I’m sitting here beside a roaring fire, watching the rain beat against the window, but all is not lost. It has still been a productive day. This afternoon I defrosted the freezer. It isn’t a task one would choose to do on a freezing cold winter day – but it was a bit of a necessity as it had iced over so much is was becoming difficult to shut. I thought it was because the kids were leaving the door ajar and after a stern lecture on shutting the door properly and the purchase and installation of a kiddie lock – not to keep the kids out, but to ensure it shuts with a reassuring click, I soon realised what was going on… Sorry kids for going on at you – but having said that “kids make sure the freezer shuts properly – with a click!”
But it was a good and timely job to do – as it is a preparation project for the summer harvest to come. We will need the space before we know it, so now we can clearly see what we have. I’m a bit of a geek – I roughly organised the veggies in alphabetical order! I couldn’t help myself… well they had to put back into the freezer in some kind of order! I also updated my blackboard letting everyone know what is in the freezer and what shelf it can be found on. We can’t afford to afford to deviate from our golden rule: Something from the garden in every meal!” Time is against us – I need that freezer empty!
But this wasn’t the marvellous thing I was talking about…
The other day we have had another break in the rain and was blessed with a day so blue and sunny, you’d think it was summer – only colder and minus leaves on trees! It was the kind of day you couldn’t help yourself and had to get stuck in. So after whipping around taking care of the small weeds – such a rewarding task as it is so quick to do and looks so good. Keep on top of your weeds while they are small and you will thank yourself later. Having said that I still have some serious weed issues in a couple of beds and so I am still coming to terms with this fundamental basic of the gardening lifestyle!
Anyway there I was, standing on the edge of the garden admiring my efforts when what seemed like a permanent feature caught my eye. The Brussel sprouts. I planted them back in March 2011. They have been in for a year and a half! The seed packet promised maturity in 16 – 20 weeks! I’d never had much luck with them before, but I gave them another go and they didn’t come to anything… no big fat mini cabbages popping out the stalk, so I left them in just in case and then in the last couple of months I read somewhere that you need to nip the tops out to make the buds fatten up so I gave it a go – and it worked! I couldn’t believe it – after such a long time I was actually getting brussel sprouts! This week the time had come to chop them down and harvest the sprouts. The stalks were so thick I had a bit of a job chopping them down – think small tree!
The weather was too nice to sit inside so I set myself up outside to sort out the sprouts. I had about a kilo and was stoked, but we weren’t going to eat them all in one go – they needed to go into the freezer. So I had the most relaxing day peeling off the outer leaves and chopping in half what seemed like a million sprouts. Cutting them in half wasn’t necessary – but they had been hanging around for so long that I wanted to guarantee that there was nobody lurking inside. Not a surprize I want to find on my plate!
While I was sitting there my hyacinths were smelling incredible and the blue anemones were attracting so many bees that I am convinced that there is not a drop of pollen or nectar left on the flowers! The bees weren’t the only visitors to my wee work space. Brandy the Chicken has taught her babies the fine art of escaping the coop and they stopped by to peck at the sprout peels that had fallen at my feet. It was so cute. Then they wandered off and climbed into the bed with the celery in it. I nearly instinctively chased them out, but decided that there was little damage they could do, but they could have their fill of slugs that have been having their fill of my celery.
Once I finished I took all the brussel sprout peeling and stalks to the goats who thought all their Christmas’s had come at once and every time I went near them after that they got all excited with expectation – only to have their hopes dashed! I hope I haven’t given them a taste for the garden. I shall worry if I see them hanging out with Brandy the Chicken!
I also tried to mow today, but the rain beat me to it – however it was a bit of a half-hearted attempt as the ground is still too wet. I need at least seven days of sun and wind to dry things out enough to mow. But I can’t see that happening anytime soon; there is no sunshine on the next ten day forecast. But it is winter after all!
Come again soon – I am of the edge of the most exciting thing in the gardening calendar!
Sarah the Gardener : o )