Only four days left.

Typical!  With less than a handful of summer days left – today’s weather was awesome.  One of those lovely blue sky days we have been dreaming about for months. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the cicadas were cicading.  I’m not sure if it was a one off or if it will be like it again tomorrow.  To be honest I’m too afraid to look at the weather forecast in case it says rain, which if this summer is anything to go by it is highly likely! 

The other notable thing about today was the absence of wind.  Oh my gosh – over the weekend it howled over top of what would have been a lovely day without it!  The wind got up to 69 km/hour, but I guess I should count my blessings.  We aren’t anywhere near where the tornado was.  Luckily no one was hurt.  Tornados are such a freak thing here and take people by surprize as they aren’t common at all.

My poor broccoli seedlings don't stand a chance against those dreaded white butterfly...  that was until l put a net over them!  Much better.

My poor broccoli seedlings don’t stand a chance against those dreaded white butterfly… that was until l put a net over them! Much better.

So with a deadline looming at the end of the week, I did what I do best when I have a deadline at the end of the week – I procrastinated.  The panic shall commence in a day or two. But this procrastination was actually productive as I knew how important my deadline was, so I procrastinated with great efficiency.  I figured if I got all the silly little niggly jobs out of the way first, then I wouldn’t worry about them while I was meeting my deadline.  Besides I owed it to my tomatoes to harvest and process them today.  It couldn’t possibly wait a moment longer.

The first job I tackled was encountered as I cleaned up in the house and was distracted.  I can be easily distracted – especially if it is from the mundane.  I had been collecting the paper bags from the chicken food so I could store my potatoes, which were lurking in buckets in a gloomy corner of my shed.  But it wouldn’t have taken much too just go and load the spuds into the bags and job done.  But this year I wanted to do something extra and just really hadn’t got round to it.  I wanted to write on the bags the variety of spuds they are and also write how they are best cooked.  So then I can send Hubby the Un-Gardener or the kids to the shed for spuds and say “get the ones that are good for frying, I want to make chips for tea.”

This is such a simple idea, but works so well! I really should have got onto it sooner!

This is such a simple idea, but works so well! I really should have got onto it sooner!

So within a few minutes I did a quick Google search on my spuds, found out which was good for what and whipped out my marker pen and labelled the bags.  It was so simple I don’t know why I was procrastinating over this one.  But whatever it was, the tables were turned.  It was no longer the object of procrastination, – a procrastinatee, but had become the procrastinator – a task done in order to avoid something else much bigger!  And we have already had great benefit from this basic of tasks as we had chips for tea from the Ilam Hardy bag and they were the nicest chips I think I’ve ever had – so crunchy and full of flavour.   I will definitely grow these again.

The next task in the avoidance schedule was my onions.  Oh how I had neglected them.  When I first harvested them – about a month ago, I lay them out in the sun on the deck in the nicest of rows to dry out.  I had even gone so far as to line them up with the timber on the deck and there they stayed in their regimented rows for all of two days.  That was when the summer weather we were more accustomed to came back!  So it was all hands to the deck – so to speak, to get all the onions into the big shed before they got wet from the rain, where they were unceremoniously dumped in a heap on the floor and I kind of did my best to at least make sure they were in a single layer so they could continue to dry out.  And there they remained.

Onions needed for cooking were snatched from the floor and the tops pulled off while walking back to the house.  They had been swept here and there as the space they occupied was needed for other purposes, but I think it is fair to say they were neglected.  Their latest location was languishing against the roller door.  This set alarm bells ringing.  Not the urgent – must do something immediately bells, but the kind of bells that ring in the night causing you to wake up in a cold sweat, yet not do anything about it come the dawn.  The thing is – if we get driving rain from the Northwest it would go under the door and ruin my onions.

I wish you could smell how wonderfully fragrant these passion fruit are

I wish you could smell how wonderfully fragrant these passion fruit are

So today was the day to take care of it because I was avoiding responsibilities.  I cast my eye around the shed for a basket, but they all had things in them and I really wasn’t that dedicated to the task to empty and sort baskets – besides that would just send me down a different distractions path.  I needed to stay focused to justify my procrastination.  Then my eye spied a piece of wire mesh with small square grids, so quick as a flash I counted in ten squares from each side, did a bit of cutting and some sharp pokey origami like folding, and fashioned a basket held together with cable ties that I didn’t even get round to trimming up.  That’s a task for another day.

Look what I made!  The coolest basket I have ever made.  Actually I think it is the only basket I have ever made.

Look what I made! The coolest basket I have ever made. Actually I think it is the only basket I have ever made.

Then I sorted through the onions, chopping off stalks and removing the really loose outer leaves and put aside the tiddlers to be made into pickled onions one day soon, and filled my new basket with great pride.  If it wasn’t for the pride I feel in my whipped up a basket, I wouldn’t have told you about my onions as shame would have prevented it.

Just when I thought I had sorted out my peach problem!

Just when I thought I had sorted out my peach problem!

From there I went on to make six and a half jars of peach jam,  only to find the next tree was ready to harvest so I’m back to square one there. I also harvested three large baskets of tomatoes, including a whopper one at over half a kilogram!  Which is now sitting in a pot with loads of other delightful ingredients waiting to be turned into tomato ketchup, so I really must get back too it…

What a whopper!  The scales read 571g!

What a whopper! The scales read 571g!

Come again soon – I should pull myself together and remove the sweetcorn-less stalks as they are really looking a little manky.  Maybe a welcome to autumn job?

Sarah the Gardener : o )

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26 Comments on “Only four days left.

    • Hi Anne. I knew there were different spuds out there, but previously I viewed them as a gardener, making sure the harvest was spread across the season. Now I shall view them as a cook when choosing them as not all spuds are created equal and using the right one for the right job has made a huge difference in what was once deemed a bland but necessary staple veggie, All the best with yours. I hope you have a bumper crop, Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Thanks Julie. I went to bed with a huge sense of achievement, but also a niggly feeling that there is still something quite important that needs to be done…. One of the down sides of procrastination – what actually needs doing – at the end of the day still needs doing!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Thanks – it still has spiky edges and cable tie tassels, but it does the job. I actually surprized myself with how well it came together – with very little thought going into it. Normally I think about the best way to tackle projects for days before starting out!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  1. this post did my heart good! It’s fun to watch you enjoy the harvest there while we’re still dealing with winter here. Don’t worry about the procrastinating, you have a lot to do! I love the basket!

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words. Before long it will be me in the cold, itching to get started with the next growing season. Not that I am wishing away your summer…
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Looks like you got heaps done while procrastinating. I guess all those little tasks are so much more appealing when there is another task that we really don’t want to do laid out in front of us. Your onions look beautiful. And peach jam sounds so wonderful. We are several months off from those summer treats. Here’s to procrastinating!

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    • Hi Jessica. When I was a student – many moons ago, when we had exams looming, that was when the house was it’s cleanest as no one really wanted to study so avoided it by cleaning the loo!
      I’m really pleased with my onion harvest this year. They are mostly a good size, but I’m not sure they will last all year… not if I keep using loads to make relish and chutneys. I think next year I will plant even more. This may mean another sneaky land grab…. Mwah ha ha.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • HI Claire. Sometimes those small jobs are just too small to make it onto any list. There is nothing like a good helping of procrastination to remind you that little jobs are just as worthy as big ones.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. Excellent idea about the spuds. Now I just have to head off to Google and find some way to grow them vertically as our soil is buggeries bollocking TERRIBLE for spuds. All of my green leaves amounted to pretty much nothing this year so back to the drawing board and I might have to resort to one of those Pinterest pins that say “Grow 100lb of potatoes in 1 square metre”…

    Whenever people complain about the rain it makes me twitch. I understand that in some places in the world, precipitation from the sky could possibly be seen as a nuisance but where we have had no rain since early December and our gardens are mostly dead and tumbleweeds are forming and removing the rest of our topsoil as they trundle their wind assisted way down our denuded slopes I would almost kill for some rain about now. I, for one, can’t wait for summer to be over and am just about to completely overhaul our garden and pull out/chop down anything that doesn’t love Mediterranean or desert conditions. No more crying over wilted plants. Next year will be different!

    I love that basket and 100 kudos points for the quick save :). Our tomato harvest (Northern Tasmania) has been abysmal to say the least. Most of us have small green tomatoes at this stage of the game. No capsicum, eggplants still flowering and generally a pretty sad and sorry state of affairs when it comes to the solanaceae family in general. No idea why everything went pear shape this year aside from ongoing drowning from late rain and a sudden halt of rain that turned into drought in the space of a fortnight. Again…rethinking what I am going to plant and how we are going to garden into the future now.

    I am living vicariously through your harvest. Hopefully I get some yacon this year but I think bush rats have been eating all of my pumpkins (now that we dealt with the feral cats the bush rats are returning to wreak havoc and the quolls are eating my chooks! Sigh!) As you can see, late summer finds narf7 disillusioned, disappointed and just “diss” in general. Cheers for bucking me up today with your humorous and uplifting post. It will make watering my rat infested pumpkins a much happier event 😉

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    • Hi Fran. Oh you poor thing. I had a quick look over our weather history and was surprized to see we haven’t actually had any decent rain since the beginning of the month and on closer inspection – the ground is actually cracking. This comes as a bit of a shock, as there have been a few drizzly days, but most of the dissatisfaction with summer has come from the absence of the sun who spent more days hidden behind clouds and the almost constant wind. At this stage ordinarily I would be begging for relief from the summer and demanding rain immediately, but this year I am a long way from being able to say I am so sick of summer. Having said that your garden seems so much greener than mine.
      The more you garden in your garden, the more your soil improves so next year should be super duper. Having said that I watched a guy on You Tube who does his spuds in large pots, but lets the roots go down into fertile soil. The soil in the pot is light and fluffy so it is easy for the spuds to grow big and fat and he always gets a bucket filled with spuds.
      I do feel for you with your pest and vermin. There are so many creatures lurking on the dark side in your fair land. I just have to put up with a few crazy pukekoes interested in what I’m growing and the occasional hungry mouse. Each season is a learning curve and so next year can’t help but to be a better one.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • My squishy attitude from this morning has up and gone and I am feeling much better about it all this arvo (amazing what some really good music played LOUD and interacted with can do for a body 🙂 ). Time to assemble the troops and head back in to battle methinks…learn the lessons from this year and head into next years fray with clear and present danger! “Look out possums…here I come!” 😉

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    • HI Elaine. I have really had a revelation from those bags about how I actually garden. I have been doing it mostly for the pleasure of gardening, and the crop was a extra bonus on the side. But using the right spud for the right cooking method has made me rethink how I do everything. Next year will be amazing. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. What a great harvest Sarah – I’m very envious! I see that you’ve started sowing winter vegetables into trays, would you be so kind as to share what seedlings you have growing at present?

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    • Thanks Shay. I have a range of brassicas – broccoli, cabbage, kale, romanesco, kolhrabi, cauliflower, spinach, leek (although only two came up so I’ll have to plant more) some salad crops and in the garden I have sown turnips, carrot and beetroot. I think that is all that I have on the go at the moment. It is great to have fresh veggies in the middle of winter. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  5. Yep, autumn is coming after a pretty less than average summer 😦 I am so not looking forward to winter. Sarah you did way better than us with your spuds and that tomato! lol

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    • HI Wendy. It is definitely a little cooler this morning. I really feel like I didn’t get the most out of summer, because there weren’t enough days to actually get sick of the heat, so it is leaving me wanting more…
      I planted too many tomatoes and have struggled to keep up with them all season. If I had restrained myself then I think it would have been a modest harvest. The potatoes got blight, but I managed to save the crop by cutting the tops off and leaving them underground for three weeks. I imagine the harvest would have been bigger and better had they been allowed to grow for the full length of time, but it has just been such an average summer. But there is always next year and plans to improve things are forming in my head already.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Ah yeah, there is always next year and learning from each season is part of the course. Yes, ours got blight too and we did the same thing to get a reasonable third crop….so annoying though when you hope to grow enough for the year and get nowhere near it. We thought we planted too many tomatoes but nowhere near it….could’ve done with twice what we have.

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    • Hi Keith. I have to say I am truly blessed, not just with the bountiful harvest, but the space I have with which to grow it all and all the other wonderful opportunities that have come about because of my garden. I have been richly blessed indeed.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  6. I like your basket! Very innovative! Everything looks amazing Sarah. I feel like I could smell that passionfruit and it actually made my mouth water. And what a tomato! Mine all ended up looking like cherry tomatoes! They still tasted great though – and for a first time growing tomatoes that’s all I can ask for. Lessons learnt for my next crop. I’ll have to start aspiring to giant ones like yours!

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    • Hi Jen. The variety of tomato was called Delicious and apparently it is a record breaker. The largest one ever grown was over 3kg!
      The cool thing about gardening is you are always learning – even when you have been at it for years!
      All the best with next years tomatoes.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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