Seedling Report & depths of frustration

I now have 15 Kentucky bean seedlings coming up, 3 itty bitty basil seedlings are starting to raise their heads as are several courgettes (zucchini) and early gem corn. Still no sign of capsicum or coriander. Tomorrow I think I’ll transplant a few of the tomato seedlings into pots and put the string up for the beans to climb. I purchased a few organic bok choi seedlings which I now need to find some pots for.

zucchini seedlings

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I went into a supermarket yesterday for the first time in months and I hated it, it freaked me out. There were rows and rows of fruit and vegetables, some forced to grow out of season so they could be labeled “grown in NZ” but many many many of them imported from overseas. It got extremely anxious about purchasing anything, aside from that fact that it wasn’t organic, the way it’s grown or shipped, the carbon miles involved in getting it to the supermarket, it just made me so frustrated with the world. I hate that we think we can have fresh tomatoes all year round, that if I want a cucumber I can pop into a supermarket at any time of year and there it is. We’ve lost our ability to cook to the seasons, I’ve been finding it extremely difficult to purchase a cookbook that caters to delicious seasonal cooking. I love cooking, I love picking up a recipe book and going “I’ll make…. this one” and simply grabbing all the ingredients and off I go, but when you are only purchasing organic vegetables, there is a hugely limited variety of things during winter, and basically the entire thing can just feel likes it too much and not worth the effort.

It’s because if this feeling of just giving up that I’m grateful that I have Craig around. When I came home from my shopping trip, rather then saying “yeah it’s too hard, don’t stress about it and buy what you want, when you want” he went through with me the items I had ended up purchasing from the supermarket, working out with me what we could do ourselves in the future and what we could do with out. I became inspired all over again about growing my own food, organic, seasonal and fresh. I made us a fish curry for dinner and looked at the herbs and spices, this time only the coriander seeds were from my own harvest, but I could see how easy it would be to produce all those things myself. I enjoyed the image of me popping down to the beach or a river and fishing and I felt much more at peace with the world again.

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Successes & disasters

I have cleared one particular area of garden beside the common house of all it’s weeds and it is now ready to compost and plant into again. I removed all of the old sprouting broccoli except two as they need to cross pollinate and I’d like harvest the seeds from these guys as they really did well. I’ve also left the lettuces as they were also really good producers and are just about ready to “bolt” (go to seed). I pulled up a golden beetroot without remembering what it was so I’m going to attempt to “can” it or preserve it like I would a red beetroot and see what happens. There are still bunching leeks, a few bunching onions and some spring onions coming up in that area so it will be interesting to see how they go. Now that the warmer weather will be starting up I’ll need to start watering that area again once I plant it out.

Now, the disaster.

I have had to scrap the cloak I had on the loom as it just became a hideous mess of tangle and bad tension.

Cloak

I did attempt to fix the tension which just made the tangle worse and in the end I decided it wasn’t worth it and will start all over again. This time I’m going to try using a warping board (perhaps my inkle loom) and attempt a few techniques from my new weaving book and see how that turns out. I will however salvage the 30cm or so of weaving I did manage to achieve and start up a physical diary of my weaving. I’ll attempt to wash some of that weaving and see how it looks – it’s not finished unless it’s wet finished – apparently. I also need to wet finish my shawl and table runner, it will be interesting to see how they turn out too. First I need to acquire soap flakes.

Going potty

This afternoon I potted up a bunch of new seeds, all colour coded pots, because I could 😉

In the red pots we have coriander seed

In the green pots we have courgettes

In the black pots we have early gem corn
and lastely, in the white we have a rainbow mix of capsicums.

Seeds 1Seeds 2

It will be interesting to see the difference between the commercial capsicum seed (in the big seed tray with the cucumber seeds) and the organic one when they grow. Do they bleach commercial seeds ? The commercial ones looked a lot whiter then the organic ones.

I also transplanted my lavender into more nutritious soil. They had been in seed raising mix for a long time and I figured they’d had enough breakfast and now it was time for lunch. I don’t think that I want to plant them out into a garden, I think I will leave these in pots (there are two, when they get bigger I’ll split them – or maybe I’ll do that today… anyway). I like the idea of having some lavender growing on the balcony just for us.

Seedling Update

The peas are coming along splendidly and supper fast.

Te Anau & Southland Snow PeasTe Anau (top) & Southland Snow Peas (bottom)

Some of the Beesteak (pictured) & money maker tomatoes are starting to come up.

Tomatoe seedlings

There are actually two cucumbers coming up in this photo, one in the bottom left corner and one at the top right edge.

Cucumber seedlings

Almost half a dozen of the Kentuky Beans are sprouting. I believe these are the type of beans I grew up on so I’ll be very excited if they do come up and even more so if I can save some of the seeds.

Beans

No basil or cabsicum yet though. I also harvested my first few broad bean pods yesterday (not from the balcony garden), I’m thinking tonights dinner will be meat and three veg featuring the broad beans 🙂

Potato Box

I just thought I’d post a pic of the potato box (which hasn’t really had much of a life as a potato box), with it’s current occupants: Broad beans and tulips. I’m looking forward to seeing this with the tulips in bloom.

New seeds in.

I have planted Basil, Beefsteak Tomato, Moneymaker Tomato, Kentucky Climbing Beans, Te Anau & Southland Snow Peas & Capsicum seeds into trays today. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find organic sources of most of these seeds this time round so had to go the commercial rout (better then no seeds at all). I highly doubt that I’ll be able to do any seed saving from these though.

Transplanting

Transplanted Onion, Parsnip, Calendula and the remainder of the Silverbeat seedlings into potting mix

New Moon

Transplanted seedlings today:
Sweet corn with some Southland Snow Peas, near Common House rotunda
Early Gem corn – parallel to parking near compost loo in “Rosemary’s garden”
Te Anou Peas along wire fixed to the water tank in “Rosemary’s garden”
Soaked broad beans ready to plant tomorrow

Not too convinced the sweet corn will do well, at least two plants looked almost dead
6 of the 20 broad bean seeds are floating, probably means they are not going to grow, might plant them in an area together and see.

We have had almost 2 weeks of rain this month

More gardening

Rained
Planted Bunching Onion and Hollow Crown Parsnip Seeds
Sweet corn seedlings that I purchased on the 8th are in need of food, nitrogen I think. I plan on planting them on Monday with the Te Anau Peas as well as cleaning up the remainder of the tomato plants and replanting that area with some lettuce, beetroot and broccoli seedlings.
Planted a potato in potting mix bag of dirt

Repotting

Repotted into larger pots
– Rosemary
– Sage
– Thai Mint (into hanging basket)
– Common Mint
– Basil x2
– Sweet Lemon Basil
– Curry plant (new purchase today)
– Aloe Vera (new purchase today)
– Lemon Grass
Repotted mini seedlings
– Pea (Te Anou) x16
– Broccoli x 90
– Beetroot (Golden) x 86
– Corn (Early Gem) x 36
New purchases:
– x6 Basil
– x12 Sweet Corn