Peas, peppers, pumpkins, peanuts and preparations and presents and a ‘P’eetroot.
I need to apologise in advance as this is a little long but I have had a huge weekend in the garden. I now ache a little in all the usual places that hard work brings aches. I should be used to it by now, but doing a little moaning can still bring some sympathy and often that comes with a cuppa tea.
After the storms and rain and wind and general yuckiness of the last week you wouldn’t think it would be possible for the sun to come out at all, but it did, and with all its blue sky magnificence and not a cloud to be seen. Now it is almost hard to imagine such yucky weather was possible – except for the fact it is still fresh in my memory. It is getting a little cold outside. I think we are being a bit wussy as we have had the fire on a few times already even though the temperatures are nowhere near zero, however it’s the cosy factor that we are looking for.
This weekend was best because it had mother’s day in it and I was truly spoilt. I was given a lovely thermal cup so I could drink my cuppa teas outside without them going cold and a hat by the thoughtful Joeyosaurus, Tim the Helper gave me beeswax moisturiser – which I might add he made himself at boy scouts and it is really amazing – perfect for a gardening mum like myself. And the big present was also pretty cool. James Wong’s Home Grown Revolution. I have been eying it up for ages but could justify the cost. I want to read it cover to cover on an upcoming break, but it is taking a lot of self-control not to read it now!
So we have this upcoming break – well a working break, I have to do some speaking about my book and my garden and stuff. Who would have thought writing – which is a solitary occupation causes you to stand up in front of people and talk! To be honest I am really nervous about it, but I love my garden so much, once I get going I think it will be difficult to stop me. I think the whole world should garden, so maybe I’m just the person to tell the whole world they should.
So anyway, my garden is being left in the hands of a more than capable garden guardian – my mum, but I still need to prepare as it would be a little rude of me to expect my wonderful mum to be the one to do all the chores that leave you with that gardeners ache, so I got stuck in and prepared the garden for my absence. I harvested a load of peas and sowed some more. I transplanted some free range spinach into a straight line – I must have order in my garden. I cleared out the salad bed and in the process discovered a beetroot I didn’t know was there, but I’m not sure I will be able to eat it! I planted out a new row of beetroot, but if they get anywhere near as big as the one I found then I haven’t left them enough room!
I also sowed some succession crops in my garden for the winter – more kohlrabi, turnips, parsnips, lettuce, radish and some fennel. Then I repotted my leeks and spring onions and celeriac into larger pots, as they will just have to wait until I get back before they see their new homes in ‘the patch’. Then I turned to the basil. Frost will be here soon and I don’t want to lose my leaves, so I harvested them by clipping off the stalks, taking them inside and whipping off all the leaves, washing them in my super salad spinner and chopping them up in my food processor and flat packing them into snap lock bags and popping them into the freezer as fast as I could so they don’t lose all their goodness. Now if I want basil over the winter I just need to snap off a chunk. But the thing is – the plant in the garden had a thick woody stem – nothing like the stems of the live basil you buy in the supermarket. So I wondered if it was something that will come back in the spring – so I left it… watch this space.
With the impending frost in mind I also harvested all my peppers and chillies. Some chillies I put in my dehydrator, some have been put aside to make the last batch of hot chilli sauce for the season and then all the peppers were chopped, de-seeded and put in the freezer for the winter. The freezer is now pretty full. We shall be eating like royalty over these next few months! But I forgot to wear gloves – don’t do that! Oh my goodness my hands were very ‘warm!’ Luckily it was a cold night, so I could get some value from the intense burning!
While I was harvesting things I thought I’d dig up my peanuts. I’ve never grown them before and so was curious to see what I’d find. And guess what I found – peanuts! Loads of them. I grew peanuts! I am so stoked! Next year I am going to grow more because The Joeyosaurus wants to make peanut butter! How cool would that be!
Then I thought I’d better dig up my cheeky late crop of potatoes and so I grabbed a large bucket in anticipation. I needed have bothered with the large bucket… a coffee mug would have done the job of holding my harvest. I got more peanuts than potatoes!
The last thing that needed my attention was the pumpkins and it became a family affair as I told Hubby the Un-Gardener where they all were to pick up as some were heavy and he took them to Tim the Helper who hosed them off and then the Joeyosaurus washed them in a bleach solution and Hubby the Un-Gardener stored them in the shed. We have a lot of pumpkin to get through.
It also became obvious that now was the time to judge the Annual Giant Pumpkin Growing competition for 2013. But due to the drought and neglect – seriously they are all talk when it comes to the sowing and planting, but then they forget all about their pumpkins for the greater part of six months. I don’t think I’ll make gardeners of them – but I won’t give up trying. Any way there was only one misshapen pumpkin as all the others had stopped growing and rotted away. So there was a lot of argy bargy about whose pumpkin it was, so I carefully followed the stalk back to its roots and it stopped at the foot of the label belonging to The Joeyosaurus, the undefeated reigning champion of our Annual Giant Pumpkin growing competition.
Oh and I mowed around the veggie garden – It takes longer now as I have brazenly stolen more land!
So as you can tell by the amount of words, it was a huge weekend with a lot achieved. That should hold you for a while – while I do my speaky thing…. Wish me the best of luck.
Come again soon – my garden will continue to grow and on my return I’m sure there will be loads to do.
Sarah the Gardener : o )