Well that was a close shave. After all the warnings from the Civil Defence via the media, we were all set for Cyclone Pam to wreak havoc, and after all the tragedy it caused in Vanuatu, it left a lot of us a little worried. But it sailed passed us with no more damage than our ordinary storms. There were trees down, choppy waves and power out to many. Having said that as it moves further down the East Coast of New Zealand, they are still bracing themselves for the worst and some have even been evacuated from their homes. I hope and pray they are let off as lightly as we were.
The thing that does worry me the most, going into winter, is quite often the storm warnings are way worse than the actual storm. I think this has been the third storm where either the boffins got it wrong or it was a slow news day and so the media blew it out of proportion. However one of these days a storm will come through and be just as dangerous as predicted and no one will take any notice of the warnings. The little boy who cried wolf springs to mind.
But in the meantime I shall take the rain that Pam gave us gladly. We haven’t had decent rain for ages and the ground is cracked and parched. And I am grateful there was no wind either. I awoke in the night expect to hear it whipping about the place and all I heard were the crickets chirping in the still night air.
Once things dry out a little, because I’m much more used to sitting on dry earth as I tend my garden – I’m a little bit spoilt. I’ve become a fair weather gardener unused to working in the cold and wet. The deepening autumn will be a bit of a shock. Well once it has dried a little I shall get out there and throw myself into my winter garden preparations.
I have managed to get my hands on a great range of cover crops, and am now impatiently waiting for some of the crops to finish so I can plant them out. I think I have come to the decision that I have too many tomatoes. This realisation was brought about this weekend when I cleaned out the freezer in my laundry room. It is an upright one and I have been putting all of the crops in there as I have harvested them. But it was starting to get a little full. That and I was prompted to sort things out by a near miss on the defrosting front as someone left the door ajar. I found out before any harm was done.
So I emptied everything out and gave the freezer a good wash and then reloaded everything in a more logical order. I think I must have some kind of deeply hidden control freak in me as the shelves were stacked in alphabetical order with the asparagus and artichokes at the top and the tomatoes and zucchini at the bottom.
I have hedged my bets, so to speak as we have a large deep freezer in the shed, its main aim to is house farm fresh meat, which if you ask the kids animals have been “swapped for meat.” It is a bit of a hard thing to do to provide for yourself in this way. But at the end of the day it came down to economy. Meat here is so unaffordable and there have been many times I came back from the supermarket with none as I couldn’t justify the price. Now it is so nice to be able to roast a large meal with all the trimmings and have enough for shepherds pie the next day. So not wanting to have a nine year old vegetarian with a freezer full of free range meat, animals get ‘swapped!’ One day they will know the truth, but not just yet.
Anyway so we were clearing space in the big freezer and I decided it was best I split my harvest over the two freezers so should one fail I wouldn’t lose everything. The inside freezer could be the working one, so when we ran out of say… corn, we could go to the big freezer in the shed for more. But what I didn’t realise was in there was several bags of tomatoes from last season that we hadn’t managed to get through. I thought we had used them all. Clearly I grew too many. So I will maybe make a load more tomato paste, because it is the only vegetable product I still consistently buy – that and garlic, but I’m still too upset about the catastrophic failure of my crop that we wont dwell on that. And I shall resolve to not plant so many next year. It won’t be easy to stick to this. So if come September and you see me planting far too many, please remind me to check my freezer for a stark reminder of what too many tomatoes look like.
Come again soon – I’ve got cover crops to cover the ground with.
Sarah the Gardener : o )
Oh and have a wee peek at my garden and find out why I’m washing my pumpkins.