20 December 2011

Another first for us

When we moved up to Brisbane, everyone in our growers group was saying how fantastic the Rosella jam they'd made tasted this season, so it was time to try something else we didn't have in the Sydney garden.  We planted a few tiny seedlings and they seem to love the position as they are springing out of the ground now.
I've planted several either side of the fence between veggie patches 2 and 3 so as to create a permanent hedge and a bit of a micro-climate.  so far so good - and jam to boot!

Christmas watermelon

It won't be long now before we get to try some home grown Christmas watermelon.  Its amazing how they grow so quickly.
Having said that, when I was watering this morning, I saw one twice the size, looking almost ready to pick.  The leaves have become so dense with the recent rains that unbelievably, a watermelon larger than a soccer ball was hiding there.  And there are more than a dozen smaller ones too.  Christmas will be sweet....

09 December 2011

On my mind

Wandering down to the veggie patch this morning after several days of rain, and this is what greets me.  Great way to start a Friday....

Selena's great ideas

My friend Selena has a garden that is always worth visiting.  Over the last year or so she has turned what was a weed and privet infested rocky slope into a terraced wonderland of food.  Her last addition to the garden design is one I'm stealing with pride.  When you fence off veggie beds to keep chickens in or out, you come across the problem of gates.  You want to fencing to be sturdy but perhaps not permanent and you want to gate to open easily, which often need some serious structural work.  My last visit to Selena's showed me an picturesque but cheap alternative - buy a simple arch from a hardware store, grow a climber up over it and use it as the structure for a simple wire gate.  I don't have a photo of Selena's, but here is the version we've just put in. The first one is a new vegie patch and the second and third are established ones.

04 December 2011

Ridiculously excited

As we've moved from small suburban plot to acreage, we now have space to try some crops I've wanted to grow for a long time - water melon and rock melon.  And here are the first pictures
Its ridiculously exciting (but granted, that may just be for me)

After the drop

Now that we've got a bed of lovely green manure from the buckwheat and millet, we've planted our next crop.  We are growing a bumper crop of beans as we've been asked to supply some to a local restaurant, so outside of the beans we have growing up the corn and the fences, we've now put in more to grow up the sunflowers and two rows of butter beans where the buckwheat was.  As we've got nothing for them to grow up, we've built a little structure for them to grab on to.

03 December 2011

Three sisters

In permaculture, one of the classic guilds (a group of plants that you grow together as they are mutually beneficial) is the "Three Sisters".  This guild consists of corn, beans and pumpkin and was famously grown by Native Americans generation after generation. As the corn grows, it provides structure to support the climbing bean, and the pumpkin becomes a ground cover to stop the moisture drying out the soil, but doesn't interfere with either the corn or the beans.  I have a slight variation growing in patch No. 2, which is corn, climbing beans and watermelon.  And so far, the sisters are very happy together....

Chop and Drop

In veggie patch No.2, we had grown some buckwheat and Japanese millet to condition and mulch the soil.  It grew incredibly quickly, and before we knew it, it was time to 'chop and drop'.  Here is a pick of what it looked like once we did.