Today’s Harvest

I harvested the first bag of potatoes today.  Not a huge harvest but I’m happy with the result. I plan to boil the baby ones for dinner, add a knob of butter and mint from the allotment.

I also picked some silverbeet, kale, beans and parsley.

Happy gardening.

 

Advertisements

More help down the allotment

Everything is bone dry in Brisbane as we’ve received hardly any rain for two and a half months. Fire fighters are coping with numerous bush fires around South-East Queensland.

So this week my youngest grandson and I went over to the allotment and I set him to work with the hose pipe.

In a rush of enthusiasm my allotment neighbour received a watering too. I am sure she will be grateful.

Watering the neighbours allotment

Then finally it was time to harvest our produce. Jerry knows his way around a veggie patch and soon set to pulling up beetroot and carrots to be grated on our lunchtime salad while I set about gathering the lettuce and silver beet.

When I’m harvesting climbing beans the ones right at the bottom of the plant tend to get left (all that getting down and up and down and up …) The secret of success is to find a little person who is nearer to the ground. Even looking at his back you can see the concentration.

Harvesting the climbing beans

We left with heaps of sweet young beans – as well as the ones we nibbled while we were picking.

I’m so lucky to share days like this.

Happy gardening.

Plenty of help down at the allotment

Here are my little helpers. Isla and Nevie took time off from their own allotment and helped me pull up the  carrots. Not sure if you can see the carrots too clearly but Isla is holding them up and in amongst them are purple and creamy coloured as well as the more mundane orange.  Not that there is anything mundane about these carrots as they do have a few legs!

Once the ground was cleared  I sowed more dwarf beans, asian greens and two varieties of pumpkin. One variety was Butternut but I’m not sure about the other variety as it was in an envelope in the seed-savers box at the farm simply named ‘pumpkin’.  So once again my gardening is an adventure as I wait to see what pops up.

Happy gardening.

Much Mulching

Plenty happening over at the allotment today.

The weather is warming up again so I made an early start over at the allotment at 7:30am and I harvested what was left of the kohl rabi, flat leafed parsley and giant endive before clearing the ground. I added manure and blood and bone before using the ‘Big Fork’ to turn it all over.

I hosed over the whole allotment and covered it with sugar cane mulch which should hopefully see me through the worst of the summer, keep the weeds down and keep the moisture in the soil.

I will be planting zucchini in the foreground, where I cleared the ground this morning.  I have already planted melons, dwarf beans and cucumbers but they are only just emerging as tiny plants so you cannot see them in the photographs.

Here is the allotment from the other side. I still have plenty of silver beet, Cavolo Nero and curly leafed kale.  In the foreground a row of Freckled Lettuce and the potatoes growing in the orange bags. Still a few weeks before I can harvest the potatoes.

Below is my first climbing bean of the season. Should have a nice handful for dinner by the end of the week.

I have lots of these Freckled lettuce, better eat them pretty quick as once the weather heats up I’m expecting they’ll bolt. Silly really, we can grow lettuces in Brisbane in the winter, but in the summer when we all want salads – lettuces bolt!

I finished the heavy work by 9:30am which was good because Linda Brennan from Ecobotanica arrived at the farm to give us a workshop on growing “Fruit in Pots”.

Tatiana and Linda at the workshop

While we were walking around the farm and snipping clippings from trees to propagate we came across this cute little fellow. Look closely and you’ll see the tiny tree frog sitting on a kafir lime leaf. If you know the size of one of these leaves, and you see that the frog is sitting on one leaf without it drooping, you can guess how tiny it was. No bigger than the first joint of my thumb.

Happy gardening.

Tractors and Trailers

This post is specially for my son who told me ages ago that although he thinks my vegetable pics are ok and all that, what about  tractors and the big stuff.  Steve, here it is, not one, but three pics taken of John driving the tractor at the farm yesterday as it does it’s stuff.

Now just because one of our regulars Peter ( he’s the one without the sun glasses) and a new member (who’s obviously been to Spec Savers) couldn’t miss a photo opportunity – here is a pic of the farm trailer and a couple of ‘media tarts’ pushing it.  Note: this pic was not photo-shopped as both blokes are good-looking enough!

Happy gardening.

28 Spotted Potato Ladybird

I am worried that I might have started a full-scale ladybird panic with my earlier post made a few minutes ago. I’ve already received two comments.

Repeat after me “ladybirds are cute”.

It’s only the one mentioned below that are found in the Brisbane area of Queensland that we have to stamp on with our big gardening shoes or pinch out with our big gardening gloves.

28-Spotted Potato Ladybird – or if you want the full name Epilachna vigintioctopunctata (synonym Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata) Family Coccinellidae.

Pests and diseases

Linda Brennan gave a great workshop at the farm this morning about organic gardening. We spent an hour walking round while Linda honed in on the pests and diseases that were attacking our vegetables. She then told us how we could deal with them organically.

She also covered ways to improve the fertility and health of our soil.  Linda packed so much information in just one and a half hours.  Next Monday she will be back with another workshop “Fruit in Pots”.

We waste no opportunity over at the farm to put the kettle on, and today was no exception as we sat around  after the workshop drinking tea and chatting. Nobody was in a hurry to move off.

Then, in a wild burst of enthusiasm after the workshop, I went over to my allotment and spent a fascinating (my tongue is in my cheek) time pinching off caterpillars and 28-spotted ladybirds.

I think ladybirds are the cutest thing and it’s a revelation to me that there is actually a ladybird that causes so much damage to my leaf vegetables. They were having a wild old time on one of my potato plants sucking and chewing and munching and whatever else they do on their path of destruction!

I like to end on a happy note so I took the camera out and captured this sunflower growing in Lindell and Andy’s allotment next to mine. The birds are going to love those seeds when the sunflower matures.

Happy gardening.

The gardener, at the allotment, with a hose pipe

The hose pipe is the tool of choice at the moment.

After two months without rain we’ve had a little rain recently but it has hardly touched the surface so my main job at the allotment yesterday was to give it all a good watering.

The potatoes growing in the bags are coming along nicely, lots of green tops (if that counts for anything) and I gave them a good hose down. Then just to check I opened the little ‘trap doors’ in the side of the bags and the soil was still bone dry.  The hosing seemed to have no affect beneath the surface. How is that?

We need a good downpour.

Having said all that I am having a good harvest so Mother Nature is doing a good job.

Here is what I have in the allotment at the moment.  The aforementioned potatoes, carrots, kohl rabi, parsley (curly and flat leafed), mint, giant endive, freckled lettuce, curly leafed kale, Cavolo Nero Italian kale, leeks and garlic which should be ready to lift in the next week or so.  And I’m awash with silver beet. Which is good because I never tire of it. I just steam it, nothing fancy, and ‘down the hatch’ as they say.

I planted six zucchini seeds a few weeks ago but only one has germinated. I planted six seeds with the idea of choosing the two strongest as that would be enough for my small allotment.  So I still need one more, as I have now lost a couple of weeks I may just buy a seedling from Bunnings.

The big decision now is what to plant for the summer months. The weather will be hot, many days over 30 degrees celsius, and high humidity so we tend to suffer with mildew. (The plants, doh!)

The good news is that Linda Brennan from Ecobotanica is coming to the farm on Monday morning to hold a workshop on organic veggie growing and I’ll pick her brains as to what to plant to get me through the summer. Linda will be giving advice on organic pest control which I am particularly interested in having sacrificed my red cabbages to the caterpillars recently, and it’s almost impossible to grow a tomato at the farm without it being stung by the fruit fly. She’ll also look at the soil and give us general advice on how to improve our harvest.

I’ve been to Linda’s workshops a number of times, she is a mine of information, and I always learn so much.

So that’s the news today.  I’m getting so much pleasure from my little plot, despite the dry conditions my little plants soldier on – except for the baby beets and I have to say their days are numbered unless they lift their act!

And because I can’t resist getting the camera out when I see a nice healthy veggie plant – here’s a silver beet for you.

Happy gardening.

The Jacaranda’s are out

The Jacaranda trees are out in Brisbane and I think one of the best places to see the beautiful blossom is New Farm Park so I set out yesterday afternoon to give my new camera a workout.

First stop was a surprise invitation from friend Tatiana to join her for lunch. She had prepared a delicious salad including some of the salad leaves from her own garden.

Then off I set. Here are a few of the shots that I took as I strolled around the park.

I particularly enjoyed looking through the tree at the blossom making patterns against the blue of the sky.

The beautiful thing about these trees is that once the wind whips up the park is covered with a carpet of purple blossom. I’ll keep my eye open for that and see if I can capture it for you.

A Solitary Tree

I have been taking part in Deb’s photographic scavenger hunt recently and the subject this week is “A Solitary Tree”.

I am a couple of days late in posting so I grabbed the camera this morning and took a shot of this palm tree down the road.

It’s overcast as we are expecting rain (at last!) but goodness knows where the orange glow came from as it was taken at 10am.

Spooky!

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Leisa Rayven

Passionate stories for lovers of words

The Garden Smallholder

A Tiny Farm In A Big Garden

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

One homemaker. One Acre. My quest for Self Sufficiency.

not just greenfingers

Mrs Thrift's Simple Living in the Modern Day......Kitchen Garden, Allotment, Baking And More...

quarteracrelifestyle

The "Good Life" on a quarter acre, frugal living

Gardener Jen

Trials, errors and joys of creating and maintaining my first garden.

Our Everyday Life in Pictures

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Exercising Septuagenarian

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

frugalfeeding | Low Budget Family Recipes, UK Food Blog

n. frugality; the quality of being economical with money or food.

The Next Stage

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

The Greening of Gavin

Sustainable Living in the Suburbs

Down to Earth

Growing vegetables on one small allotment