Skip to main content

Garden update - November 2013

October has been a big month in the garden, I started plenty of seedlings and I've planted them out in the garden, with plenty still to harvest from the winter crops as well.

The peas have finished (apart from a few I'm leaving for seed) and the broad beans are now producing.  I just pick and eat them, we don't grow enough to freeze them and I don't think we would use them anyway, they are just nice to fill the gap between peas and beans.  I picked the first borlotti bean and then other bush beans are starting to produce too.  There is still plenty of kale, celery, mustard greens, nasturium, leeks, all sorts of herbs, and now silver beet too.  Also lots and lots of eggs!


I wanted to show you some more flowers from around the garden this month....

blackberry, seems obvious that they would have flowers,
but I never really thought about it until I saw them

lucerne/alfalfa, a deep rooted legume, great for mulch and compost

marigold, so easy to grow and supposed to repel some pests

arrowroot - I haven't tried making flour yet
And some long shots of the garden (sorry they are so dark, I waited until it cooled down to venture out and it was late afternoon by then!).

I view of the broad beans, citrus and herbs in pots and calendula

Looking the other way through the kale bushes towards the chilli bushes

The area I have cleared for tomatoes this year (and the sprinkler)

silver beet (under the galangal)
the raspberry (did I tell you I'm excited about the raspberries!?!)

the celery (excuse the self-seeded cabbage pushing in there), I just wanted to
show you that I'm picking and using it before it gets big, its been very useful
I had some questions from last month that I never got back to....
  1. What do you think of the purple potato beyond novelty? - They seem to grow well here, so that is the main thing for me, and the purple colour is probably a sign of phytonutrients (as the comment also mentions) so I will see if they continue to grow, I wouldn't try hard to grow them just for the novelty, but I welcome any plant that grows well :)
  2. Does that chinese broccoli do better in a hot climate? - I think it was supposed to, and it didn't go to seed as early as the other broccoli, but I didn't notice much difference in terms of productivity, it could have been my fault though for not looking after it enough though...
  3. How do you cook nasturtium leaves? - I just chop them up finely (usually with other herbs) and add them right at the end to what ever I am cooking, whether its a stew, sauce, sautéed veges, or even salad. They have a peppery flavour, I think they go particularly well with sweet corn, but I put them in virtually everything. It is one herb that grows really well here and has benefits for both the garden and our health.
Jobs for November - I think I have plenty planted, and as soon as it rains the beans, tomatoes and curcubits will no doubt take off and we will have more than we can eat.  In the meantime, the priority is keeping the soil moist enough that the plants stay alive through the hot weather, this means compost, manure and mulch, by the barrow load, and recycled water for the garden (from our bath and laundry).  Most of the plants that went to seed have finished, and I didn't bother to collect much this year, I just sprinkled the seed back onto the garden so that it will come up again next year, much less time-consuming, as I still have plenty of seed that I saved last year.  I just can't wait to taste my raspberries later in summer.....

Comments

  1. Your garden's looking great Liz! We're nuts over raspberries too. They are like lollies on a bush! Such a lovely thing to have to create a yummy dessert!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't forget to pickle your nasturtium seeds, they make great poor mans capers for pasta dishes. Your garden is looking really good - hope you have a good season!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ken, I've read about it, but never tried it, thanks for reminding me....

      Delete
  3. I can't wait for my first crop of raspberries this year too. Kev's tip on the nasturtiums is a great one. I think my mother in law may have mentioned the same thing to me a while ago. Everything is looking great :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. amazing garden! I've neve seen arrowroot before, what a striking flower it has!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your raspberries do look really good, I am keen to buy some of the heritage variety for our place to try along with blueberries. A project I hope to get done next year. I never knew you could cook with nasturtiums, just the flower I thought was edible.
    Once again Liz your garden is doing really well for the conditions that have been dished out to you, thanks for inspiring me again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for sharing your garden this month.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I too would be super excited about raspberries, I don't think they would make it inside! Hope everything makes it through til you get some rain. Good luck with the mulching etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, I don't think they will make it inside either, the strawberries don't!

      Delete
  8. Thanks for all the lovely comments everyone :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko and give the vine a structure to climb over.  In summer, the vine will produce tiny flowers that will eventually swell into choko fruit.  The vine doesn't like hot dry weather.  And it doesn&#…

Making tallow soap

For some reason I've always thought that making soap seemed too hard.  For a start the number of ingredients required was confusing and all the safety warnings about using the alkali put me off.  The worst part for me was that most of the ingredients had to be purchased, and some even imported (palm oil and coconut oil), which never seemed very self-sufficient.  I can definitely see the benefits of using homemade soap instead of mass produced soap (that often contains synthetic fragrance, colour, preservatives, and has had the glycerine removed), but it seemed to me that if I was going to buy all the ingredients I may as well just buy the soap and save myself all the hassle.  For the past several years I have bought homemade soap from various market stalls and websites, and that has suited me just fine.
Then we had the steer butchered at home and I saw just how much excess fat we had to dispose, it was nearly a wheel-barrow full, and that made me think about how we could use that…