Sunday, September 04, 2011

It must be that time of year

...and a mini-food forest style (unintentional) experiment.

Symbolic of this time of year. Still cool enough that the kids need warm stuff on, but not COLD enough that Mum won't let them play with the water in the barrow, or in the pot... or get tooo bothered about jumping in puddles on the way to school hence, three pairs of Quinn shoes out to dry (and several changes of clothes during the day!) and the a few of the girls (chooks - namely Combless, Bacon, Stripey and Spots) in the background enjoying the last few rays of sun before heading off to bed.

& see all these white dots (if you click on the pic there's even more of them!)?

They're mandarine flowers. The mandarine fruited this year heading into winter and is flowering again now coming out the other side of winter. We are rapt. If even HALF the flowers get to the fruit stage that's still gonna be a lot of fruit - enough hopefully to keep the resident fruit-bat-children, happy and with some to share.

here's one of the oranges (Washington or Navel - I can't remember)

the tahitian lime

one of the plums

one of the other plums

oh... and how do chooks get around the garden? You know, when it's been a long day of pecking, scratching and eating? easy!

By Tonka! One rides the tipper and the other rides the front-end loader lol

Now, to the unintended 'food forest style' experiment. When we did the bath tub beds for the veges, I planted the tomato plants expecting them to get roughly as big as the biggest ones we had ever grown before (which wasn't exceptional, just average). Well apparently no one told these plants and they grew like they were on something - which I guess they were - prime position, perfect insulation, superb diet of compost, worm poo, chook poo, straw and whatever else. So good they grew that we had tomatoes daily from March until August (here's some pics from July), with some plants hanging on and still producing into September.

Anyway, silverbeet and lettuce seedlings went in at the same time as the tomato plants. They were soon completely dwarfed by the tomato plants and it was suggested often to me to pull them out. I said I'd leave them, maybe they would self seed and then when the tomato plants came out we'd get self sewn silverbeet and lettuce.

Better than that. Along the 'food forest' theory, when I took out the top canopy (the tomato plants that were completely finished), the seedlings underneath had just been waiting for their chance in the sun. And they went nuts. in the space of a week they went from little brother to big Daddy. The were just waiting patiently - healthy enough, but just needing the sun.

They are soooo healthy it's ridiculous.

Also we found snow peas and tomato plants go really well together, with the snow pea loving to use the tomato plants as it's 'trellis' to climb up. It's not neat rows for sure, but they love it and the bugs tend to leave the snow peas alone - evidenced by the plant getting 1m tall and more (winding) whereas before we'd never gotten past about 10cm tall plants.

In just a few weeks time, there's also something else that comes in September.
Brenna's birthday. xo

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