What a month or so it has been for harvesting, now that we are well into summer! I have really enjoyed watching other people’s successes as they reap the benefits from their gardening passion. The vibrant colours of ripe tomatoes, colourful beans and rainbow silver beet, shiny courgettes, leafy greens and more, mean that I have been more “green eyed” than “green thumbed” during this plentiful period.
My focus for most of November and December was more on tending the “cabbage patch” than my vegetable patch. The arrival of our son early in December, followed by the festive season, provided more than enough reason for me to neglect my gardening duties and only make quick trips out to pick what we needed for the next meal. There was no time for tip toeing through the ever-increasing pumpkin tendrils or acknowledging the growing list of things to do (like tame that crazy pepino plant and swat those hungry bugs!).
Despite my rather poor attendance, we have enjoyed our fair share of bounty and it is great to finally stop and look over the few photos that provide evidence of the work leading up to summer harvests.
Despite the distractions, not much went to waste. We managed the swell of broad beans and strawberries, snacked on peas and lunched on lettuces, ate home grown carrots on Christmas Day, and froze caulis and leafy greens for easy vegetable soup. Very satisfying and lots of proud moments.
The down point to mention is that the garden did eventually get away from me. So, with the New Year approaching and summer still stretching out before us, I dedicated four hours one Saturday morning before Christmas to pull out everything that had gone to seed or had passed its best. It was “out with the old” silver beet, spinach, kale, peas, carrots; many of which had gone to seed and seemed metres in height. Then it was “in with the new” lettuces, rocket, spring onions and a few more silver beet seedlings – all store bought, given my other priorities.
On closer inspection still, I have found that my berries and tomatoes are infested with Japanese Beetle and some other pesky critter, my passion fruit is providing cover for aphids, and my pepino has enjoyed its environs a little too much and has cast more leaves that fruit.
The garden is still producing plenty of young spinach, kale, carrots, radishes, beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, berry fruit, strawberries, corn … and a few other edibles, so all is not lost.