hot cross bun. Well, they were more like hot buns, because we forgot the cross. They were quite tasty when they were warm, but neither the Fella nor I have wanted to eat the leftovers. The Fella (rightly) said that we could use them as door stops! I think the problem was that we had to rush to proving time. Still, the girls had fun, and that was the main object for the day.

What does my garden grow? Potatoes!

I love growing potatoes, and I am always so surprised at how many I can plant in my little patch in the front yard. I find them really easy to plant and they don’t require much looking after as they develop.

I can’t claim this as my own method. I learnt it from that fabulous Gardening Guru, Peter Cundall. How I miss him on Gardening Australia! At the end of this post there is a video of him using this method to plant potatoes right on top of lawn.

You will need certified seed potatoes, available from garden stores. [I got my potatoes last year for free. It was past the best planting time, so the nursery gave me the bag. The staff weren’t optimistic about my success, but the plants came up wonderfully! They are actually a funny, knobbly species, with tubers growing out of tubers.]

You will also need compost, or good quality extra soil, quite a bit of straw for mulching, animal manure and blood and bone.

I loosen up the soil in the potato patch and then place the individual spuds over the bed. They don’t spread very far, so about 40 cm apart seems to be fine. Don’t bury them, because the next step is to cover them all with a thick layer of mulch. Spread around the compost, add more mulch if you like. Sprinkle the blood and bone around. Then water in.

As the plants grow  add more mulch and compost, covering the new growth. Apparently potatoes will root at nodes and there is the chance of a bigger harvest from each seed potato.

The advantage of this method is that the tubers stay on the surface of the soil. When you harvest there is no need to dig. Simply pull back the mulch and compost and there they are, like a nest of Easter eggs!

There are a couple of disadvantages. Firstly, you have to keep the developing potatoes covered, otherwise they turn green and are poisonous. Secondly, you may miss some that have burrowed further into the soil. They will probably reshoot later. That’s fine with me — more free and unexpected produce. 🙂 However, some people might not like potatoes coming up on what is now a bed for different veggies.

For me the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Not only is it fun uncovering the new potatoes, but you can also ‘bandicoot’ them. That’s a Jackie French term meaning that you can burrow under the mulch, feel for the larger ones and harvest them. You don’t need to harvest them all in one go.

The other advantage is that all that mulch, compost and organic fertiliser has given you fantastic soil for the next crop of home grown deliciousness. Remember though, try not to plant potatoes, or any crop really, in the same place each year. That encourages a build up of disease.

I don’t have photos of the first stages, but these show them growing and then the harvest.

I love the flowers of the potato tribe. They are like interesting hats! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
I love the flowers of the potato tribe. They are like interesting hats! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
They are ready to harvest when the plant starts to die back and look ratty.  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
They are ready to harvest when the plant starts to die back and look ratty. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
Be careful  to fully cover the growing potatoes, otherwise they will go green.  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)
Be careful to fully cover the growing potatoes, otherwise they will go green. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2014)

As I said, these were a funny species of potato. However, I harvested 5 kgs from an area that is about 1.5 x 1.5 m.

And as Peter Cundall would say “That’s your blooming’ lot”!

How does my garden grow?

It is quite a while since I have talked to you about my garden (aside from reblogging an earlier post about the jacarandas in my street). That’s partly because I have had so many other things to write about, and partly because when I got home from the Flinders Ranges it was an overgrown jungle. How could there be so many weeds in such a small space?

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
How many weeds could there be? (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

Let me remind you that my vegetable patch is actually in my front yard, because that is the part of my garden that gets the most sun. It is a good size, about 3 x 2 metre. I have built up 4 beds and do my version of crop rotation. One of the advantages of veggies in the front yard is that you have all sorts of interesting conversations with the neighbours and people walking past. It makes it very easy to give away vegetables. I thrust broad beans on anyone who stopped for 2 seconds! 🙂 And we have had some generous donations in return, as you will see if you read on.

Once I conquered some of the weeds I found that I had a silver beet tower and a glut of  broad beans. I was forced to be inventive when cooking them, and wrote about some of the recipes here.

I thought we would have a break from silver beet…until a thoughtful  neighbour brought me some more seedlings. They could not be abandoned, so they have gone in, and are doing well.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

I had some strawberry crowns that were past their best. So I dug them up and replanted them on the street front, where the non-existent fence is, as well as along the path to the front door. They are doing very well. I love strawberries so much that I bought 2 more plants, one is ‘Red Gauntlet’ and the other is ‘Bonnie’, a white strawberry. Such sweet little flowers and delicious fruit — if we can get to them before the snails!

The neighbour who gave me the silver beet also gave me lots of tomato seedlings which are powering along. In the photo you may see a pumpkin leaf or two. It has come up out of the compost. Pumpkins tend to take over, so if it wants to stay it must be well behaved. There are also photos of potatoes. Would you believe me if I said that they were free too? When I went to the nursery to buy seed potatoes they told me it was past the time to plant them. However, I could help myself to the bags over there, for no charge. I had nothing to loose if they didn’t come up, so I planted them out. They all sprouted and are growing very well.

Next time I will tell you how to plant potatoes the easy way. And remind me to tell you about the sweet potato too.

I love the flowers of the Solanaceae family — tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants. They look like very fancy turbans, and are great fun to draw!

So, from mayhem to order, with a little help from the compost bin and worm farm and a lot of help from the Under Gardener (aka My Fella 😉 )

How does my veggie garden grow?

I was going to show these photos in my earlier post about Autumn in my garden. However, I was using the WordPress app for the first time and finding that adding photos was a little trickier than I was expecting. I can’t seem to add captions, and that surprised me.

Let’s begin anew, with apologies for any glitches in the last one and glitches that may be there in this one!

I have told you that my veggie garden, which is in the front yard, had been a waste land over summer. In March I dug and mounded and added compost. Then I planted. Look at what is coming up.

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Remember this silver beet that had been lingering in a pot? It is much happier now. Behind the 5 silver beet plants are rapa. Nope, I had never heard of it either. It is a relative of broccoli, but you eat the leaves instead. I will keep you informed.

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The leeks are not quite big enough for leek and potato soup, but they are doing well. That’s garlic growing behind. My neighbour told me today that she gets a severe reaction from garlic. Wouldn’t it be sad not to have garlic in your diet?

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The broad beans are also doing well. I planted more seeds about two weeks
after these poked their leaves through the soil. The idea is to crop beans over a longer period. Good idea only if you like broad beans!

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Lastly, the parsley is still growing strongly!