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Garlic

Garlic

Picked this at the correct time of December 21st.  Finally we have a breed of garlic that will love our tropical climate and have done well this year with next to no attention at all. 

So this lot will definitely carry over until next April as seeds for the next year of garlic.  Hopefully we can end up with a breed that doesn’t mind these conditions.

One tree crop

One tree crop

And the final half hour of the garden walk involved picking blueberries off the one bush that grows them successfully.  There was nearly two kilos (some went at lunch time) and a few cherry tomatoes were popped in at the end as I walked past them.

The berries will be fridged in the hope that they will last.  They will – if they don’t get eaten.  They last extremely well.  A lot of the rest of the tomatoes went into the frittata for lunch.

I enjoy blueberry Danish so I make it with an apple crumble recipe but I add lots of butter and nutmeg and cinnamon to the crumble mixture to make an imitation Danish.  And BAKE!

A quick walk in the garden

A quick walk in the garden

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.

In the Garden … Area 51

In the Garden … Area 51

This is like one of those super fuzzy alien autopsy videos.  And the subject is fairly alien as well.

If you look past the bad focussing, you’ll see that the subject is a tomato which is just blushing ripe and it was so heavy it was hanging down to the ground as we didn’t get around to staking up the plants.

So I picked it and brought it into the kitchen.  A while later when I looked, we had a visitation from a lifeform – which was actually some kind of caterpillar who was living inside the tomato and had a network of tunnels and holes like a little caterpillar subway and it was scooting around the tomato and generally having a great time.

So I just left him there.  There are probably very good reasons why I should do that and if I liked tomatoes better, I may have committed bugicide but for the moment, he is living a blessed life on the kitchen bench.  And tomorrow, I’ll consider my options.


Reflections

Reflections

The willy wagtails are back in the tree that I can see from my office desk.

They were there last year and we kept each other company through the storms and rain and bright days.

I have a particular esteem for the urban birds – the sparrows and pigeons, wagtails and swallows that quite happily exist and rear young in the middle of the city in any little spot.  They are such game little things, adapting to people and traffic and not only surviving but thriving.  I know where their nests are and I stop and talk to them when I am doing my work jobs.  Luckily, where I work, it is not strange to see people standing around the street talking to the sky with no real reason behind that.  I just blend into the background.

But I think that my love of these birds are because they give a living example of how the highest talent is surviving in any situation and learning to make the best of it.  What is the point of living in gated communities or taking to the hills of Nevada in a bunker when you have this example of survival to keep us inspired everyday.

And pigeons, I know where you nest.  And you look yummy.