Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Pretty good actually, thanks.

Having been told that my soil was only good for growing potatoes, I'm pleased to relate that my root vegetables are not doing badly. They do have more than the usual complement of limbs, but who cares?

Stumpy-Dumpy sat on a wall

The aubergines have now stopped growing with the advent of the cold, but just four plants gave a huge crop over the period from early summer to late autumn. Although there were some complaints from the cook wallah about how 'hard' or 'holed' they were, they served very well in ratatouille and sundry Chinese dishes.

I succeeded in growing four peanut bushes. Weird things, peanuts. After they flower, tendrils grow down from the flowers into the ground, at the end of which form peanuts. I'm still drying them, so I don't know how good they are, but they look like real peanuts.

In the Terra Preta I have planted two types of broccoli, carrots, lettuces, daikon in big and small varieties, spinach, and mizuna.

There are also 300 onions, a bunch of garlic, broad beans, and three sorts of peas (green, purple, and snack).

Today, I caught Kawabe-san our builder tilling his onion fields so I begged him to swing by our place and till what is to be our lawn and orchard. This he did with great skill, turning up all sorts of horrible chunks of old cement and spider grass roots.

While we were working on our tilling, a praying mantis was laying its eggs on our foundation wall. The eggs come out of the mantis's bum in the form of a marbled blue liquid and dry into a straw-coloured foamy case. I'm not too sure about playing host to violent religious extremists like the praying mantises, but I guess we're stuck with them for a while.

The winter skies have been pretty good recently, with some massive clouds and clear views to the main island.


damian said...

Rod, how much land dedicated to edibles? It sounds like you have quite a mini farm without needing a lot of dirt?


Rod said...

If you look at the entries for February, there's a view from the scaffolding that shows the area dedicated to veg. I don't use all of it at the moment, and some of the beds I made are lying fallow while I made new beds nearer the house on the slope. If I could get some help from the rest of my family, that area could make us self sufficient in veg, with a surplus to give away. As it is, it doesn't contribute much above 30% at the moment (lack of time, planning and expertise).

Beside that patch, there's a hedge of 8 blueberry bushes, and I just planted a pomegranate the other day for juice.

Ideally, the garden should be located over a leach field from the toilet, within hosing distance of rain butts fed from the roof.

I'm hoping to keep chickens at some point too. (I seem to remember you have some experience with that?)