Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dark, damp soil.

Victoria has had some rain. The farmers are happy, their crops are going well, as are ours. The inner northern suburbs of Melbourne never get the rain of the eastern suburbs, but what we have had has made a noticeable difference.

Carrots, Beetroot and Silverbeet in a raised bed.

In our time living here and growing our own food we have never had even close to average rainfall, so we didn't actully know what difference a little of the wet stuff makes. The garden has taken off giving us plenty of food (and weeds).

Golden acre mini cabbages in a raised bed.

One of my favorite additions to our back garden has been the nasturtiums, I bought an Alaska seed mix and love the way they wind around the raised beds.

The trailing habit of Nasturtiums.

producing abundant bright flowers that attract lots of bees and add a nice touch of pepper to a salad.

Nasturtium flowers.

Another delight this time of the year brings is the Globe Artichoke harvest. Globe artichokes are a member of the thistle family, the edible part is the base of the unopened flower and about 10cm of the stem just below.

Green Globe Artichokes

Every year we look forward to the first artichokes and then fifteen minutes into their fiddly preparation we start looking forward to the end of the artichoke season. It is worth it though when you get them on a plate.

The Brassicas have done well with a drop of rain and a weak Seaweed, Comfrey, Wormjuice etc. tea kicks them along nicely.

Green Calabrese forming heads with splashes of Seaweed tea.

Remember when harvesting members of the Brassica family to lift the entire root from the ground to prevent build up of soil pathogens such as the Brassica disease, Clubroot.

Cabbage root.

The summer veg seedlings are also coming along nicely. I have four different kinds of Tomato; Roma, Tommy Toe, Tigerella and Grosse Lisse. As well as Black Beauty Eggplant, California Wonder Capsicum and Jalapeno Chilli. The general rule here in Melbourne is to plant your Tomatoes out not before Melbourne cup day, so they are currently enjoying the protection of a plastic sunhouse.

Tomato seedlings.

The nicest part of this lifestyle is to feel the seasons, and to come back around to Spring after a Winter hibernation feels great. Our Summer harvest is planned and the work we put in only a few months ago is giving us a bountiful, healthy, organic Spring feast.

Basketful of Spring goodness.


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