Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Inching Our Way To Mid-Season

We are now approaching the end of the first month of Autumn, inching our way towards mid-season. We are still harvesting plenty of spinach, onions, parsley, basil, thyme and chilli, with the occassional green peppers and roma tomatoes.

But I can see that I will need to stagger my plantings much more effectively to allow the vegetable harvests to be staggered throughout summer and autumn, and not have one big batch at a time and little left for the rest of the season.

Kelebogile, the part-timer gardener who helps me with the heavy lifting, prepares the soil for me to transplant seedlings

Preparations for Autumn/Winter planting are underway. So far, the following seeds have sprouted:
  • Peas
  • White beans
  • Broad beans
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Beetroot
  • Swiss Chard
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Onions (3 types)
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut
  • Cucumber
  • Coriander
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Nasturtiums
  • Sweet peas (climber and bush)
  • Wildflowers
  • Allysium

We've begun transplanting tomatoes and cabbages, and will transplant or thin the rest as and when needed. I still have more seeds to plant - some for later crops of the vegetables named above, and some for new vegetables we have never planted before.

I am very happy with our progress though, and I feel that the food we harvested in summer and early autumn is contributing heavily towards my family's food security.

Then there are the unexpected bonuses: like today I was in the garden, picking some red jalapeno chilli to bottle for future use and street food vendor who regularly buys chicken from us came by and found me in the garden. On impulse, she decided to buy a whole bundle of jalapeno chilli to use on her food. It wasn't a big sale, but i've enjoyed some regular sales even though i don't advertise at all, as i don't view my gardening as a business. But  the money goes into my seeds funds and at the rate it's growing, it should buy me some nice seeds for Spring planting. The garden being able to pay for seeds would be very nice.

P.S Food Police: For the past week, I've been very consistent with meals, eating when I needed to, even when I didn't feel like it. Today's dinner sucked though: I was in the mood for lasagne, and SIL was going to town to do her own family's grocery shopping. So she volunteered to bring me a pre-packaged meat lasagne frrom Checkers Hyper.  To say it was bad is a kindness:   the mince tasted like bad soya and there was very little of it. There were two sheets of lasagne in that one boxed serving. MAYBE! The rest was the sauce, which kinda tried to make up for the lack of substance in the meal. Someone remind me why i bought this pre-packaged stuff, when I could have made my own lasagne/ or at least, bribed SIL into cooking it for me?

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