I had a great afternoon yesterday in the garden! I bought some seedlings the day before and because I have had so much trouble with my chickens and turkeys, I decided that I wasn't going to plant anything out until I could poultry proof the beds. My lovely son Edmund had the day off work and had promised to help me, so with him and our pommy backpacker helper Charlie, we got a lot done! The boys made the frame work by screwing pvc pipe (the remnants of my chook dome) and then we've weighted the netting down with bricks. They also dug another potato bed. The last one wasn't big enough so we had to dig another one.
I've planted sugar loaf cabbage, wombok cabbage, silverbeet, two types of kale, about 3 lots of lettuce, rocket, snow peas, two lots of tomatoes and some coriander. I planted the snow peas at the base of my existing eggplant. I'm not sure if they are companion plants or not, but I thought it would save me having to put up a trellis - the snowpeas should climb over the eggplant! I've also got some lettuce, warrigal greens, italian parsley and coriander coming up wild in the garden - well where the poultry haven't seen it!
I'm really excited about this covering as it will also protect everything if we do get a frost. It's been known to happen, although the weather would have to get a lot colder for us to get a frost.
The potatoes will be interesting - I planted half of them at the right moon phase, but this second lot are being planted in a leafy planting time. So we'll see what the difference might be. Although the turkeys kept digging up the potatoes in the first lot.
What else do I have in my garden at the moment? I've got pawpaw that aren't doing very well. We will give them a seaweed spray and see if that improves things. The tree is loaded, but just starting to go yellow and we are losing fruit now. I've been picking some of the green ones to use as a vegie - they taste great in a stirfry!
We are just starting to pick oranges - they are very seedy, but make beautiful juice. The tree is quite old - it was a full grown tree in a photo that we have of the house, which was taken in the 60's I think. I've got a small mandarin tree - the fruit is just starting to turn yellow. Both trees would benefit from some colder weather. Our bananas have been fruiting, but the bunches are small and not doing very well. I think I'll have to give them all a good feed of compost! The mango tree is flowering - a bit early yet I would think. I've got pumpkins- ripe ones and some still flowering (did I mention that it's still warm?). I've got some herbs, although not enough and some spring onions. Eggplants will be ready for picking shortly and we are still getting capsicum. The eggplants have been great and hopefully they are virtually perennial - I've had quite a few pickings of them. My garlic is going okay, but should do well now that I've got the poultry away from them! I also have turmeric, which I'll pull soon and process. I've had to buy turmeric lately - first time in about 3 years, so I want to dry a heap of it. I've also got some sweet potato growing and a Ceylon spinach plant that I've managed to save from the chooks!
I'm feeling extremely blessed to have Edmund help me in the garden and to finally have a garden that will be poultry proof! I can't wait until the plants are all growing well. If you haven't already down loaded and listened to it, I was interviewed by Gavin from The greening of Gavin last week and you can listen to it from my DVFR Blog - there's a little gadget thing on the right hand side down a bit. I talk a little bit about my farming and food philosophy and Kim says it's interesting, so please have a listen and tell me what you think.