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Rain rain rain….

We’ve had more than a month, right over the middle of summer covered by cloud, with misty, continuous and sometimes heavy rain. And no sun, well almost none. These are very challenging times for gardeners endeavouring to seriously grow all their own food. The only vegetables that have behaved normally are those from Europe where they are actually adapted to and/or co-evolved with these conditions!!!

phacelia600

Maybe this is a one off glitch, maybe we have to think far far more seriously about food security and get real about which crops will actually reliably perform! We’re aiming to ensure we are growing high brix crops which apparently are not anywhere near so affected by climate changes, or glitches as much!!

Next week I’ll let you know what we harvested from the garden this month and what it’s retail value was. I do know that I have fed a lot of people this month and I haven’t been to the supermarket once!

cosmos_sunset_squash

Cosmos Sunset and Squash

Things I’m noticing this summer…

  • The Bio Pesticide that I put on before all this rain began weeks ago is still keeping the white cabbage butterflies from laying eggs on the cabbage and the seedlings it was sprayed on. It clearly remains as a living microbe population on the leaves of the plants and keeps working!
  • The mid season corn may not ripen, growing too slowly with little sun,
  • Same with the peppers, we are just eating our first ripe peppers now, they usually begin ripening mid January.
  • Unsure what will happen with the rock melons… they should be ripe by now
  • The bees have hardly been able to get out, I think 3 significant honey harvesting days in February!
  • The cucumbers swell and ripen only when there is sun, so they are going along in fits and starts,
  • The early pumpkins ( Delicata, Zimbabwe squash, Red Kuri.. Table Queen )…are great, but I have serious reservations about whether the long keepers will store at all, they don’t look as though they will ripen and mature…. remains to be seen and may depend on the weather over next 6 weeks!
  • The things that have done well are; tampala, ( an outstanding summer green, which is highly nutritious as well) the courgettes ( Crookneck Squash) over 8 kgs of small squash off each plant; carrots beetroot, chives, barley, millet, Dalmatian cabbage all seem to love this weather.. the best carrots ever.
  • I harvested the first two lots of my dried beans, and also miraculously managed to get a sunny day to finish drying and cleaning them. I was happy with the yields for the first crop in a new garden. For both beans I harvested 600gms per sq m of dried beans ready to store. These were the dwarf varieties Sinton and Mother In Law. The Sinton beans were perfect, no bad beans nothing to throw away, however the Mother In Law were so beautiful to grow, I loved their mauve skins as they dried and I was so excited about growing them because they are outstanding as baked bean beans, but they didn’t like the wet conditions, and around 1/3 of the beans once they were dried and cleaned were so badly damaged by the wet conditions that I would think twice about growing them in an area that has wet summers. They have thin skins.
  • The next plantings of carrots beetroot, daikon, turnips are all up and looking good,
  • The winter brassica seedlings are looking good, protected from white butterfly and other pests with Bio:Pesticide.
  • We have covered a great looking Sumire Mochi hulless barley crop and foxtail millet with bird netting
  • We will be harvesting our Proso millet this week, if we get a break in the rain or a little sun!

proso_millet

 

Proso Millet

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