Archive for April, 2008


Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008


Wild Pig

Part 3 is on the original post. Scroll down after you click the Wild Pig link above.

Farmlet Readers Send Contributions

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Eileen sent US$50 and BS sent US$25.

Farmlet also received an anonymous US$400 contribution; the largest ever.

Thank you.

Interesting New Plants in the Garden

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Recently we’ve acquired some interesting new plant material from a generous friend and fellow gardening enthusiast, who has a fantastic collection of edible plants. I hope I’ll be writing more about these plants (and providing pictures) as they grow and we are able to use them.

In our vegetable garden this year, I’ve allotted space for yacon, Jerusalem artichoke, and yam (diascorea batatas). We are pleased to be diversifying our range of root vegetables.

Jerusalem artichoke

I’d been on the lookout for soapwort for a while, and now we have some. I’ve planted it in the herb garden, and am looking forward to experimenting with using it for washing once it gets big enough.

Orangeberry: This perennial berry looks delicious. Apparently it’s also drought-tolerant, and doesn’t mind hard soil. According to the information I’ve found, we may have to wait at least a year or so before we get any fruit.

Stevia: I’m lucky I didn’t kill this plant by leaving it in a cold spot after it was given to us. Somehow it survived. I’m planning to keep it in a pot under the eaves, so that it will be protected from cold conditions in the winter.

Chayote squash (choko): I’d been looking everywhere for a smooth-skinned variety of this squash, and was very happy to be given one. The little plant is already taking off, and we are planning to plant it out soon, near a fence so that it will have a structure to climb on.

Onion Braids

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The kikuyu grass is really getting ahead of us at the moment. We have just finished untangling our poor lemon tree from its creeping advance. Our garden is still a mess, but there are plenty of good things among the weeds. The Jerusalem artichoke flowers have been beautiful, and we are looking forward to our first crop of artichokes. The onions have been another triumph.

Onion Braids

Kevin and I have never tried to grow onions before, and we are delighted with the success of our first crop. We planted seed for two varieties:

Pukekohe Long Keeper (This was a special strain developed at Koanga Gardens to do well here in Northland, as we are supposed to be a marginal area for growing onions.)

Stuttgart Long Keeper (I bought these from King’s Seeds.)

Both varieties did really well. I plan to replant the best of our onion crop in the spring, so that it will run to seed. In this way, I hope we will end up saving a line of onion seed that performs reliably in our bio-region.

Since harvesting the onions, we have enjoyed French onion soup, onions sauteed with zucchini and garlic (also from the garden), and onions sauteed with carrots (from the garden) and a few dried apricots. All delicious! These onions are wonderfully flavoursome and pungent. Our eyes smart as we cut them.

I have dried out all the onions and braided most of them into six big braids. This way, the onions can decorate our kitchen as well as fill our stomachs.