Thursday, June 16, 2011

Winter garden

About a month ago I loaded the vegie patch up with bags of compost and blood and bone. Digging is hard but satisfying work! Then I left it to sit and fester for about a fortnight (convenient timing, as it took me that long to get to Bunnings to buy seedlings and mulch, and the blood and bone bag said to wait at least 7-10 days before planting anything).

Then in went runner beans, snow peas and rocket. We also have an enormous feral pumpkin, an unidentified feral melon (possibly re-germinated from the watermelon seedlings that died a speedy death in our unforgiving summer but could also be rockmelon sprung from buried scraps), a few leftover herbs and the passionfruit vine that is in its second year and which I really 
really hope will give us fruit this summer.

Winter vegie patch: planted, mulched and ready to go! (or should I say grow?)
Recently, just to the left of the end of the photo above, we installed two compost bins. Prior to this I was burying all our green scraps but it's too hard to do that without disturbing the new seedlings. I'm trying to alternate layers of green/brown/scrap/dirt, with a different layer on top of each at any one time. So far they mainly seem to be producing flies and midges in prodigious quantities, probably because the most frequent thing that goes into them is fruit/vegie scraps. However E and I just took advantage of what has turned into a beautiful afternoon to add a layer of dirt to the most offensive one which will hopefully reduce the problem.

And we still have about a million manderines. The flesh is closest to an Imperial in texture and now that they are properly ripe they are quite sweet. The skin is somewhere between an Imperial and whatever those other ones are called (the ones with the thinner, harder to remove skin). Yesterday I peeled what felt like a hundred but was probably only about a dozen, juiced them and froze the juice. Somewhere between six and 12 seem to fall off every night and E's new favourite game is to toddle around after me with her beach bucket, carefully picking up each one and depositing it before moving onto the next. Good for toddler entertainment if nothing else!


Naturally Carol said...

Hi ANB..I love mandarine is more delicate than orange, probably miss e would really enjoy it. That was a good idea to put a little layer of earth on top of your compost, I think it helps it all to break down faster too. I have heard that a bit of lime sweetens it too and comfrey leaves are very good at being a catalyst too.

A Farmer's Wife said...

I love mandarins. The juice is yummy and you can make mandarin cake (like oranges but with mandarin juice)

Good luck with the composting.

MultipleMum said...

Thanks for the idea of mandarin juice (and cake above). I have a glut too! My veggies are coming along nicely (we have matching crops. lol) and I will be really excited to start eating them soon! Composting is next on my list - we have been burying ours for ages but it is time to get productive! x

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