My posts have been a bit thin on the ground lately, just enjoying a nice quiet holiday period for a change :-)
Anyhow, things are growing in the vege garden. The garlic is about ready to harvest. The next dry day we'll take it up, leave in the sun for a short time and then hang up in our garage to dry properly. I'm hoping to make some nice plaits.
We're getting lots of zucchini now. The Costata Romanesco is very tasty, almost a nutty flavour. Zucchini can tend to be a bit on the bland side but not this variety. A slight downside is that it the fruits are a little prickly but cooking seems to sort this out. The yellow hybrid are nice and smooth, but not many fruit as yet. What I've done so far is grate it up and put in the freezer, to use later in cakes etc. I'm quite impressed by the vigour of the heritage Romanesco. Definitely a winner.
The tomatoes are growing fast, some plants have fruit developing. I'm giving them the odd feed of worm liquid. What I do need to do is set up a barrel for some liquid comfrey fertiliser.
Yesterday I planted a couple of chilli plants (Jalapeno). Bit of disaster with my other seeds, these have just not germinated, I guess I need somewhere a lot warmer/sheltered. I am not giving up however, will just try again now that it is a little warmer. I'll just have to wait longer for the harvest. The Ancho's take 70 days to fruit and the 'Pasilla Bajio' take 50.
We had a lot of mustard growing along one side of the garden, which brought the bees and insects and was good for the soil, also provided a little valuable shelter from the wind. When it went to seed we collected the dead branches and scattered them in the orchard so that we get more mustard coming up there.
At last I've made a decision about where to locate the compost piles, which are now going to go in the middle of the garden so we can readily access the compost. I've started a loose pile which will have to suffice until we have the time to build a permanent structure. We've been buying in our compost, last year it was sheep manure. Also I made up some liquid sheep manure (great smell!) which we've used for the corn, seems to be working well.
Lastly, we bought in a couple of truckloads of nice peat topsoil recently, to use on the vege garden mainly. While this will be great to build up the vege garden, as there isn't a great deal of topsoil, we eventually want to get to a point where we are not having to buy in materials like this. Will just take a bit of planning and effort to reach that goal.
On the chicken front we have 5 more baby chicks hatched out yesterday. The others are doing well. Unfortunately we did lose one more to a hawk as it escaped from the run G built to keep them contained. I'm only letting them out for a short time now and mostly when I'm outside or can keep an eye out for the hawks.
Photos below of our cactus, which has about 20 flowers on it, only 2 or 3 seem to open at any one time however. They open at night (this pic taken early this morning) and only last for 1 night.