Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Flowering potatoes and sprouting walnuts

The moimoi potatoes I grew from potato seeds are flowering well.  As well as these flowers, there are smaller ones still coming on.

2016-02-02 - 01

Unfortunately, the moimoi tray was tipped over by the chickens in the shed, and were mixed with who knows what.  So there are some other potatoes flowering.  If I want to save seed from the moimoi, I need to dehead these and mark any existing flowers that may have been cross pollinated with these.

2016-02-02 - 02

Maybe a year ago, I was given large walnuts from some store.  Maybe a Chinese supermarket.  So a while ago after having them sitting in the cupboard, I planted them all in a pot and left them outside.  It looks like one has sprouted.  Of course, walnuts have a 6-10 year period before they produce more nuts if I recall correctly..

2016-02-02 - 15

Monday, 1 February 2016

Too much rain for much too long

Finally, a sunny day today. Well, it started off foggy, but that's burnt off and now it is a warm day with blue skies.  It stopped raining yesterday after what seems like weeks of continual rain.  The paddock is saturated, as shown in this photo from a day or two ago.

2016-01-30 - 02

The pumpkins do not seem to mind having sat in this for over a week.  Most of the puddling of water, is because the chickens get in there and scratch the ground up that way.  Otherwise the water would be one flat pool.

Five pumpkin plants are visible in this picture.  The only one with fruit and they're already larger than softball size, are the Atlantic Giant.  This is one which viewed in the photo above, is slightly in front of and to the right of, the small fig tree.

2016-02-01 - 10

Here's another photo of the other end of the pumpkin "landrace".  These were planted earlier from an earlier successful germination of pumpkin seeds, and have grown larger as a result.

2016-01-30 - 03

The best tomatoes, are yellow pear.  The seeds were a gift and were planted for the heck of it.  Just as well, as the other varieties are either struggling or damaged from sitting in water.  In the background you can see the Bloody Butcher corn.

2016-02-01 - 14

The peas plants are starting to dry, and I'll be able to save the seed soon. Next year planting at least twice as many, seems like a good idea.  Either landrace multiple varieties, or stagger the plantings so there are fresh peas continually.  They're quite nice in a salad.

2016-02-01 - 17

Most of this year's potatoes were Cliff Kidney, which were left of the Yellow Pear tomatoes.  And the row here which was mostly Vivaldi off along to the left.  Both of those, are now dying off.  But the Moimoi which have the purple stems have taken off and are flowering.

2016-02-01 - 18

The yams I planted a month or so back, are taking off and showing more and more growth every day.  Thankfully the bed is sloped, and only the bottom southeast corner is just sitting in water.  I was concerned whether they would make it through the layer of grass clippings compressed by netting, but that doesn't appear to have been a problem.  When the chickens are locked up for the night, I need to peel back the netting and deal with the weeds/grass that's growing on top.

Along the sides where I had fully cleared the grass, the chickens have been scratching and fully kept it clear.  It'd probably pay to clear the grass around all sides of it, so the chickens can keep it all clear.  A problem with past yam plantings is that grubs have eaten bites out of pretty much all of them, so it can't hurt.

2016-02-01 - 23

Speaking of the chickens, they've discovered a new treat.  A garden plant by the gate.  The red flowers seem to be a regular treat they're helping themselves to.  Here's one caught mid-air leaping to bite one off the branch.

2016-01-31 - 11

The chilli plants are still small.  They just don't grow very fast around here.  But someone gifted some green chilli peppers, and they've been pickled for the fridge.

2016-02-01 - 02

Here they are jarred up and cooling.  There was some leftover pickling liquid, so the apricots got the same treatment, but without the spices and garlic.  There's not much else to do with the apricots as there hasn't been enough sunshine for them to ripen consistently, and the abundance of rain lately has caused them to split on the parts that are ripe.

2016-02-01 - 05

Worst case scenario is that the apricots can be fed to guests on the same plate as the pickled walnuts are.  Last weekend's visitors actually didn't mind them, whereas the taster preceding them spat the walnuts out.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Drying seed

Here's both my red ursa kale seed and garlic heads drying in the shed.

Garlic, Takahue - 2016-01-24 - 01 - Drying in shed