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Posts Tagged ‘backyard gardening’

Gardening on this scale will provide your family with a really healthy gourmet diet even if both your money and your time are tightly budgeted.  It will provide a true sense of security: whatever else happens you will always eat, and eat well.  It will provide an area of creativity in a sometimes treadmill existence, and an area of serenity in a sometimes madcap world.

Linda Woodrow, The Permaculture Home Garden
(photos below are of the fruits and vegetables harvested
from our backyard garden in December)

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The last post was green, so this one is red.  After all, it’s nearly December, and Christmas is just around the corner.

Above are unusual cherry tomatoes given to us by one of our neighbours – the fruit grows into little heart shapes.  We’re going to see if we can save the seeds from these ones.

These gorgeous red beetroots have added a splash of colour to our green garden beds…

…and grown into both small and ginormous beets!

We haven’t had a hugely successful strawberry crop, but there are a few bright red berries in the pot right now…

Pete finally agreed to let me crop some of the rhubarb – it’s mostly green with a little red, but it will make a lovely dessert or sauce one day soon.  There was nearly a kilo and a half (over three pounds) in the stems below…

A few tiny carrot thinnings from our rainbow seeds…these were too small to eat, but we marveled at their colour…

We’re waiting for most of our tomatoes to ripen, but these cherries will be ready for picking in a day or so…

And lastly, the Red Norland potatoes have stormed ahead of the other varieties – whilst the Bintjes and King Edwards are still tiny new potatoes, the Reds are now full sized and very delicious!

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It’s late Spring here in Sydney, and our garden is glowing green.

Two large clumps of curly parsley are thriving in the first bed, and I’m hoping to make a batch of parsley soup this week.  It’s hard to believe that I was lamenting about how hard this was to buy in June.

We’ve just started harvesting our first Lebanese cucumbers…

Our second bed of corn has been planted, replacing the peas that are now finished…

The first bed of corn is growing at an incredible rate – the plants are noticeably taller every morning, often by several inches.  Pete tells me that corn is a grass, and grows accordingly…

Some of the corn is already flowering – as these plants are wind pollinated, they need to be planted within proximity of each other, rather than scattered throughout the beds..

The garden is full of wee visitors, including dragonflies, bees, paper wasps and these tiny ladybeetles…

Our broccoli, from which we’d harvested a large head several weeks ago, continues to provide small delicious offshoots for our dinners..

This is a single cherry tomato plant.  And now we know to only ever plant one cherry tom in the backyard. The added bonus is that they grow so quickly that almost nothing eats them.

Our basil plants scent the entire garden, and seem to really enjoy their spot beside the tomatoes…

Our other tomatoes are standard romas – they’ve fruited heavily, but none have ripened as yet…

We’ve planted celery in every bed, but the ones in the first bed are now going to seed.  I wonder if we can harvest the seeds for use in our coleslaw?

My favourite vegetable in the garden this season – Tuscan kale, also known as cavolo nero. I use it in place of spinach, and it’s been producing for months now…

And finally, great excitement as our first eggplants are ready for picking! The capsicums are growing well too, but they’re still very green and not nearly ready for harvest.

I’m a little gobsmacked at how well Linda Woodrow’s permaculture principles are working in our suburban backyard. Her plan is clever, well laid out, and ensures that there is always something in the garden for dinner. And we’re all marveling at how fast the process has been – getting ready took a bit of time, but we only really started planting out a few months ago.  Our little patch is now providing eggs for ourselves and my parents, as well as all the carrots, cucumbers, beetroots, cabbages, celery, beans, leeks and herbs that we need.  Hopefully, we’ll soon have enough tomatoes to be able to process our own passata and tomato ketchup, and our potatoes will be ready for harvesting before Christmas.

We’ve been blessed with lots of rain lately, which has helped the garden no end, and we haven’t sprayed anything other than diluted worm pee on the plants. We don’t buy any fertiliser (apart from one initial bag of dynamic lifter), and we don’t worry too much about the insects. As Linda taught us, we don’t have bugs and weeds, we have chicken feed.

Almost all the hard slog is done by our lovely hens, who till and fertilise the soil, eating all the weeds and slugs in the process.  We repay them for their tireless labour with kitchen scraps and garden waste, like this spent broccoli plant.   I’d like to think they’re as happy with us as we are with them!

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