I just popped out of the house to pick some lemon myrtle leaves. I really didn’t want to pick them, I was going to pick elderberry flowers to make champagne but the other decision maker had a brainwave to make cordial out of lemon myrtle. I’m not absolutely sure how I’m going to do that and I may have to do a bit of study to make sure that decoction of lemon myrtle is not going to kill us, but that was the reason I ventured into the big wide grassy world.
And then things just snowballed. We dug one potato garden and picked a sack full of snake beans as well as chokos. I’ve lined some up on the kitchen table. Strangely, our tables just seem to hold projects and we tend to eat on our laps. This could be a viable alternative lifestyle for consideration but at least the projects are well accommodated.
Eventually (sooner rather than later) I’ll sort and dry brush the potatoes for storage. I dry brush them because I figure that the dirt is mine and I had to make all that dirt so none of it should leave the property or go down the drain. I have plastic food buckets well lined with newspaper and pop the potatoes into them and keep them in the dark little pantry. I take out any that have been spiked by the garden fork and any tiny ones. The tiny ones I throw into a pile in the hope that they will eventually sprout and I can use them for seed.
Once you have potatoes in your garden, they will always be there, sprouting back years later just when you don’t want them to. But at least they are handy to have for an easy feed. I have had potatoes flower and come to seed in the garden and then found them growing through the lawn. Must have been where the seeds fell. There are always tiny tubers that stay in the soil, avoiding the digging and they will pop up again next season.
Ours seem to do well in fresh ground. Once I’ve put a few seasons of crops through the soil, they don’t do much good at all. This must be the reason why traditionally potatoes were planted over last years long drop trench after it had been filled in and over wintered. I haven’t tried that yet but never say never.
The snake beans or yard long beans love the hot weather and represent a fantastically abundant green veg option through the summer months when all the other green vegetables get very mushy from the heat. They pick all through Christmas and New Year just when you think you will expire from heat and humidity, the other plants get sick and the candles melt in their holders.