Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Welcome to spring

What a weekend and welcome to spring. Where did the weekend, go... or August and winter for that matter!
I firstly want to apologise, as I had written up a blog as part of the Garden Share Collective- an initiative of another Liz of  www.strayedtable.com/grow/garden-share
The purpose idea being a collective of bloggers share their gardening experiences, no matter how big; container gardeners to farms on a monthly basis; discussing the highs and lows, their plans and their harvests. I felt that although our smallholding is a lifestyle choice, aimed at self-sufficiency, the gardening aspect is probably under represented. Possibly due to my lack of ‘green fingers’ and that plants are not as dynamic as animals. However that does not mean they are any less important to our way of life and therefore a monthly update and discussion would be a great addition, and may even widen our current online audience and community, gaining new ideas and inspiration from others and vise versa.
So back to my apology. As our first blog for this community I had the text written up, but wanted to add a few pictures… and that’s where it all went wrong. The weekend has come and gone and I missed the deadline. So I still wished to mention the collective, as I feel it is a wonderful initiative, which I stumbled upon through blogs I regularly read. And hope to participate (and be more organised) for next month.
And as such our month of August saw the addition of a few fruit trees. As a general rule our plants


















and animals all serve a purpose, generally (but not limited to food). Therefore our boundary fencing has seen a few additions over the past year, and a few more this month. As we planted a few finger limes along the pig pen. These spikey foliaged large shrubs/ small trees, will hopefully develop into a hedge, providing privacy and screening from the road (for us and the pigs), as well as a wind break, shade and fruit.

Further along we have added a couple of carob trees and a second mulberry. We already have one that we planted as a seedling last year (that has begun to fruit), along with a Mangosteen, a few rosella bushes and a macadamia seedling.
We have a ‘dwarf orchid’, well a collection of dwarf fruit trees surrounding our bio-tank. This is a waste management system and the trees make the most of the water it supplies. We replaced a few unsuccessful trees with a couple of cumquats, as well as another Brazillian cherry tree.
Otherwise this month my garden has been reasonably neglected. Well neglected may be a little harsh, our main attention has been watering, since the dry season is well underway. So we haven’t planted anything new, merely support and enjoying (harvesting) what we have. As I have mentioned time and time again, I am not naturally ‘green fingered’ so anything that is resilient or self seeding has a place in my patch, especially the herb bed. Our basil continuously produces and seeds, the oregano makes a fabulous ground cover and even the coriander has begun to grow (from last years plant). I love the herb bed, its set along side the shed, so is close to the house (and kitchen) and provides alovely fragrance along the path.
We are also reaping the rewards from our ‘vine patch’; tomatoes, pumpkins and zucchinis. Our raised bed has a major first is our corn, so far they are growing well, so shall keep you posted. Interplanted with cucumbers (that have begun to flower), Asian veggies (bok choi, pak choi, chinese cabbage), radishes and (on the fencing- to keep chooks out) snow peas; that are abundant at the moment!
The strawberry patch is thriving along with the fennel and eggplant (making up the 2nd raised bed), whilst the capsicum and Ceylon spinach, along with my ‘bunching brocolli’ are holding on- though sum what in need of some TLC, whilst the carrots and celery thrive at th other end of the 3rd rasied be.
Then there are a few patch beds homing the lettuces; that bolt and continue to be self seeding and our bunching onions, that again provide a continuous supply.    
As for what we were doing all weekend that was so important that I missed the deadline.
 
Our cattle shed- this shed constructed from salvaged materials will provide security and shelter for our poddies, as they are due (over due) to migrate to the paddock.
The frame was initially a chook run, that was to be scrapped and the roofing and cladding were recycled from an old roof.  It may appear small for a cattle shed, but as we do not have a large property and therefore will not have a great number of animals, it should be more than sufficient.