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Kay’s Garden Blog, April 2014

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I’ve found it really interesting this Autumn watching myself… We are so, so busy preparing for our national speaking and workshop tour, there is absolutely no time for gardening… Being able to buy this land is so critical for the future of the seeds, the trees and work of the Institute that we have all had to focus on the fund-raising effort…  but I found I couldn’t do that until my garden was planted.
Somehow there is a sense of peace and completeness that comes with a well planned and planted garden… and we’re praying we will still be here to enjoy the fruits of our labour.

bread and butter pickles lacticTollies Sweet

I’ve been making lots of ferments that will last all winter now, carrot and ginger, carrot and perilla, garlic, carrot, beetroot, daikon and onions… all the roots, and a great drink mix we love: beetkvass. All of the recipes are in Change of Heart.
I’ve also just harvested all of the remaining peppers and roasted them and am now fermenting them in a 10% salt mix which will make a fermented pepper sauce to add to all our soups and stews over winter.

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The entire 200sqm garden is now planted and bedded down for the winter, a little late for here, but done now.
Half of the garden is in carbon crops, mainly oats and lupins.
A quarter is in roots and legumes, beetroot carrots, daikon, turnips, Tic beans and broad beans, and the last quarter is in the heavy feeders: 20m of brassicas of all kinds and days to maturity to ensure a constant supply, Ruapehu caulis – amazing things, Dalmation cabbage -my cabbage of choice because of the high nutritional levels, Brussel sprouts, Purple Cape cauliflower -also because of nutritional levels, and Borecole -my favourite kale, also super nutritious.
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Another 20m of the 50 in the heavy feeding section is in all of our onions and garlic. I’m working towards the most nutritious of everything and the easiest to grow. Right now this list includes Multiplying Spring onions which we eat daily, Welsh Bunching onions also eat daily, way more flavourful and nutritious than modern large onions, multiplying leeks (they are an experiment still, if I can’t get them bigger this year I’ll probably abandon them and go back to leeks from seed) loads of shallots, which grow large and keep well if grown in good soil with the right minerals, and are more nutritious than large modern onions. It is a lot easier to plant shallot bulbs and keep some to plant again than growing onions from seed.
The last 10m bed is in winter greens, rocket, Winter lettuces, Red Coral mizuna, Upland cress, coriander, celery, parsley etc.

multiplying spring onions17.9.09 153I’ll just have to keep the weeding up while it is still warm and they are growing so hopefully by the time we leave here in mid May on our tour, it will be cold enough that their growth has slowed down.
We’ve had another soil test done and that has been encouraging but I want to spend a lot more time talking about the soil journey and the compost journey which we are very excited about… next time…
See you at a town near you, with all of your friends, over the next couple of months on our journey.
Arohanui Kay

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