It is beginning to feel like spring here, and there is a lot to do to prepare the garden for the new growing season.
Recent work in the garden:
* We have covered the area designated for the maize patch with black polythene, hoping to knock back the kikuyu grass before digging the new bed. We have also covered over another area for a new potato bed.
*The first potatoes have already taken off, and I’ve been outside weeding and mulching them. We hope to have new potatoes in time for Christmas.
*Jerusalem artichoke and yacon tubers have been planted in a well-dug bed, and Chinese yam is just beginning to sprout inside the living room window.
*We have been clearing out some of the crops that have over-wintered to make space for spring planting. Some of last year’s collards are now massive. We are giving them to the goats as we pull them up.
*We have harvested the first of the “red drumhead” cabbage and globe artichokes. We enjoyed the artichokes last night, with a dipping sauce made of melted butter and juice from freshly-picked lemons. The cabbage has been transformed into two jars of stunningly purple sauerkraut. We are waiting eagerly for the sauerkraut to ripen, so that we can sample it!
*The chamomile I dried last summer for tea has kept us supplied right through the winter — and I drink a lot of chamomile tea! Now the chamomile is flowering again, and it is time to start harvesting it once more.
*I have planted out the first of the spring lettuces in the garden (green “tree lettuce” and “asian red”).
*Three kinds of peas have germinated, and are almost ready to transplant into the garden. This year we are growing “green feast” (a green shelling variety), “purple flowered snow pea,” and “marrowfat” peas to dry for winter soups. We have to hurry up and fix the trellises for all these peas to climb on.
*Carrots, beets, salsify, cilantro and summer brassicas are also sprouting.
*It still feels a bit cold outside for summer crops like tomatoes, peppers and beans, but I plan to start sowing seeds for summer crops in pots inside the living room window next week, so that they will be ready to go into the garden as soon as possible.
We are hoping to have the summer garden quite well established by mid-November, when our baby is due. We’ll see how we go!