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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

An Early Start

Very hard to get out of bed at 5.30 when the temperature outside is 6.5 C, our coldest morning yet. But there is too much to do, don't want to get behind on the things they must happen. No smelling of roses this month at least not yet. July should be the laziest month but it's not. A lot of things happen in July as these blogs will explain.

Cup of milky latte and then drive down the road to let the neighbours cows and calves into another strip of fresh grass and set up two more strips for later in the week. The bull gave me a dirty look. I'd been warned about him and growled back. But typical male, the fresh grass was more attractive than bothering me.

Cows and calves feeding on a new strip

Just as well that electric wire separates us.

Back within an hour to make and eat breakfast, toasted sour-dough toast with Avocado, melted Havarti and a smear of Dijon mustard for one of us and toasted sour-dough bread, Avocado and Kim Chi for the other.

Filled six barrels with compost and planted the Artichoke seedlings.
Artichoke Farm
Harvested the Horseradish, emptied the barrel (keeping the soil in bags for future compost making), refilled with fresh compost and planted Horseradish seedlings.
Horseradish in need of work
Harvested Turmeric, kept old soil and refilled pot ready for replanting. Lot of time washing Horseradish and Turmeric. Plugged into the MP3 player listening to some of Greening of Gavin podcasts on cheese. Handy, always something to learn from someone else. All these little bits on food or gardening get filed away mentally (I hope they stay there).Then morning tea two scones with butter over second latte. A good and productive start to the day.
Turmeric washed and in drying racks ready for use
Collected another 20 or so fallen limes. wrapped most of them in a sheet of newspaper and stored in a box in the Cave. Tried this technique (passed on by a friend) last year to good effect.
Then the main task of the day i.e. Planting Shallots, French Onions and Potato Onions. Chopped up the Woolly Pod Vetch green manure crop with hedge trimmers. Forked it over roughly, and chopped vigorously with a spade. Added a generous layer of fresh compost and forked that in - bed ready. All that raised a healthy sweat, no need to go to the gym. Laying out all the bulbs to see how they will fit trying to provide as much space as possible for each plant. Nothing worse than not providing enough space and finding everything constrained when it is only half grown. Everything buried and task complete.
Green Manure Crop

Chopping Complete

Forked and spaded

Fresh compost

Headed across the river to the regular job to put out more silage. They only needed one bale and we are now into the high quality bales having worked our way through the poorer quality woody stuff. The girls will enjoy this good silage. They can smell it at a distance. If you are carrying good quality silage they will crowd around the tractor straight away pulling at the bale before the wrapping is taken off. The feeding bins are surrounded with a sea of mud making the task all that much more difficult and dangerous. Again the job only took an hour all up and so back home.
Silage in the mud
Ahead of schedule for the day. Spent the last hour or two of daylight weeding. The Asparagus bed all clean and tidy and also the Pineapples which were at risk of disappearing under chickweed, tidied up around the peas and Daikon Radish. A good day.

Pineapple Bed

Asparagus Bed
Now off to cook dinner. Started with some more Roquefort on Daikon Radish slices today. Another nibble to keep us going is steamed Red Cabbage wrapped around a small slice of Avocado and a sliver of tinned Mackerel. Main course was roasted Sweet Potato (again as it was so nice last night), Couscous, lightly fried Mushroom quarters in Olive oil and Fish Sauce. Mussels in fried Onion, Garlic, Ginger and Turmeric. Finish off with Yoghurt and ported prunes. The photographs are of the leftovers.

Sweet Potato


Not every day is this busy or productive but this intensity of activity is not untypical. There is always so much to achieve in the garden and especially so when the routine is interrupted with wet weather.

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