Making Room – Day 10 NaBloPoMo

This will be a short post as I’ve got to get ready for an early set tonight as I mentioned here a couple of days ago and I’m still not absolutely certain what songs I’m going to play. Something short and vitriolic feels kinda right at the moment.

While the world seems to be coming to terms with the US election, I gardened hard this morning. I picked heaps of snow peas, and there’s loads of new flowers and peas coming on. It’s been a wonderful crop and hopefully with last another month or two.

I also ripped out a couple of giant Italian Parsley plants that are going to seed and stripped them for use in the kitchen over the next few days. Then I got stuck into the broad beans in the next bed and picked the largest pods I could find and shelled them into a bowl while the chickens looked on. Again, there’s still heaps of flowers and new beans forming, so this is going to be a good crop. All the parsley heads and bean husks got chopped up and fed straight to the chickens, who are giving us loads of eggs this year.

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I’m the only one in the house that likes broad beans as a fresh vegetable but they dry very well, and we go through a lot of dried beans each year in curries and stews to make meat go further. I’ve laid out what I imagine would be a meal’s worth and I’m going to see how long it takes for them to dry out. It could end up being a dehydrator job but at least these will have a start.

Also, I gave up waiting and decided to lift the rest of the garlic. Some of it is a little small but it is what it is – and with the parsley, I want to make that other great Italian garnish – gremolata.  I’m going to experiment with reconstituting some of my dried lemon zest and adding that instead of buying fresh lemons. My lemon tree is flowering but no fruit until next year.

And the big reason to harvest these plants is the amazing realisation that I’m running out of bed space! I really need the room to plant out more beans, tomatoes and zucchinis. It’s hard to imagine that I’d ever run out of space in this yard. When I arrived here (7 years ago next month) the back yard was a huge mess. Many of the fruit trees were diseased and some were dying. What is now the greenhouse was an overgrown shed that had suckers from a cherry tree growing inside and most of the yard was a jungle, with weeds almost as tall as me.

This year’s garlic was in the first bed I made. I remember the soil was impoverished, dry and hard, with little worm activity. After all my layers of compost, mulch and crop rotations, today it’s black, rich and alive. When I first started here it was easy to get overwhelmed by all the mess and everything that needed to be done, but over the years I’ve created 6 more beds plus the greenhouse and got it to the point of producing almost all our vegetable needs and some of our fruit year round. One is dedicated just to asparagus, another just to raspberries and one is in the permanent home of rhubarb and acid-loving berries.

Now I go down the yard and still get overwhelmed by everything that needs doing – and because of all the rain the weeds are out of hand again and the grass is tall – but that’s good for the rabbits and there’s food to pick while I consider my options 😉

Today’s cute bunny pic is a double feature. Bernard Black has undoubtedly grown

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But this is my British Giant doe, Boudica. She is a lovely girl, very good tempered, but HUGE – especially when compared to BB!

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I love the “one ear up” pose from both of them 😀

I’m off to get ready to play music. Go gently and be well friends ❤

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narf7
    Nov 11, 2016 @ 04:56:44

    We planted out some advanced tomato seedlings we picked up from a local roadside stall that sells them for $2.50 each. They are excellent quality and with the garbage growing season that we have been having I figured I wasn’t going to try to grow my own this year. It’s a wise person who knows when to delegate ;). We will be raking the driveway that is full of sticks and chunks of wood from our winter log chopping and splitting to use in the bottom of the 14 fridge wickers lined up and ready to fill today. We are slowly assembling them. I filled the freezer section of one fridge with rooted mint that I snaffled from walking the dog alongside a river the other day. It was actual spearmint. I have never managed to grow it before and here it was, growing wild on a river. Earl wasn’t impressed that he had to stop dragging me long enough for me to grab a few handfuls and stow them in one of his empty doggy doo bags as I flew past.

    I love reading about other people’s gardens. It always enlightens me and I get very excited about possibilities. Your rabbits are beautiful. If you ever want some more chooks, our feral ninjas have been bringing out tonnes of babies from the shrubbery this year. It would appear that the local quoll isn’t impressed with the feral cats on our property (that eat all of the local wild rabbits…sorry Bernard!) and has been staying away from his annual reign of destruction and my cluckies are going forth and multiplying at an alarming rate. I guess that’s more roosters for the freezer…

    I will spend a day in the garden today. When the fridge wickers start growing well it will be a lovely green oasis out there. I need to pick up the fixings for trickle irrigation so that I can irrigate Sanctuary and our fruit trees and then it will be interesting to see how our experiment in water wise gardening in the North goes. Seems stupid with the amount of rain that we have had this year but aside from our 10 000 litre water tank, the rest will have to come from the mains so learning how to reduce and recycle the water that we have is a huge bonus. Loving this series of writing posts. Cheers for sharing it all with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Debra Manskey
      Nov 11, 2016 @ 07:42:57

      Love hearing about your wicking experiments! I must do a post about my apple and citrus tree plantings in barrels soon – I’ve been meaning to do it for months!!!
      Enjoy your day in the garden. Work with The Superstars for me today 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • narf7
        Nov 12, 2016 @ 05:27:46

        Yesterday we raked the driveway and used the sticks and woody chunks from log splitting for firewood, and the sawdust to fill all of the wicking bed bases. There was a lot of bending and lifting and I am feeling every single one of my 53 years plus some today I can tell you! Today we will be wheel barrowing soil down from Sanctuary to fill them. We need to build a sort of net covered hoop tunnel over the top of them all to prevent the possums from dining on our hard work all night so it’s off down to the tea tree forest at the bottom of the property to thin out the weedy ones and turn them into the framework (I need to use the draw knife first to strip the bark as they will last for ages if you strip the bark off the green saplings) prior to hauling ex fish farm netting over the lot. We have some serious work ahead of us but at least we are 99% finished our TAFE course now so we will have that time. Now we just need a window of opportunity between the rain and when the soil sets to ceramic to work in ;). We are going to be studying how to make short films next year. I might be interested in talking to you one day about being part of what I am going to do for my documentary if you are interested? I am thinking of documenting how people are growing their own food, sustainably, and in ways that are in harmony with the environment and documenting the rising movement towards simplicity, frugality and living a fuller life with less on our little island. Let me know if you are interested as I would love to include something from the South in my doco 🙂

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