Monday, 20 April 2020

Autumn Veggie Garden

It appears, as there has been a clear shortage of seeds and seedlings that many people have been using the extra time at home to set up veggie gardens.
Which is something we can definitely relate too. Hopefully the uptake in gardening, amongst other skills and activities will continue after these "uncertain times". And that for all the fear and negative aspects of our current reality that the positive legacy would be a resurgence in basic living skills; the home garden and home produce, cooking, forgotten crafts and up-cycling rather than purchase of new.

For us establishing, or our case 're-establishing' our veggie patch was not a product of our forced time at home; though the dedicated time has helped. But had been planned for the autumn, following the decommission of our previous veggie beds in late spring last year. 

Unfortunately decommissioning the existing garden bed was a requirement when installing the new sewerage system (as our old one literally went to poop); a requirement for our family home! The 'geo tech' report for the new system specified the location for the treated water dispersion was exactly where the old beds were located. So unfortunately they had to go. Therefore we planned to re-establish some new raised beds, in a new location in autumn. 

Autumn may seem like a strange time of year to many. Having grown up in Wales I always associated spring with fresh planting and new starts. However here in the tropics, summer is our wet season. And the hot, humid conditions and torrential rains are not great for growing much other than weeds. So starting out then did not seem like a great idea. Also trucking in soil would do a fair amount of damage to the ground.

So this week we finally got the beds prepped and formed. Lining the ground with weed matting and up-cycling strips from where we finally replaced the old water tank. The large poly-tank split during cyclone Debbie- though we hadn’t done anything with it, or replaced it until last year.

The ground work and new water tanks we installed around the same time as the plumbers installed the sewerage system. 

So knowing the veg bed had to go, we decided 600mm strips from the old poly tank would make good raised beds in the future.
And 6 ton of soil delivered and shoveled into the new beds.
We didn't make her move it all!

So for our veggie beds we have started with some basic vegetable that we use frequently and that are fast producing. We tried not to get too carried away with too many varieties or produce options;
Lettuce, bok choy, spinach, rocket, mustard greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, capsicum, corn, fennel, sweet potato, carrots, radishes, snowpeas, beans

We also used a combination of seedlings and seeds. This is so that a) we see some results sooner, but also by planting seeds along seedlings we have succession planting. So more coming behind the established plants.

Now I am not one for conventional straight lines, as my partner would agree. So I have divided the beds up into sections for the larger items, and then planted smaller, companion plants as under planting. Which we have used to plant into. Hopefully creating some attractive and productive gardens.

Monday, 13 April 2020

It's going to be a very different Easter

It is funny, as it has been quite some time (prior to our most recent post) since we blogged. Though I has drafted a number, that were never complete, or I had not published (for one reason or another). 
The most recent was a discussion about Christmas, and how we balance traditions we grew up with and associate with the season. To that of a ‘hot Christmas’ in mid-summer. And how we have adapted, others embraced and even created a few of our own. How it maybe the detail that is important and is about creating and sharing memories. Well a quarter of the yer has past… and I had not published that post. And we find ourselves approaching another significant holiday.

Now we are not religious, so am not wanting to preach to anyone. So, for myself as a child Easter was a few weeks break from school; two terms down with one to go. Was spring and full of hope and hope for good weather. Time spent with my family and some chocolate too. 
Again, here in Oz it is still around school holidays, so we usually try and fit in some camping (as here in Qld the weather is cooling but still stunning- hopefully wet season has dissipated).
Lent seems to be followed a little more, and fish (or seafood of some description) is the highlight for Good Friday. As it's the southern hemisphere we are move into autumn (not spring) so the children’s gifts are focussed upon rugging up for cooler nights (pyjamas and slippers) and books for the night-time stories. The Easter feast, decorations and festivities are more elaborate. Even the Easter bunny seems more significant, even magical.
However, this year we all find ourselves adapting, embracing and maybe even creating a few new traditions. With most of the world affected (on some level) by this pandemic; there will be no camping trip and no visitors. We will remain connected, digitally but be physically distanced and settled here at Maes-y-Delyn.

So what are your Easter plan's for this year?