Day 6 – Otamatea

We are all alone today. Wolf and Sabine have gone off to the big smoke for the day and left us in charge *evil laugh* Ok so our list of duties is limited to feeding the chooks and the dogs twice a day, collecting the eggs, locking up Darling (the calf) this evening, cooking dinner, weeding the willow circle again and digging up Dock.
The wind here is really strong, the wind shield trees are still growing but at the moment it’s pretty constant and string which is taking its wear and tear on my poor lips. They are so chapped, cracked and sore that it’s not a fun thing to even smile at the moment. I can’t believe I left my lip balms at home, I’m resorting to coconut oil to help but I have to keep reapplying it every to minutes or so.

Tomorrow is my birthday, I turn 30. Not sure how I’m really feeling about that yet.

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The chickens got fed, as did the dogs

, bean wigwams got made,

Darling got looked after, more weeds got pulled out around the Willow circle

(in this shot you can see a cleared section next to an uncleared section, we were pulling out grass taller then me!)

, there was quite a bit of me dancing around the garden singing to myself and playing air guitar (which apparently was very amusing to watch), but most importantly I planned and cooked a delicious dinner by first walking around the vegetable garden and harvesting what was available, some kale that we had missed, broad beans, celery, fennel added some sunflower seeds, pumpkin & potato from the pantry and brown rice and garlic and had a delicious stir fry. I was pretty pleased with myself. After dinner Sabine pulled out a magical polenta, wheat and citrus fruit cake that she had whipped up who knows when, and Wolf brought out some home made liqueurs (I’d already shared a bottle of red with Sabine while the boys polished off some homebrew beer), talk about a decadent lifestyle 😉

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Peter, peter pumpkin eater

Well actually you don’t eat this pumpkin, just the seeds.

Hulless pumpkin

This is one of the hulless pumpkin’s Barbara grew, we are harvesting the seeds from them and going to attempt to grow a few more of the pumpkins, they are notoriously hard to grow, and hopefully we will get a good batch started so that we can start harvesting the seeds to eat.

Pumpkin seeds

These seeds taste delicious roasted in the oven with some soy sauce splattered over them and olive oil. The go fantastically scattered in a salad.

Harvesting

This month we have been harvesting sprouting broccoli (main heads and offshoots), some of the peas, although they have black spots on them and haven’t done too well in their current position – may too wet and not sunny enough?? Also the corn started to do well, developing heads but I think the area was too exposed, windy and the ground too cold. The corn should have been composted and had straw to keep in the soil heat.
We have also been harvesting beetroot since last month and spring onions. All the Basil died off a few weeks ago (pots sooner then planted ones). The potatoes have all died back without flowering and the one lot we dug up were small. I haven’t dug up the balcony ones yet.
Also still harvesting celery in the balcony garden, plus garlic chives, parsley, the thyme is still quite small. There’s a nice looking cabbage in the garden ready to pick, the broad beans are all flowering but no beans so far.

Planter Box

Our planter box is finished and full of dirt. We used the dirt that is available on site. It’s dead so it needs to be worked. After a few loads of dirt we added a full bucket of Bokashi and then added more dirt onto that. We also watered each layer of dirt and I emptied half a bag of organic potting mix onto the top layer before planting my seedlings. Rosemary and I are planning to make up some comfrey tea (I think she said it will take about 3 weeks to ferment, and be ready for use). I believe that this box will need a lot of love and food for a while to get the dirt full of new life (maybe I should throw in some worms too…) I’m hoping that after a few plantings it will be full of life and you wont recognise it’s soil.

Buffie and I harvested 2.5kg of carrots from her garden today. It was just a small patch and there was only about 2 actually straight ones. All the rest had weird and wonderful shapes and extra limbs and strange bodies. Many of them had been transplanted at some stage and so they appeared to have restarted growing, leaving a bit of a bulb at the head. We have cut them all up and popped them into my freezer. We also made roasted cherry tomatoes with thyme, oregano, salt & pepper, elephant garlic and olive oil. Popping them into a jar and filling that with more olive oil. I intend to do more of these this week.

Planter Box