Thursday, May 30, 2013

time flies!

I have to admit that I am a terrible blogger.  I am more of a gardener and farmer, and enjoy my outside work far too much! So, its been about 6 months since I last updated this blog.  It was december then, just the beginning of what turned out to be a terrible summer.  The authorities called it the 'angry summer', and I think its a good description!  We broke all manner of records in Australia that summer/autumn, including the most consecutive days abover 30C (9 days in March!!!!).  We are very careful with our water use, and we came pretty close to running out, many did run out of water.  There was something different about this summer.  While the temperatures weren't extreemly hot as such, the sun had a fire to it.  Old trees have died all over our area, and it was next to impossible to keep up the water to the garden.  I am thankful that I managed to keep my young orchard trees alive (with only a few buckets of washing machine water).  I had to give up on most of the vegetables, as even with heavy mulching they couldn't cope.  Next summer I will use shade covers, if I can get it set up in time....

So, we are almost halfway through 2013 now, and thankfully the weather has cooled off and we have had SOME rain (much lower than what we would normally expect...).  So here is a little rundown of what has been happening here.

We have a new addition to the farm, her name is Buttercup, a Jersey cow.  She is due to calve in August, and we are very much looking forward to homemade butter!

I grew about 3kg of garlic, which we are still eating now, and hopefully (fingers crossed) will last us till the next crop is ready (november or december).

We are still eating our own home grown potatoes, and hopefully those will last us till the next crop (although we did suffer some losses this time due to rats).

After doing lots of reading, I'm converting my garden to be more of a polyculture, rather than distinct beds of this or that.  I have had a few pest issues (rats) and it seems to me that the safest way to grow food is to spread out things like peas, potatoes and tomatoes around the garden, rather than concentrating it all in one place so a pest can eat the lot.  Its early days and most of my attempts have been thwarted by the birds (at least my soil is improving as they dig up everything for the worms) and slugs...

I will try to update this blog again soon!  Hopefully before 2013 is over!

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