Monday, 17 December 2012

Berry,Berry Delicious!

Biddy's Butterfly
It's Berry Time Folks!  Beautiful, succulent, delicious berries!  Yum!  Our blackcurrants are ready for the picking, as well as strawberries, which are just coming into full production.  Although we have netting rigged up to protect the strawbs, some sneaky little birds still manage to wriggle through and have themselves a feast.  Can't blame them - the smell is so heady!
Sweetly Tart Blackcurrants

Strawberries crammed full of flavour!
We have just had a wonderful Helpxchange staying, helping out with weeding and compost turning.  We took her for a little drive to Waihi Beach and had to add a few pics taken there.

Beach Christmas Tree

Sculptural lighting at the Beach
Just thought of it - Sustainability broken down is the Ability to Sustain!  Simple!  Beautiful!  My seedlings have grown quickly, eliciting lots of planting in spare spaces in the beds.  Some have been tucked away amongst the wildflowers which seem to be taking over the pathways as well.  Man, it's a jungle out there!  Will need a machete to chop my way through soon!  And of course, the buzz and hum of little bees at work is deafening!  My daughter learnt that she can "steal" pollen from a  bee, using a tweasers!  When I pointed out that was a cruel practice, she pulled my kilo of bee pollen out of the pantry and asked who exactly was the cruel one??  Touche'.

Seedlings to be planted this weekend

Lavenders all in full bloom for about 2 weeks now - bee fodder!
I find tomato plants fascinating!  You plant them and they seem to do nothing for a couple of weeks and then suddenly they are like Triffids, doubling in size before your very eyes.  Pinching out the laterals and tying them up becomes a full-time job!  We have some surprises ahead, as a lot of our tomatoes were gifted to us, so I do not know what they are and the fruits will be interesting to harvest.  I do know that two of them are already fruiting and their fruit is a dark black!  Indigo Rose.  Looks ominous but very very interesting!

Tomato bed seems to have grown overnight, with zucchini in front

Tomato bed no.2

Wildflower Jungle

I have these amazing white floss-like flowers which I thought was phaecelia, but on a quick Google, discovered that they are really Carrot Weed!  Should this have been included in my wildflower seed mix??  All sites on Google are how to eradicate it!  Eeek!  Look how tall it has grown underneath my apple and nectarine trees!  Online sources advise me not to compost it (ooops, too late) as the seeds spread like wildfire!  Interesting indeed!   I have enough weeds growing, without actually cultivating them!

Last of old-fashioned late sweet mandarins
At kindergarten, we made butterflies from stringing lengths of material through chicken mesh, then scrunched up the middles to make butterflies to hang in the garden.  After a year or two, the fabric fades and shreds, so my colleague very kindly re-threaded one and gifted it to me for my garden.  It hangs proudly in our apple tree.  Recycled Art.

Butterfly sculpture

Geranium under Monty's Surprise Apple Tree

Clusters of Monty's Surprise apples
A lot of the little apples are falling off, but I guess that's coz there are WAY too many hanging up there and there is no way the little 3 year old tree could feed them all and see them to full fruition.  I really hope we have scuppered the Coddling Moth this year.  It seemed much less prevalent last year, I think, because of planting lots of strong smelling shrubs underneath - rose geranium, lavender and chives.  See if that is the case this year......


Wildflowers Everywhere

Ureneka (Maori Purple) Potatoes

Hazelnut flowers

Garlic with rust.......  
My garlic crop is infected with rust, a common problem when we have rainy Spring weather, with not much sunlight.  I have read that a cure could include removing all infected leaves and throwing them away (not composting) and then spraying daily with a mix of water, baking soda and vegetable oil.  Shall see if that can save my crop....  This is the second year this has happened, glad I am not a garlic farmer who relies on the income!

 We have been enjoying rhubarb pud, stalks cut up into 1cm pieces and then cooked with sugar (about a small potful rhubarb to 3/4 cup sugar, no water and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice.  Add a blob or two of plain yoghurt and this healthy treat rocks!!

Zuchini, Sage, chilli, tomatoes and basil seedlings

New variety tomatoes .... bluish black/purple!!  Real nightshade stuff!
Called Indigo Rose and purported to have heaps of anthrocyanins (blue colour pigments)
2 more days of work and then term break!  My holiday list grows and grows........... first up, to finish making a wooden pallet double bed base...... Love the challenge of creating something useful out of something that is potentially a waste product!  Play Time!  Bring it on!  
Time to be free and to be me
Time to make and bake and create!  
Time to rest and regenerate the zest!  (yes, I love rhyming words - it's the kid in me!!)

No comments:

Post a Comment