Thursday, March 17, 2011

A time to reflect

I was struck today by how far we have come on this bit of land since we arrived in early November.
From buying all of our vegetables weekly ( a forein concept to us) to almost self sufficiency in our vegetables in about four months.

Some photos illustrate the transformation well.

The Rhubarb and Strawberries

The Tomatoes.
Our baskets are filled daily with stuff from the garden and our meals are almost all garden produce apart from grains and pulses.

A  basket of produce on a random day in March
Our pantry, fridge and freezer are getting incrementally fuller by the day - something is being preserved on most days. Drying apples has been all the rage in the last few days thanks to some prolific roadside trees.
Pantry full of goodies
Although we are now swimming with produce and look forward to an even better year in the coming spring, it was not all plain sailing. There were many points along the way when, after observing something was not quite right, that an intervention was required.

There have been hundreds of litres of liquid manures spread all over the garden this year because i noticed that the fertility of the soil was not quite up to scratch - and that buried wood chips in the soil were most likely robbing nitrogen from the soil.

Caterpillars were rife and i would have lost many crops if not for prudent timing of control.

I have learned that although Bracken (Pteridium esculentum) is high in potassium and abundant - it is not the panacea for fabulous compost that i was hoping. It has a very waxy coating on the leaf and resists breakdown even in the extended high temperatures of a compost heap.  I am now including some shredded bracken with lots of other material that has been put through the mulcher.

I have observed and learned what plants look like sitting in bad quality potting mix with no fertilizer and how much they don't grow.

I have learned that Bower birds will devour tomato leaves and bean leaves but not peas or potato leaves. I have also learned that they disappear for much of summer and are only now making a sporadic appearance.

 I have learned that Turkeys' are fun to keep but are a bit naughty at times.


  1. Your garden looks amazing, sounds like all of your hard work really paid off.

  2. Hello the Brocks, What an amazing and inspiring transformation. Wish we were closer to sample some wares...

  3. Hi Mr H. It has paid off. There were times at which i looked at another patch of dense grass that needed to be dug up - and got a bit despondent about the amount of hard work. But i knew it would be fruitful in the end.

    Hi Katja - the good thing about preserves is that they keep a long time! You may yet get a taste!