Monday, February 27, 2006

Composting news - Sunday 26 February 2006

Composting news - Sunday 26 February 2006

The Compost Queen was unable to check on the heaps this weekend but they (the heaps) would have loved Saturday's downpour. Go microbes. The Good Doctor would be held in even higher esteem if he could possibly collect some more lucerne or pea hay next weekend.

One of the heaps stewing away at present can be used on the vegetable garden but I would love the other heap to be used for the remaining celeriacs (another 40).

This photo shows an experiment in adding roughage to the compost in the form of crushed mussel shells.

Suzie Compost

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dwats wats - Sunday 19th February 2006

Dwats Wats
Its official we have rats eating our freakin'beans and our beautiful tomatoes so we are going to have to get going on the organic remedies. We haven't tried the sprinkling with white pepper yet but... well... it is time to bring out the big guns. Even though we are loosing some tomatoes to the vermin there is still plenty to go round. We harvested a bumper crop of 4kg but more of that later. This week Marie Antoinette dug up last season lettuces and we planted the new seedlings which are about three weeks old. She also sprinkled sulfate of potash around the runner beans and broad beans.

What a week for the Tomatoes 4kg of the sweetest juiciest "Tommy Toes". Not suprisingly having hacked 1kg from the Basil last w

We Planted
No seeds this week. Marie planted out the new lettuces.

Progress report
The 'Broadies' seem to double their size every week and now wave in the breeze at about 20 cm. We harvested another little cucumber today about 10cm long, the plants look healthy enough but not as prolific as we would have thought. Once again the zucchini's have been kinda disappointing. Our hearts are still warmed by the peas which are doing beautifully . The broccoli are doing well in their little seedling hothouse so ideas for the autumn winter crop are coming together.

Monday, February 13, 2006

You say tomato . . .Saturday 11 February 2006

You say tomato. . .

Saturday 11 February 2006

You have to break an egg to make an omelet but does it also follow that you have to massacre (some may say prune) the tomatoes to grow the tomatoes? This was the question I pondered as Marie Antoinette let loose her Nietzschian 'what doesn't kill 'em makes 'em tastier' approach to our ridiculously overcrowded tomato patch. Yes we did plant 24 plants in a space designed for ten but who would have thought that each plant would grow to six foot tall, not bloody me that is for sure! Admittedly I had had several opportunities to 'tame the wild beast' but after a morning 'dans le foret des tomatates' I couldn't bring myself to impose structural change. So as I watched anxiously as Marie unleashed some kind of snipping and ripping fury, all for the greater good of course, until finally I demanded 'Enough!', she insisted 'a little more', I relented and then insisted 'Enough!' to which she responded 'in a minute' and then finally I accompanied her from the patch. Of course there is more light now, of course we can now pick the fruit at the centre of the forest and while I am sure the tomatoes will heal, even flourish, I don't know whether I will recover from the episode.

The Bounty
In the midst of the fury we picked 2.5 kg of tomatoes (plus last weeks 1.5 make 4kg huzzah!) 1 kg of basil, 50 grams of zucchini, 150g of capsicum and 15g of sweet sweet cucumber. The most amazing thing was that we harvested 200g of the juiciest most perfect peas. My goodness, any distress that I may have felt from the great tomato prune was eclipsed by the pleasure of fresh garden peas. The little pea plants are laden with pods and adorned with delicate soon to be pea flowers.

We Planted
2 small pea seedlings and 17 spinach seedlings. I also started some broccoli and Rocket seeds, as we start to consider autumn and winter crops. Where the first crop of broad beans grew now 9 potatoes contemplate their future.

Progress Report
The new patch of broad beans are standing proud, the new crop of scarlet runners are finding their way up their climbing frame, some with more purpose than others. The zucchinis look great but don't seem to be as proflic as last year. It doesn't look like I killed the pumpkins plant there may be hope yet and there is one mini cucumber a bit small to pick, so that will wait til next week.

The Bean Question
We think that rats or little possums have been eating our first stand of scarlet runner beans, we sprinkled mint as a deterent and as a couple of beans survived this week we are feeling a bit more confident. Tomorrow we shall cover the plants in white pepper and see what happens.

All in all not a bad day in the patch.

Little One

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Land for veggies - Sunday 5th February 2006

LAND FOR VEGGIES - Sunday 5th February 2006

Welcome to Land for Veggies, diary of a veggie patch and the goings on around it.

In this first post we introduce the players in the patch and tell you a little about the patch itself.


Little One
Podcast obsessive, lover of all singer-songwriters and the occasional Fleetwood Mac classic, bon-vivant.

Susie Compost
There's nothing this lady doesn't know about mulch and compost. You could grow babies in her stuff.

Marie Antoinette
When Marie first mooted the idea of the patch, The Good Doctor pooh-poohed the idea. Marie Antonette in her mock shepherd's gear, playing country.

The Good Doctor
Otherwise known as Farmer Joe. Lover of all things Nigella and the victim of a compulsive celeriac addiction.

The patch is in a coastal area of south eastern Australia. The soil is rich loam over clay. The climate is cool with regular sea breezes.

The patch itself is actually two separate patches. Both receive good sun. The first patch has been on the property for at least 10 years, but before it was taken over by the land for veggies team it grew mainly artichokes, which were delicious. The second patch is more recent (2005) and was built over an old bonfire site. It has proved very productive.

Little One, Suzie Compost, Marie Antoinette, and The Good Doctor