Monday, 26 January 2009

Misty Morn...

Scarecrow's Log: 25:01:2009:

Misty Morn question
That was Saturday
...that was our 'hint' of rain for the week didn't even register in the rain gauge.
Now we are headed for a heatwave
with temperatures around 41C (105F) all week.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 12.1C
Highest Max 37.4C

I harvested some of the Red Shallots this week, including the large one in the photo that weighed in at 250g (8.8oz according to my little convert programme)

The very large heads of the Giant Russian Sunflowers are causing the plants to droop right down low over the veg beds. These heads will soon be ready to pick and store away for the chooks in winter.

Meanwhile...we pick the smaller heads off the volunteer sunflowers around the garden and throw into the chicken run.
These plants are visited each evening by the local Ring-necked Parrots. In the photo Mrs Parrot (on the right) is preparing to join hubby on his plant...the seeds must taste better over there. wink

No planting this week, just watering those autumn crop seedlings and thinning out the Trees For Life plantings. Also trimming back some of the tomatoes that have been attacked by the Tomato Russet Mite again this year...I have noticed a few plants that seem to be resisting the attack so I'll earmark those for seed saving.

I planted 7 or 8 different varieties of tomatoes this year to see if some would resist this bug and it appears some have (seems to be the golden ones that are coping better) but it's early days yet and we have a heatwave to get through now! rolleyes

I think that chookie has her eye on
those Nashi fruits that are nearly ripe
...I might have to fence that tree off for a week or two. wink

The Strawberry Spinach is fruiting...Plants For A Future site has a warning about possible toxicity of this plant with the Saponins and Oxalic Acid it contains.
Read this link for the info on it.

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Cucumber Crystal Apple***142g
Cucumber Lemon***121g
Potatoes Blue Sapphire***1080g
Shallots Red***720g
Tomato Ida Gold***310g
Tomato Pink Ponderosa***110g
Tomato Roma***208g
Tomato Sunrise***488g
Tomato Tigerella***374g
Tomato Tommy Toe Yellow***256g
Tomato Reisenstraube***47g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***1388g
Zucchini Black***721g

No fruit weighed this week just outdoor feasting on Plums, Thornless Blackberries and some yummy Black Sultana Grapes. mrgreen

Plus a yummy mix of greens for salads...young Kale, Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Chives, Parsley, Gotu Kola.

Plus 20 Eggs from the (HOT) girls.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Our Seeds.

The Spring issue of the Australian Seed Saver's Network newsletter contained the following:
"Five years ago we conducted a survey on where Australian seed sellers source their seeds and were shocked to find that even the small non-hybrid companies import significant amounts of their stock.
Buying from small companies does not guarantee Australian seed, let alone local seed.

The best seed stock you can use is often close by and Local Seed Networks are in the best position to find, collect, multiply and redistribute them.
We need more of them."

That statement made me think! rolleyes

I usually prefer to buy from seed suppliers in the south of our country...
...I think I'll use our Local Seed Network (search here) more...

Seed Savers Network DVD
Our Seeds: Seeds Blong Yumi

Is about:
local foods
seasonal food
village communities
cultures of saving and sharing...
seeds and plant materials


the impact of multinational exploitation of the above
the health issues now prevalent
the disintegration of indigenous lifestyles
the loss of traditional varieties

(at present) "The majority of rice production
by industrial farming is from FOUR varieties.... the 1970s there were over A HUNDRED THOUSAND
varieties grown in India alone

Something has happened very quickly
and continues to happen

Some videos on the subject of seeds/GMOs:
Gardens of Destiny with Dan Jason parts 1-8 Here
Aust SSN YouTube Channel Here
Dr. Vandana Shiva Interview From Planet Diversity (GMOs) Here
Dr. Vandana Shiva on Biodiversity, seed banks and suicide farmers Here

Other links of interest:
Do You Know Where Your Seeds Come From?
This is an interesting recent post from Path To Freedom...

The Seed Ambassadors Project
International Seed Saving Institute

Seed Savers Around the World:
Aust Seed Saver's Network
Hills and Plains Seedsavers - South Aust
Aust Local Seed Networks Search Here

Irish Seed Saver Association
Seed Savers Exchanges UK with links
Seed Savers Exchange USA
Seeds of Diversity Canada
Seed Savers NZ

Please let me know of other Seed Saving organisations (by country please or the list could be huge) to add to the list.

MASIPAG's cimme PROGRAM - Philippines
Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center USA
Thank you Mr H for these links and for the links to the "Gardens of Destiny" video that I found on your Subsistence Pattern blog wink
And the anonymous commenter for the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center link as well! smile

Monday, 19 January 2009

The Grapes are Ripening

Scarecrow's Log: 18:01:2009:

The Grapes are slowly ripening.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 9.8C
Highest Max 39.5C
No Recorded Rainfall

We are enjoying the last of the 'cool change' days before the temperature rises again this week. There are hints of rain but we will believe that when our feet are wet!

I've been busy potting-on seedlings that are growing very quickly:
Broccoli Romanesco and Goliath
Cabbage Red
Cauliflower Mini
Kale Moreton Mix
Lettuce Butternut
Mesclun Mix

Because many of these seedlings are Brassicas those pesky cabbage moths have been hanging around we have added a net curtain to one of the shade areas to keep them right away.

Some of the Sunflowers are so heavy
they droop right over...
making them look very tired.

Weekly Harvest Tally:

Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Cucumber Lebanese Mini***203g
Cucumber Lemon***155g
Onion Egyptian***103g
Pumpkin Golden Nugget***645g
Tomato Ida Gold***236g
Tomato Sunrise***187g
Tomato Tommy Toe Yellow***94g
Tomato Ponderosa Pink***57g
Tomato Reisenstraube***28g The Tomatoes are ripening...yah! lol
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***278g
Zucchini Black***1405g

No fruit weighed this week just further test tastings of those yummy Plums and now the Blackberries are soooo close! wink

Plus a yummy mix of greens for salads...young Kale, Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Chives, Parsley, Gotu Kola.

Plus 22 Eggs from the girls.

Remember to click on the photos for a bigger view! wink

I've posted a slide show of our latest Garden Group visit Here
And a series of photos of last year's Main Veg Garden Re-Design, Month By Month Here

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Garden Group Veg Garden Visit

Thursday 15 Jan 09 Garden Group visit to a Vegetable Grower's Farm Garden.
Situated out of town, they collect rainwater from several Farm Sheds, pump it to a tank on the hill behind the house and gravity feed it to the garden.


These are shots of a huge gum tree in our town's main street.

Like many trees here at the moment it's shedding it's bark.

The curly bark contrasts the smooth bark beneath.

It's like they are having a giant stretch and popping the bark off!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Climatic Extremes!!

Scarecrow's Log: 11:01:2009:

The Full Moon this weekend has brought King Tides.
Said to be a glimpse into the future
for climate change-induced sea level rises
Read More here

Cosmic Gardener has this warning too: eek
Of course with Peak North, Perigee, Full Super Moon
and the Descending Node all coinciding,
it is little wonder we are expecting 31 degrees.
Watch your own areas for climatic extremes
especially bush fire prone or cyclone prone areas.
Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 9.7C
Highest Max 37.2C
No Recorded Rainfall

Securing extra shade has been the priority this week. Any piece of shade cloth available has been put up to provide wind protection or draped over tender new plantings.

The Main Veg Garden is well protected by those wonderful sunflowers.

Quite a few of the newly sown seeds from last week have germinated but must be kept damp now!
Just a few seeds of Cauliflower Violet Sicilian were planted as soon as they arrived with my latest order from Green Harvest. Seeds of other greens that were in that order can wait for cooler weather to be sown.

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Cucumber Lebanese Mini***165g
Potatoes Pontiac***779g
Pumpkin Golden Nugget***1120g
Tomato Ida Gold***248g
Tomato Sunrise***159g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***1405g
Zucchini Black***1384g

Black Mulberries***1270g (made into cordial) wink

Plus a yummy mix of greens for salads...young Kale, Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Chives, Parsley, Gotu Kola.
And some plums for testing ripeness. wink

Plus 27 Eggs from the girls.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

TFL Update: Growth.

All the seeds have now been sown.

Acacia calamifolia planted 8 Dec, Eucalyptus gracilis, E. oleosa (planted on the 15 Dec) and E. porosa planted 29 Dec.

The Acacia papyrocarpa that were planted earlier
have been thinned out now.
When they have settled from this transplanting they will go out in full sun.

The Melaeuca lanceolata will follow soon when they are thinned but we are expecting a blast of hot weather this week so they will wait until that has passed .
These Melaeucas have had a dose of liquid fertilizer as per the instruction book since they grow from very tiny seed.

The Acacia calamifolia are coming up...

as are the Eucalyptus oleosa that were sown on the 15 Dec.

and the Eucalyptus gracilis

The very first Eucayptus porosa seedlings
planted on 29 Dec are just showing through.

With the arrival of the hot weather their growth will increase but so will their need to be watered up to 3 times a day. cool

Thank You Peggy for asking about reminded me that I hadn't posted this update yet! redface wink


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