Saturday, April 19, 2014

How lush is my vegie garden?

Cooler weather is seeing a slight slowing down of produce output, although you wouldn't believe that when you see this.

The best part of the coolth is that zucchini aren't growing so fast and it's easier to catch them before they turn into canoes.

Seems there was a slight problem with eggplant production in the grand nurseries.  Despite the nice label showing traditional purple coloured eggplants, three out of four plants produced the golden eggplants you can see above. A neighbour was so disconcerted by the golden-ness that she pulled all her plants out!  Weird.

A massive (and wonderful) downpour over a week ago caused the black russian tomatoes to split in concentric rings.

Vaguely visible at the top of the pic are purple tomatilloes.  They are becoming huge, finally turning purple and when you peel the "paper" off the inherent stickiness of the fruit leaves fingers stuck together for ages.  Now to find a tomatillo salsa recipe.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The one the parrots/rabbits didn't get

I've had a nibble - unfortunately it's not fantastic.  The #$%^ parrots got the best one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Today in the vegie patch

Collecting seeds

The farm manager

Rabbit damage

First pumpkin - finger for comparison. V v late.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I just love weck jars, but

Do you find yourself longing to possess something reasonably mundane and not really necessary to life?

I pine for and hanker after weck jars - their shape is so "I must have that".  They are super expensive here - if you can find anyone willing to distribute them (which is usually in the negative).  Deciding to cut out one of the middlemen I ordered direct from a German distributor.  One jar cost $1.50, the freight for each was $4.  But that's what hankering does to the bank balance.

I rarely have a bottling/jarring/canning seal failure. Until now. The contents are delicious. But, oh weck - what have I done wrong?
Successful

Unsuccessful
Three out of seven is not a good ratio.  The bottom four jars will have to live in the refrigerator until needed. (Excuse the bottle of sparkling - cooling down in prep for a party in the Gardens this afternoon.)


Sunday, February 9, 2014

January into February

Well - the cute wee rabbit has moved into the orchard!  A small gap under the gate was enough space for an adventurous creature, and now it has loads of fried blueberries and sweet juicy strawberries to snack from. Not the best scenario from our point of view.

The blueberry season has all but finished - at least a month earlier than previous years.  The cool weather then extremely hot weather confused the poor plants and about 40% of our crop is not worth picking.  Which in a way is a blessing because there's so much maintenance to do on the property and now we have an extra four weeks in which to weed and start some late summer fruit pruning. Silver lining stuff?

The nice big excitement? Some large and ripening nectarines have been discovered.  The only other fruit to have survived the October frost.

The not so nice excitement? Discovering very large holes in the "roof" of the netting.  Repairing these will require a cherry picker for reach.

The delightful bit?  A young female blackbird has successfully trained me to feed her blueberries by hand.  Gradually over a few weeks the blueberry distribution range has gone from a metre away to her taking the b/b from my outstretched fingers. 

Early days of training

Got it!
 She has learned to recognise my voice - which is just as well because yesterday morning I found her stuck in the currant patch (typical bird - easily gets into spaces, can't get out again!).  I called her to the entrance - hop hop hop over dried leaves so I could hear where she was.  Then thinking she could see the very large opening I walked away towards the back of the currants - to find she followed my voice and hopped back!  So, I return to the entrance - with blueberries in hand. Successful extraction and one young blackbird quite obviously chastened by the experience.

Monday, January 13, 2014

What a week

We are picking blueberries. First they were a little tardy because the weather was cool.  Now they are frying because this week's temps are forecast in the range of 40-42C and it's way too hot to pick during the day.  Today we were up at 6am to pick, until 11am when the temp hit 33C. Then while we tried to make lunch all manner of people turned up to buy - ah aircon in cars. 

And when we did get to sit and eat lunch distraction took the form of a wee bunny hanging out under the pear tree.  No photo - it took off faster than the speed of light when the back door creaked open. It could be a little discombobulated - last night it was sitting outside the neighbours' back door and now no sensible rabbit would be out (a) at this time of day and (b) in this heat.