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Kay’s Garden Update November



The other exciting thing this week has been the sun!! The sun came out for an entire week, and my summer garden began to grow. It was pretty depressing seeing the tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, okra, and even the pumpkins just sitting there looking aweful at the end of November. I just kept thinking of the endless rain and cool weather we had last summer, and even planted extra daikon, beetroot, carrots and lettuce- which all do well in cool summers  and winter just in case!! We’ve been blessed with rain, as well as sun, so things are really starting to take off.

I’m going to have another talk to Richard Watson, one of our seed growers, who lives in Amuri where it is a very long, cold winter and check out his greenhouse design. I’ll see if he will write something for us about his amazing greenhouse as well. Our house plans are about to go to council and I don’t need more convincing that a small greenhouse attatched to the house, for food production in adverse growing conditions, is a must.

On December 1st, I’m going to begin weighing everything that comes out of my garden again to determine it’s value, so I can keep real about garden economics; what comes out, for what goes in.

Last season, the first year of this garden, we saw that even when we bought all the fertilser and foliar sprays, we were able to cover all the costs of setting up the garden with the value of our Summer crop, which made our winter veges free. I’m hoping that this year, as we have added more biochar and fertiliser, we will come out far better off and that next season, when we should not be buying any inputs, the figures could  be astounding!

Right now, we’re eating: Southland sno peas, Odells, and Lightheart Lettuces, Cylindrical beetroot, Welsh Bunching onions, Multiplying Chives, Tic beans, Puha, Lamb’s Quarters, and we’re hanging out for courgettes and summer crops.

I harvested our Early White Rocombole garlic and it’s drying and will be ready to eat next week…this garlic is incredible, it tastes great, you get to eat the flower heads, it keeps well and it’s ready 6 weeks earlier than most other garlic… we’ll have lots for sale this year. Perfect for selling at a Farmers Market, just before Xmas to get top prices!

My hulless oats and barley are almost ready to harvest along with the  Essene Flaxseed

My great Aunty Nellie’s rose at my gate is flowering

The NZ heritage sweet peas are flowering

My Flour peas are flowering, they have small bi colour pink flowers and enormous tendrils which make then easy to hold up, they don’t need much support because they hold each other up!!

Right now, I’m planting… basil (it’s hard to go past Genovese for pure ease of growing and huge production and also flavour), it will finally take off, and succession crops of green beans, (King of The Blues or Purple Pod, Emu, America, and Yellow Pole are all excellent choices), lettuce (Tree Lettuce is an excellent summer cultivar, you’ll need to become a member to purchase, as Tree Lettuce is part of our institute range.) I’m also planting Finger lettuce, and Lightheart, available in the Garden’s range. I’m planting daikon of both the long white sort (Tokinashi) and Aomaru Koshun, the round one with a green shoulder and bright pink mandala insides which we all love raw, cooked and pickled. I’m making sure all my summer vege companion flowers are all in: Morning Glory, Chromosia zinnia, Sunset cosmos, all cosmos actually, Marigolds, Love Lies bleeding… all those colourful South American flowers that love growing with the South American vegetables. I’m also putting in sunflowers; have you tried Lion’s mane, an old Dalmatian gumdigger cultivar? It’s an outstanding variety I have never ever seen available in any other catalogue world wide, or Evening Sun another outstanding cultivar with multi headed sunset coloured heads. Also, Giant Russian, always a favourite, is grown by Richard Watson and selected for tall stems that do not blow over in a gale, as well as large flowers and seeds s they are quite special too.

Oh, and if you didn’t get tomatoes in, then it’s not too late to plant Henry Harrington’s Dwarf Bush Cherry, which can be grown in pots or in the garden; they crop fast and taste excellent.

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