Next week is the school holidays. Not that the teen lads need much attention during the holidays, but the dynamic changes in the household and so any routine I find myself in during normal weekdays just flies out the window. Recently I have had a good thing going on where I have my little rhythm to what I have to do and I’m making great progress. Earlier in the year I did struggle a bit to find my groove but having a couple of short lockdowns just unsettles and disrupts things.
This week was probably my best week yet as far as structure and order. I wrote my to do list then crossed things off it like a knight in shining armour slashing his sword through the undergrowth to get to the princess. Although my princess is the reward of not emerging from the school holidays in two weeks’ time hopelessly behind on the things that need to be done in the garden.
I started out with some kitchen gardening on Monday. My radish was ready, but there were a little too many for a modest radish appetite. After much investigation I made my first attempt at fermenting in a salty brine. I must have watched hundreds of instructional videos before attempting it. The results were mixed in that the fermentation was successful, but not received well by all the family. Hubby the Un-Gardener hates it, but I think one of the teen lads likes it a lot as a quarter of the jar disappeared overnight.
The other radish dish I made was kimchi radish – which is ordinary kimchi – in my inauthentic style with all the other vegies missing. It tastes fantastic and is so easy to do I have promised myself I’d keep a jar of dehydrated pepper powder on hand so I can make it all the time.
On Tuesday, after I had taken care of boring old administrative stuff that needs weekly attention, I started on an exciting project I have been meaning to do for so long, but the enormousness of the task had me procrastinating. Fortunately, the finished product is essential for a magazine article due on the 1st of June so I can’t afford to muck around any longer. Once I got started, I wondered why I was hesitant to start. I am loving the project so much but am limiting myself to an hour or two a day, so I don’t lose sight of the other needs of the garden.
Wednesday had me chipping away at the project making great progress, but I also went to a fabulous book launch party in America! One of the upsides of this crazy world is events that would ordinarily be held in person are now held virtually. So, I got to go to Gardenerd Christy Wilhelmi’s launch for her new book Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden. Hosted by Robin Jones of Honey Girl Grows. It was a great way to spend an afternoon inside while thunder and lightning raged around outside. It is a good book and I look forward to getting my hands on a copy, although I may have to look locally as the postage of a book from the States can cost more than the book!
Yesterday I made even more progress and whipped up a flower press and squashed a few flowers. It was so easy to make, I don’t know why I didn’t do it years ago. I always meant to. Then on the back of that success I sowed some winter seeds in the dome. My onions will hopefully be planted out in mid-June which is about 8 weeks away so by sowing seeds now they should be big and strong enough to be planted out when the time comes. I also popped in some broad beans and sweet pea seeds. I so love sweet peas; they remind me of my Nana. The exciting thing is I found some dwarf varieties that should do better than the tall ones I have failed with in this windy spot.
I also sowed seeds directly in the garden, another row of carrots, peas, and swedes, and popped in some beetroot seedlings. Then noticing the mustard cover crop was not only flowering but starting to show signs of developing seed heads so I ripped out the plants from the former corn bed. Normally I try to dig them in but have decided it is hard work and like herding kittens because it won’t stay buried.
The advice often found in magazines to simply ‘dig in your cover crops’ makes me wonder how many of them have actually done it. This time I’m going to let the worms do it. So, I just chopped it up and left it on the top. I’ll eventually put a layer of compost on the top – hopefully, next week or the week after and let the worms dig that in too. So come spring the bed will be ready. The day ended in increasing darkness with the sky attempting to rain.
Today I was back at it. I took down the flowering cover crop in the old tomato bed. The onions will be in there next which will be in about 8 weeks so plenty of time for the mustard plants to break down and release their goodness for the onions to use. I have found my rhythm with this process now and it doesn’t feel like a daunting labour intensive chore. Buoyed on by my success at dealing with the cover crops at end point I spread more mustard seed in the bed the squash was in and in the old potato bed. I put lupin seed into the old onion / glass gem corn bed to give it a bit more of grunty nutrient boost. Then I came in from the garden and Hubby the Un-Gardener helped me give Jasper the Dog a wash as he was getting a bit stinky, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say teenage boy stinky!
And that was my week. I am now looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend.
Come again soon – hopefully, next week will have a degree of productivity in it.
Sarah the Gardener : o)
NB: To find out what is going on in the small pictures, click on them to reveal the caption.