Friday, May 23, 2008

Lacuna Sabbath

Has a month really past between posts? Sorry folks. I am still alive.

I spent today at home, working on a big report for work, interspersed with trips out into the garden to visit my feathered friends and little plants. Lots of lovely homegrown food for breakfast and lunch. Robin's organic apples - stewed with cinnamon for breakfast, homegrown peppermint tea (with licorice root) throughout the day, fresh scrambled eggs for lunch with herbs and salad picked straight from the garden. Fresh bread baking in time for tea. Eating for Victory at its delicious, most effortless and joyous best.

Here is an update on whats going on in a winter ONC garden.

Here is little Quentin. She and her sister (Miss Bricey) are both named after the new Governor General. Quite appropriate I think. They are almost full grown - perhaps 5 or 6 months old. Their mum Nefley is already clucky again. They should start laying in the next couple of months - although Silkies are very slow to mature.

Here in this little garden bed there are broadbeans coming up, lots of self seeded parsley, lots of Asian greens germinating up the far end and what I very much hope are nettles. I love nettles in winter. For me they are not a weed at all, but a welcome winter guest. delicious. much tastier than silver beet. high in iron. delicate taste and they cook in an instant. just remember your gloves. This variety is not very stingy at all, just a little bit and they can be picked carefully with bare hands if needs be. There are also some pea seedlings along the trellis on the left - but you might not be able to see them, because they were CRUNCHED by something - perhaps some snails, so I have sprinkled the sad little stalks with derris dust.

Here is Tabitha Jemima having a bath in the water bowl as Miriam tries to work out how to get in too. They do have a huge pond you know, they just like to get into anything else they can too.

A peak inside the greenhouse shows lots of lettuces and parsley coming along nicely in the hydroponics system. Well, it's more of an automatic watering system, as the plants are grown in soil and apart from liquid seaweed and microorganisms, they are fed just water through the system. I would still like to get in a couple more boxes of lettuce seedlings. The door of my greenhouse has FALLEN OFF. This is going to take some fixing as it was cheaply held on with fabric hinges which of course, rotted after a few years.

Still in the greenhouse - here are my pine nut seedlings - grown from seeds I gathered from a secret copse of pine nuts. In all my travels around NSW for work, I keep an eye out for pinus pinea trees (they are everywhere once you know them) but the trees that these seeds came from seem to be the only ones around that kept fruiting (coning?) during the drought. They are also from quite small trees - relatively speaking. The will be a year old in spring - time to find them a permanent home. The idea was to plant them at the new duck herder farm - which hasn't materialised yet - so perhaps I will have to find a landed friend who would like a little pine nut plantation on their place.

Well, thats it - a quick tour of the garden. Its nice to be back in blog land.


Dan said...

I had no idea there were Pinus pinea trees in NSW (This is New South Wales right?) I live in Southern Spain and we also have plenty of these trees around.

The Duck Herder said...

Hello there Dan

Yup, there are lots of small introduced plantings of pinus pinea in Australia - mostly in NSW, Victoria and South Australia - were the climate is more temperate. I suspect they were planted by the many Italian settlers after the second world war. You often find one or two - perhaps a few trees planted along road sides, churches etc. For some strange reason, there are no comercial plantings - we import 100 percent of our pine nuts - and these are all siberian or korean pinenuts rather than the real deal.

We do have some rather energetic predators that love to munch amoung many things - the premature seeds of the pine nut trees - our beautiful cockatoos - mostly the sulphur crested and yellow tailed black cockatoos - who enjoy them very much.

But don't get me started - these trees (and the nuts!) are a particular obsession of mine!

Thanks for visiting my blog.

mangoman said...

Nice to see you back Duckherder. You must have been working too hard. Hope it is still as enjoyable as it has been. You are doing better than me in the blogging department.

Anonymous said...

Oh am I too late to put broad beans in?
I miss out every second year I think - had great ones last year.

The Duck Herder said...

hello anonymouse
The happy news is you can plant broard beans in late autumn as well as late winter/early spring. Some folks find that broad beans planted in late winter do better and actually catch up to the earlier ones.


Sherd said...

I LOVE Quentin and Miss Bricey.


The Duck Herder said...

welcome back to blog land sherdie - FYI miss bricey and quentin have started laying tiny tiny little eggs. so sweet.