Volunteers and Patience – Day 22 NaBloPoMo

Hi everyone,

I spent a lovely day out in the yard today – no uni work to do. Woo hoo! So I had a chance to actually pay attention to a few things.

Like the worm farms. I’ve got two of them I bought a few years ago for converting all the kitchen waste that my chickens can’t have, (tea leaves, coffee grounds, potato peelings and so on) into lovely rich compost. I haven’t really taken a lot of notice of them since I emptied the bottom trays some months ago and put the compost out for the potato beds and wicking barrel fruit trees.

Well, imagine my surprise when I looked closely at the plants coming up in the gap between the trays today.

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In the picture above are mostly Roma bush tomatoes that I dried back in autumn, and after saving what I thought was the best of the seed, put in the rest in the compost bucket. Note a tiny potato plant in the right half of the photo – that has come up from a peeling! I’m planning to pot the strongest tomatoes up and let them do their thing. I’ve found Roma is a great variety for growing in tubs.

Volunteers are actually really common in my garden beds. At the moment, I’m picking from several Golden and Ruby Silverbeet (Rainbow Chard) and Curly Endives that have popped up in quite unlikely places and every autumn I have Corn Salad (Valerianella locusta) and of course, there’s the potatoes.

It’s really hard to find all the potatoes at harvest time and it only takes one to see a new plant sneak up in the middle of whatever’s in the bed next. Usually, I pull these out as they are like weeds – unwanted interlopers! On the other hand, in spring, I always find new plants of the perennial Wild Rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) that has made a home in front of the asparagus bed that I like to transplant or put in pots.

This is the asparagus I grew from seed last spring and planted out in autumn. Despite needing a thorough weeding, it’s doing really well – much better than first year crowns should – but I did spent quite a few months preparing the bed with copious amounts of sheep manure, seaweed and spent straw from the rabbit hutches. Also, I haven’t seen any berries yet (which identifies female plants) but with the slow start we had to spring, they might not appear until next month. The biggest stem was about pencil thickness so I might take a stem or two next spring but I won’t start cropping properly for another couple of years.

Most of the food I grow is fast to produce and crop – gone in a season. Apart from the fruit trees, asparagus is the only really long term food project I have, but I know it will be worth it. After weeding, I’ll be piling more manure and seaweed over it – and wait.

Patience is a virtue 😀

Speaking of which, this young fellow has no patience! This is Bernard Black charging in to eat ALL the food this morning, giving me the “get out of my way woman!” look on the way ❤

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. narf7
    Nov 23, 2016 @ 06:58:01

    He is certainly eager! Loving the garden posts. Yesterday we finished off the external perimeter irrigation and weeded the middle beds which had head height weeds in them. Sometimes you have to know when enough is enough and we two middle agers limped off at lunch time to replant a couple of cardamom plants that we had bought years ago and that haven’t had much fun in the ground, into the freezer part of some of the fridge wickers we are currently filling (slowly) with soil. I noticed that they had grown new plants and were very easy to separate and so I now have a lot more cardamom that will no doubt be happier in the fridge wickers. While we were (arguing and gesticulating, exact opposites shouldn’t really be allowed to work together 😉 ) in the garden I noticed the old cast iron bath that we rescued from near the council in Beaconsfield (after asking permission of course) that was full of murky water and realised that it was situated in an area of the garden that was always in the shade. I had one of those “lightbulb” moments and realised that it would be perfect for turning into a worm bed. I am going to get Steve to knock me up a cover of sorts from an old door that I will get him to split in half and hinge so that we can sit on it (on top of the bath) and open either side to feed the worms. This gardening lark certainly takes it out of you. While I was trimming back oak tree branches from a small (but most determined) oak tree that grew from oak leaf mould my dad had applied around the base of an aging rhododendron, that keeps grabbing us as we work, I heard the unmistakable alarm clucks of a clucky chook. I saw her, she saw me, there was an immediate moment of recognition and I raced off after her as she ran off determined to keep her egg spot where she has hunkered down a secret. I went hunting and found 6 clucky chooks and about 90 eggs between them but not the culprit. This life on the land certainly keeps you active!

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. Parul Thakur
    Nov 26, 2016 @ 03:36:18

    Lovely pictures and it’s always good to find time to observe the beauty around, in the middle of work.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Trackback: Addio Estate – Harvest Time | Debra Manskey

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