Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brassicas

I could easily plant my whole garden in brassicas. They are one of my favourite crops, mostly because a broccoli or cauliflower picked from the garden tastes soooo much better than a bought one. I think some kind of bitter chemical starts developing in broccoli in particular after it has been picked? Last season you just couldn't buy organic broccoli either, so I had no problem shifting my excess on to one of the local food co-ops.

Cavolo Nero, or Tuscan Kale is a first for me. I have often admired the towering plants in other people's gardens. I'll introduce it to the children by one of it's other names: dinosaur kale. Sandra has been writing about cooking with kale for her family. I'm keen to start feeding it to my family too. 

 I was fascinated to read in a recent 'Get Growing' newsletter that you can nip out the growing tips of cabbages, and the plants will prosuce several mini cabbages instead of one big one. So I boldly took out the middle of a couple of the cabbages. Except afterward I re-read the instructions, and I think I might have done too soon. Will be interesting to see what happens anyway.

 The purple sprouting broccoli is looking lovely with it's purple stems and veins. It's growing more slowly than my other variety of broccoli, but this is what it did last year too.

I still have 4 punnets of brassica seedlings to prick out, but unfortunately their labels are unreadable so I have no idea what they are. I did write in my diary that I planted red cabbage, romanesco broccoli, cauliflower and kohl rabi. It wouldn't be a problem except that the kohlrabi could be planted a lot closer together than the others. But since I don't know which is which, the kohl rabi  will find itself with a generous amount of growing space. I hope it appreciates it.

 And not a brassica at all, but a late planting of beans has actually produced some beans.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A random assortment

 The hibiscus look fabulous at the moment, having loved all the summer rain, and thereby also earning a stay of execution. They are also kept because Mike loves them so. I have on my list of things to do to re-make the house gardens (which are very small really) with a more subtropical flavour. Purely for Mike, as it is not my style.  It must be love...

 The early evening light on these cloudy autumn days has makes the bay look beautiful. I prefer it like this I think to the bright sunshine blue. It will be hard to ever leave this place...

 The warm moist weather has weird and wonderful  fungi villages popping up everywhere, especially in the wood chip mulched areas.

Summer grown leeks which were experimental. These were planted in spring, and not fat, but fat enough. I thought they might go to flower in the heat, but they didn't. 

And the weather has even been balmy enough (when not raining) to do some work outside. Our favourite kind of work, wine tasting, in this case with a new sales agent.