Saturday, 24 March 2007

Find the Veggie!

Good morning all
Tomorrow afternoon (25th March 2007) at 2.30pm is the Open Garden at my place, and you’ll all just have to take it as you find it, as it IS a working garden So there are the inevitable ‘corners of chaos’ in transition from this place to some other place. My mobile is 0417 826 399, if you get lost…
To bring: Chairs, cups and special teas or coffees or drinks. I reckon Claudia’s baking a cake or two. I’m just turning up! We’ll have espresso and filter coffee, Rooibos, Darjeeling and peppermint + chamomile teas.
Space for humans is restricted a bit, to allow for more plants. So here’s a few things you can look out for if you can’t get up near the front of the crowd: -
Fruit Trees: Satsuma plum, bananas, Washington and Navel oranges, grapefruit, mandarin, cherry, apricots, peaches, almond, apple, olive, chestnut, figs, black sultana grapes and the world’s biggest lemon tree, plus the golden bamboo patch for all the growing frames.
Chooks: The usual black and brown hybrids, with a new flock (9) of the Australian meat-egg bird, the Australorp (check out the ‘chicken fly-over’, which lets us walk over while they walk under, giving them access to both sides of the garden)
Beans: seven different varieties, all climbing, including snake beans, epicure, scarlet runner, Giant of Stuttgart and who-can-remember-the-rest). These grow on bamboo frames.
Seed beds: There are different cloche systems covering the seedbeds. The trampoline serves as a shade for newly transplanted seedlings, and also as a seed-sorting table for lettuce seeds.
Leaf vegetables: Look out for the German seedlings zicoriensalat, weiskohl and feld salat. There are also Italian lettuces, endives, beetroot (for the leaves), lots of rocket and all sorts of other lettuces.
Winter veggies just getting under way: Italian broccoli, Pak Choy, pale green silverbeet, turnips and kohl rabi
Sunflowers: Mammoth and various others
Tomatoes: Des’ Delicious Disaster! I need a locally adapted variety. But there are some great capsicums, including some in their third year, and a perennial chilli bush
Cucumbers: Grown on a trellis, these are Syrian and Green Gem
Pumpkins: Butternut
Carrots: Waiting to be thinned
Onions: Gone to seed, and slowly being collected. Also planted out as ‘spring onions’
Herbs: Pineapple sage, parsley, chicory, garden mint, Greek basil, sweet basil, lemongrass, sage, tarragon, borage, comfrey, asparagus, globe artichoke, wormwood and fennel.
Potatoes: Blue-purple spuds – they look disgusting, but taste pretty fine.
Zuccini: Italian grey-ribbed and something else…
Wood heaps: The kindling and mallee roots are under cover, but all the raw stock I’ve yet to deal with… That’s what happens when the neighbourhood houses get pulled down; those of us who salvage things spend years dealing with the aftermath.
Rain water tanks: Another year like this, and I’ll be wanting more of my own water, so the existing 3300 litre tank will be joined by three more of the same size next week. This space is being cleared.
Wildlife: Look for the possum-damage at the tops of the grapevines and apricot trees. Possums live in brick heaps, in the woodheap and in a pencil pine along the driveway, and use aerial routes such as power and phone lines as well as trees and rooftops to move throughout the neighbourhood. We had a koala for a few days, but he’s moved on. There are plenty of marble geckos in the brick heap and the occasional blue-tongued lizard, always named Rustle.
Seed Collection: I have about 100 seed varieties of open-pollinated non-hybrid traditional vegetable seeds: I can drag these out if anyone is interested.
The Shed: All Aussie blokes have sheds: mine’s been dumped on during house renovations and while the garden has been getting first priority for the past six months. Best not go in there! But if you want a shredder demonstration or a sight of the garden tool collection, just yell – I’ll dive in there alone.
The House: This is a passive solar design, with a very high north-facing glass on the kitchen/living area, which lets the winter sun in to store heat in the massive slab floor. There’s solar hot water heating, evaporative air-conditioning for when the heat edges us towards divorce, and a north-facing lounge. It’s all insulated, though the west-facing blinds are a bit homemade. The kitchen is also homemade from fruit boxes, school desks, old junk from the fifties-kitchen of old, and all the other improvisations we’re living with until we can afford time and money to continue renovating. Wood fire heating.
The Rumpled Room: This outside building used to be the garage, then my office, but is now inhabited by my oldest (of three) sons. All that junk outside in the driveway is the stuff he couldn’t fit into his palatial acoomodation, or pulled out of the 50-seater bus he is renovating. He’s also encroaching on house space, so his tracks are everywhere.
Natives: The front garden is gradually being converted from thirsty exotics to bird-attracting Australian native plants: feel free to poke about.
Neighbours: Check out the urban-infill on both sides. One of these neighbours is obscene and should not be heard – she’s complained about smells, rats, roosters, junk and noise; I’m waiting for her to dob me in to the Water Police. She wants a better class of neighbourhood, not the one she moved into. I’ve never actually met her – just the bureaucrats she sics onto me…
Cheers until the morrow

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Sounds great , we are all coming and we talk a lot so get prepared for lots of questions from us.