The quarterly update from the garden is here.
It’s the greenest Summer I have ever seen up here on the hill, and it has us all a bit thrown.
On the whole, its actually been very cool, the temperate nature of our climate usually has us desperate for rain. This year we have been gifted so much extra.
Not so easy to forget, we did have a hot blast in November and parts of our region that were suffering in drought, were then heartbreakingly on fire. But since the cooling rains, the sun hasn’t peeked out much. It has had smoke to contend with.
Gardening has been a steady pursuit, more to do with pulling enormous weeds, and cutting the grass three times a week (I wish I was exaggerating). Not the usual hustle and bustle to rush to preserve and bottle around Xmas and into the new year. All the the goings on that come with overexcited children at home for holidays did keep up the pace for us.
The rain came, the sun went and we have had very little in the way of tomatoes and zucchini. Two cherry tomatoes and 8 zucchini’s does not a Summer bounty make! They will surely catch up during a warm Autumn season, she thinks dreamily. A gardener and her fantasies!
Nonetheless, the garden always provides and the greens keep on coming. Lovely salads, kales, spring onions and beetroot are steady. The garlic harvest in the Hugelkultur bed was our best yet and the walking onions were a happy staple in the pantry over the summer, with a modest amount of seed ready for late autumn planting.
Citrus are plentiful and herbs are lush. Flowers usually long gone like pansies are still blooming and the vase is full. Some birds left, but Pelicans arrived on the dam. Relatives also flew in from Ireland and enjoyed a day in our green hills.
Refreshingly we swam in the cool sea and it woke up our nervous system. It hasn’t warmed up like usual and we certainly haven’t had the tourist visitor crowds.
I registered our patch with Grow It Local, a great grass roots initiative and a wonderful way to share the edible gardening spirit.
I have been researching Collard Greens, which a local gardener told me about. I promptly received seeds and plan to add this non-hearting cabbage, which is ‘pick and come again’ to the garden.
It will be nice to have a continual harvest from Autumn this year to possibly Summer 2021 and have something new to test. Dreaming again.
Butterfly Pea seeds rotted in the wet ground, never getting the chance to heat up and spring to life. Will try again next Summer. Forever the optimist.
Although Summer is not what we expected , we know eating with the seasons, no matter what they are is what is important. It keeps us healthy. If Mother Nature thinks we need to eat greens, we’ll eat greens. We picked Cherry Plums and preserved those for the winter. The tomatoes and zucchini’s will just have to wait. Pumpkins and watermelons might be a pipe dream.
Our Community Garden is lush and green, looking cosmic with its wet circular mosaic sparkling in the rain, ready to welcome it’s visitors. Berries and stone fruit are in good supply there.
Though we have relished in the cool and green, for many areas in drought, rain doesn’t come often enough. The drenched soil laps it up, soaks it in and returned the favour with nearly instant spurs of green.
Nature is resilient, but you can feel that the soil is hungry for roots to cling on to. It’s crying out be planted.
When we plant, we create stability. When we make compost we protect topsoil. When we put roots into the soil, those roots and soil take carbon and gives us life. Now more than ever, we need to look after one another.