Thursday, May 19, 2011

taking stock .... early winter update

not much really growing in a major way right now .... so i thot it might be a good time to give updates on where projects and plants are up to on our little homestead.

the front raised bed
the front center bed.  seems to be ever growing and morphing.

on the one side is the raised veggie patch.   in this one we have some greenfest pea's growing, garlic and snow peas that are being tried on a river cottage style growing piece.  all seem to be doing well.  the garlic sprouted really quickly and the two types of pea's .... while they don't have flowers on them yet, are growing like weeds.  so that is all good.  the broad beans are up too.  i read today in an organic magazine that you should pinch out the centre of broad beans early on to promote more bean pods.  gonna have to give that one a go!

the river cottage inspired
snow pea trellis.
the dissapointment in this bed is the parsnip and the comfrey.  neither seem to be coming up at all.  they both should be.  my understanding is they tolerate this moderate cold fairly well .... but no joy on that.  i'm also dissapointed that i didn't put more mulch down.  the grass has bloomed horrifically and it ticks me off.

on the other side we have started concept #3.  we knew there was good earth under the layer of grass .... but felt really daunted that getting all that grass up would be really painful.  so instead .... scott mowed the lawn right back .... we dug up the bed a little bit and are covering with newspaper and straw to get it ready for the spring.  i have planted an edging of parsley and it finally seems to be taking off (you can never have enough parsley!).  there is also a few errant strawberry plants as well.  i have moved the artichokes to the front.  aesthetics really .... they look really cool as they get bigger and besides offering good food, they will look good in the front yard too.
the parley lines the front of our
central bed.

we are ending up making this side a bit of a two tiered area ... the edge closest to the street will have trees planted, we have a division made with limbs from trees that scott has been pulling down, the idea being to level that up a bit .... the tree's and whatever ground covering they have will be slightly raised.  still need to get a few companion nasturtiums and marigold's in.  i reckon lavender will be a bit of a go'er as well.

chicken hilton.  hmmmm .... it's a bit of a touchy subject, but v.1 wasn't stable so had to be pulled apart.  let's just say the chickens are gonna love v.2 .... it will work a treat i do believe!  will be able to house over 12  chooks and it has a mesh floor to utilise deep manure mulching.  hoping that the final product will be up and running this weekend.  fingers crossed.  once that is done the big beds in the back yard can get started and bedded down to rest for a spring planting.

the chook hilton progress.
the wire allows for the manure
to pass through to a deep mulching
bucket  below.
seedlings.  these are looking good in my greenhouse.  i am going to start trying to get into ugly veggies <g>... the first is celeriac.  heaps of my seeds are coming up so i'll keep you advised on how they turn out.  i have a plethora of cabbage, snake beans and also am about to plant out broccoli and cauliflower.  i've also got chives, comfrey, spinach and beetroot ....

i have to figure out how to get this comfrey really going.  i've got a punnet of 8 and only one has sprouted.  really disappointing.  comfrey is a real central part of our composting and weed management program.  it has something in the leaves that really promotes decomposition in compost piles as well as being a great border for beds and keeping the weeds out.  so i am going to have to find another way to get this stuff to grow.

you'll remember my post on my love affair with leeks.  i planted out a tray with 24 punnets with 2-3 seeds in each punnet.  so far i have about a dozen coming through.  moved their position in the greenhouse so that they get a bit more sun .... so the jury is still out on this .... but at least something is coming up.

more chooks.  yes, well, we still have them -- they haven't flown the coop.  thought i might loose them again last night when one tried to get on the top of the shed.  but i managed to get them all locked away safe and sound.

the compost bin is up and running.  i don't have the balance correct .... but our hearts are in the right place.  i have to say that turning the stuff is an absolute pain and i see why folks get the tumblers .... hey! just being honest!

scott and i will each be attending a Milkwood seminar / course in June.  Scott is going to the Aquaponics DIY workshop and i'll be attending the Mushroom Growing seminar.  i am expecting that shortly we'll be growing fish and fungi to harvest and enjoy!  they also have a Food Forest weekend that i would love to attend .... but i am not sure if it is do-able .... and shouldn't i be putting into practice those things i already know before moving on to others?  but i can dream!

so i give us a pass for the winter work so far and an A+ for effort and enthusiasm!  the potential is there and we should be reaping the rewards very shortly!

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