Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We move today

Yes. Trucks packed at each end ready to move. They are moving here and we are moving there. It is all go.

Friday, March 20, 2009

This blogspot is coming to an end now

Well we are about to move into the Otaki village and I will no longer post here. I may be posting on http://rangiuru.blogspot.com as we develop this new property. It has been a very good autumn with apple, pear and quince crops very abundant. We still await the NZ Tree Crops Association coming here if they need any scion wood from the apples. However it may be possible to wait till the trees are pruned in winter to get that wood.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Potatoes grew huge among comfrey

This was an amazing discovery today, though knowing what nutients comfrey brings up from below I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

Today I harvested the grapes round the water tank. They are black and probably wine grapes I think.

This photo shows one root, so apparently I dug a shaw of potatoes, Malcolm says. And I found a huge potato among the strawberries too where I had piled in the comfrey water and other feed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Soil has lots of worms

One thing I have learnt rather reluctantly is that you just put mulch on a garden then you have heaps of food and good soil biology. I used to dig and dig like my father and first husband did but now I just mulch and scratch.

But every now and then I have a good look at the soil. A great time for this is when I am digging up potatoes. This soil is now so friable, it breaks apart and there are heaps of worms on each side. Here is one rather big one. And I know that if you don't disturb the soil too much it is better for your health. Just learnt this. Being a science graduate and very curious I always need to know why a rule exists. I took no notice of Malcolm when he told me not to dig. He didn't explain that if you dig you disturb the fungal chains which make polysaccharides. If you put on chemicals it kills the bacteria which produce polysaccharides. And polysaccharides are essential for making glycoproteins for the body. Glycoproteins are used all over, they have a heap of functions in the human body.

Anyway now I know why, I will just mulch and have a peep at my results every now and then.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The property has sold

To Leigh and Hamish Wells of Rangiuru Road. We leave on 25th March. Here we are with our sold sign. The agent was Grant Robertson. We bought their property.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More vegetable garden enthusiams

Every year the vege garden gets better. The caulis and broccoli have been so healthy this year that they grow enormous and don't suffer any disease. Beans are climbing to the sky and when we get home we expect to climb the beanstalk and meet the ogre and his wife.

Today I mulched the corn, peppers, lettuces, leeks and of course the potatoes with a mixture of grass clippings and wood mulch mixed with a compost activator and some magic liquid (water from comfrey, nettles, chicken manure and human urine). There are potatoes growing everywhere and only the Maori potatoes were planted by me this year. The others all popped up unannounced. Carrots are good. The pumpkins the same except for four heritage pumpkins which I nurtured. Tomatoes look good on the west side of the house this year. I only have a few in the glasshouse as I am building up the soil there this summer instead. It is hard to keep moist and gets quite powdery.

I have planted radish and more beetroot. The latter are something I have yet to master growing.

Looks as though it is going to be a good apple season and I have had to thin them quite a bit.

I wasn't much good at growing peas though so I have fed them for the first time and then we will see. I thought they could do without feeding.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Growing kumeras, harvesting broad beans and dealing with passionfruit moth

I have decided to grow quite a few kumeras. I have now harvested nearly all the broad beans and the theory of rotation is that I should start again by adding nutrients and growing greens again.

But we have enough greens and to grow kumeras will save more money. So I have planted kumeras in one patch to which I had added compost and all liquid feeds and wonder what will happen. Apparently they should be planted only in poor soil so will they grow all top and little root? So today I will put 20 more plants in without the extra nutrients right next door and see the experiment emerge.

As for broad beans I have learned you don't need to blanch them before freezing and have frozen heaps. Poor Malcolm is so sick of helping shell them. Then I learnt you don't even need to shell them to have them in a stirfry. Admittedly they repeated on me and I might try again with what is left in the garden.

The darned passionfruit has a moth. I have taken off a lot of leaves and will do some more research. It might need garlic spray.