With the recent spell of fine weather, we’ve managed to get ahead with the vege garden, which makes a nice change.  The carrots, beetroot & broadbeans have germinated, no sign of parsnips alas. We’ve got loads of self seeded Tat-soi & coriander.  We’ve dug up all the spuds, a smaller crop this year, in part because where we planted them has been quite dry. Still they’ll keep us going for a good while, we just won’t give so many away. We left them on the wheelbarrow in the sun for a couple of days to harden up. Now they are stored in our gardenshed/caravan in cardboard boxes, to keep out the light. Being super efficient we planted blue lupin seeds in the spud patch for the winter.

We planted some kumara in our old salad bed, on a mound. Six plants survived, of the 10 or so we planted & they have produced a great crop. Kumara need gentle handling, & to cure the skins we’ve put them in a heap on the deck, covered with a sack. Soon we shall sort them, eating any that look damaged, & wrap the others in newspaper to store. We’ve kept some of the stalks that didn’t get frosted, & we’re going to experiment with them. We’ll grow them in the greenhouse over winter & see if they’ll produce next year. They look very sturdy, & often the plants we buy are weedy & have hardly any roots.

A couple of frosts has motivated us to get tender plants into the greenhouse, & still on the list is to put up some frost cloth for the young citrus trees. I’ve sown seeds that need winter chilling, or ones I think will benefit from it, including 2 sorts of apple, walnuts, Black Boy peaches & some bulb seeds; Orris Iris, Galtonia candicans & Muscari comosum.

We picked the last of the eggplants & cooked up a big tray of Moussaka, & also made another big pot of Chilli sauce, & there are still more chillies coming, might dry these ones. The feijoas are falling thick & fast & we are eating dozens, & giving them away. Hope to make some room in the freezer so we can tuck some in there for later, they are so delicious.

We bought some chickens that were at the end of their stay in a laying shed, for $1 each. We’re getting one or 2 eggs a day, & they are growing feathers fast, just as well with these cold nights. they’ve adapted surprisingly well & have even moved up the pecking order to harass our older hens. They’re a bunch of Houdinis & we’ve had to rebuild our somewhat rickety fence to keep them in. I do love the noises they make.

Next on the list: get some mulch for the empty patches in the garden, strain the cider & add sugar, & try out a recipe for cider vinegar. Fix the foot valve on our pump so it doesn’t need priming every time we use it,cut up firewood, send some sheep to the butchers( after sorting out the freezer) & mound the leeks & then…