Saturday, 28 February 2009

Sunflowers and Artichokes

The Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus)
in the Kitchen Garden
are towering over the jungle now and flowering.

Over on the other side of the garden
the Perennial Sunflowers (Helianthus maximilianii)
are also flowering...
...their flowers are almost identical.

Friday, 27 February 2009

More Germination

The Beetroot has sprouted....

outside in the Wicking Bed...

and also in the Shadehouse mrgreen

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Seeds and Seedlings

Planted on the 22 Feb I already have
tiny Turnip, Swede (in the wicking bed)

and Onion seeds (in the shadehouse) germinating.

The Romanesco Broccoli and Violet Sicilian Cauliflower
seedlings that were planted before the heatwave
are growing strong now and will soon be planted out.

So will the Mixed Kale and Coriander seedlings.

Today in the Garden.

We are on the way to a top temperature of around 38C again today so I had a quick look around the garden this morning to check on everything.

The Strawberry Tank bed has runners escaping...I shall take a few of these to establish another strawberry bed...the plants are only in their second year and fruited very well earlier in the season, so these runners should still be healthy enough to plant out.

The frame over the Tomatoes that are just re-sprouting after the heatwave has had a shadecloth cover thrown over for these 2 hot days we are expecting.

Thanks to Doc's quick thinking we scored a truckload of rainwater to fill our empty house tank. He heard that a tank had to be emptied to move it so he put his hand up for the water. mrgreenmrgreenmrgreen

The replenished rainwater tank will now supply the Aquatic Food Shadehouse again. Things are growing well in there but the Arrowhead is showing signs of leaf burn despite the 50% shadecloth would not have survived out in full sun. eek

Monday, 23 February 2009

Spring-like Weather

Scarecrow's Log: 22:02:2009:

Those Parrots have been raiding the Sunflowers again
and not leaving a lot for the chooks. eek

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 12C
Highest Max 33.2C
No Recorded Rainfall

Very mild week and in the garden new growth is sprouting. The cool won't last and our temperatures head back up to 40C by the middle of next week...I hope it doesn't continue for 2 weeks again! rolleyes

Red Onion in punnets
Detroit Red Globe Beetroot in punnets and in Bed 2 MVG
Golden Ball Turnips bed 2 MVG
Butter Swedes in bed 2 MVG
Took cuttings of Applemint

With the heat forecast again it's time to put some extra shade over any new growth so it doesn't burn off. By leaving the older burnt off foliage we can provide shade for this new growth but any new growth exposed to the sun will need added shade.

Our stall at the local market is going is the market itself with 20 stalls this month. My plants are selling well with positive feedback coming in. People are returning their pots as well as offering me used pots and each month I bring home another boxfull. Those who bring boxes of pots are offered a free plant in exchange. It's good to see folks both young and old wanting to grow their own fresh vegetables and herbs.

This saves me the cost of buying new ones and the better looking pots are well washed and dipped in a mild bleach solution to ensure they are clean. Hard work but necessary.

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 Lemon***919g
Pumpkin Sampson***2296g
Tomato Ida Gold***262g
Tomato Roma***146g
Tomato Sunrise***394g
Tomato Tigerella***278g
Tomato Tommy Toe Yellow***177g
Tomato Reisenstraube***54g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***1742g
Zucchini Black***2154g

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

Plus 21 Eggs from the girls.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Garden Group visit to Dragon's Rest Habitat Garden

Garden Group was out and about again this week...this time we visited the nearby Dragon Garden.
Dragon's Rest Habitat Garden was created to provide a safe haven for the lizards and birds of our region. Especially the Bearded Dragon Lizard.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Much Cooler This Week!

Scarecrow's Log: 15:02:2009:

Much cooler this week,
so this tiny sunflower,
that has struggled through the heatwave,
has decided to flower! lol

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 7.7C
Highest Max 30C
No Recorded Rainfall

I've been busy harvesting and tidying up the garden this week.

On Saturday we picked 17.5kgs of Black Sultana Grapes (and there's more out there).
One bucket went to make some cordial and the rest are out the back being dried to make...(you guessed it) sultanas. We've used a modified version of Doc's drying rack because it's been so windy here lately. He had to turn the bottom tray upside down and attach it to the legs.

Doc had claimed the grapes for wine this year as they normally have pips in them (they aren't supposed to) but for some reason this year none of them have seeds in them!
So he isn't getting them. winkrazzwink

The Golden Nugget Pumpkins gave up in the heat but they had many pumpkins on them so I left them out in the sun this week to cure. This hardens the skin which helps them keep longer. Sunday morning I brought them in and weighed them...over 7kgs worth. These will go into storage with the rest that have already been harvested.

Also over 1kg of Tigerella Tomatoes that Doc wants to dry.

We are trying to use as much from the garden as possible this year...storing it away. We usually just pop the (whole) tomatoes into bags to put in the freezer. Then when we want to cook with them we let them thaw out and the skins just fall off. Easy!

Some of the tomatoes that aren't quite ripe I'll leave on the bench in the kitchen to ripen slowly. Just like Peter Cundall said to do in his Patch From Scratch series he made way back in 1996. It's amazing how hints like that stick in your head.
It's helpful here because the tomatoes can easily get sunburnt in the hot sun. That leaves hard white areas on the fruit that we can't eat!

The second crop of Figs is starting to ripen...
Doc has plans to dry these as well!

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.

Carrot Atomic Red***185g
Corn Baby***20g
Cucumber Lemon***387g
Onion Creamgold***58g
Pumpkin Golden Nugget***7152g
Tomato Ida Gold***348g
Tomato Roma***530
Tomato Sunrise***78g
Tomato Tigerella***1417g
Tomato Tommy Toe Yellow***1171g
Tomato Ponderosa Pink***211g
Zucchini Black***190g

Black Sultana Grapes***17.5Kg eek

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

Plus 16 Eggs from the girls.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Heat Is Gone!

Scarecrow's Log: 08:02:2009:

At last the Rooster weather vane indicated
the cooler southerly wind change.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 15.9C
Highest Max 44C
No Recorded Rain

The cool change finally arrived here in SA on Saturday night...
With the news of the cool change here came the news of the devastation over the border in Victoria. The bush fires wiped out towns where we used to go bush walking when we lived in that state. The fires continue to sad...the whole nation is donating whatever we can for those folks who have lost everything. Read more here

Sunday morning was a chance to get out into the garden and sort out what was left.
First crop of corn ...usual story the weather heats up just as it's ready to pick.
Golden Nugget Pumpkins have finished but there are about a dozen little pumpkins ready to pick from them.
Two Zucchini plants but one's decided to take off again.
Some of the tomatoes are looking worse for wear but I resurrected 4 this morning so we shall see how they go.
One tree of plums cooked on the tree...and the pears aren't looking happy. We are planning shade cloth structures for most of the trees now.
The potatoes looked long gone but I managed to dig up a couple of kilos worth.

One Black Zucchini plant has decided to take off

Most of the things that are finished were just about at the end of their productive life anyway. I now can concentrate on clearing beds and topping them up for the autumn crops. The greens and brassica seedlings I had planted have all survived and I managed to keep those 600 native tree seedlings alive and well for Trees For Life.

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 Lemon***368g
Potatoes King Edward***417g (not bad for volunteers)
Potatoes Purple Sapphires***320g
Potatoes Pontiac***1453g
Tomato Ida Gold***102g
Tomato Roma***703g
Tomato Sunrise***39g
Tomato Tigerella***610g
Tomato Tommy Toe Yellow***610g
Tomato Ponderosa Pink***34g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***372g

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

Plus 18 Eggs from the girls.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Hot Chicken

During this heatwave the chooks have managed well. I've moved their water and food trough to the coolest spot under an apple tree.
As they spend most of the day in the Asparagus patch, I wet the area down each morning.
Any dust holes get topped up with water (from a bucket) to give them a cool spot to dust bathe.

Over the other side of the house, the old girls hardly notice the heat under the solid shade of the old Mulberry tree.

All the girls get sprouted wheat (now made in a bucket) either as is or mixed in with their mash...with the occasional addition of grapes or tomatoes or leftover salad
...they are happy!

Temperature update:
Tuesday was 38.5C (101.3F)
Wednesday was 37C (our first day under the old century 98.6F)
Today (Thursday) should be the same as yesterday 37C
Friday predicted to be 41C (105.8F)
Saturday 42C and windy (107.6F)
Sunday a cool 30C I hope! (86F) cool

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

WANTED: Northworld Snow...Downunder!

The Temps for the last week...

...and now for this week

On the Elder's Weather Chart above you'll see this what this week has in store for us...
38C = 100.4F in case you wanted to know. confused

I wonder how long it will take for that forecast for next Sunday and Monday to change??? rolleyes

Still it is comforting for them to let us know that there is no Frost Risk isn't it....

Hey Northworld got any spare snow to send us?


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