Tuesday, January 26, 2010

End of the long hot summer

It hasn't been hot enough or nearly long enough and school starts on Monday. Too soon. It was always too soon.
Marble Hill DOC camping site on the Lewis Pass and here's the key to carboot camping: a Polish coffee in a cup. Never mind that young delinquints had tried to jemmie the donations tin off the post in the night, or the family who arrived at what felt like 2am but was only about 12.30 and set up noisily beside us, that coffee in the morning set everything right for another great day of holidays.

Home to some serious gardening. The weeds are up to my armpits, or at least kneepits and for the first few days I just contemplated where to begin. I can be at home and feel overwhelmed about all the things to do but once you walk around the garden it quickly becomes apparent what is the now job. Well I know there is garlic in here somewhere.

First thing I like to do is clear the path so I can walk and bring in the wheelbarrow easily. The easiest way I find on a dirt path is to use a sharp spade and just whip along slicing the tops off all the weeds. It's easy and fast. Note the hose snaking along the path as they often do. It's a good idea to identify such things and move from the line of destruction...nearly hacked a hole in it; whoops.
The drought has broken and the ground is unusually wet. The skin on the garlic is starting to break down and a few bulbs have rotted so I want to get it dug and drying.

Half the row done and it's fragile at this stage and needs a few days to harden up. Then it's clip the roots back to a tidy nub and buff off only the damaged outer layer of skin which will give a clean groomed bulb that we can use until next year's crop. The more layers of skin you leave on the better it keeps. I'll move it onto racks with good air circulation in a dry room, the garlic room as it happens.

I've got plenty of photos of other people's gardens from holiday and quite a bit happening in the vege box: the first cucumber which will have to be taken on trust because I ate it immediately, without taking a photo and I haven't found any more yet. Lots of beans, and the first tomatoes. Another category to follow up springs to mind: garden casualties...back soon.
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  1. Yesterday I suddenly reached that point where the holidays transitioned from not long enough to enough. End of holidays torpor has set in big time.
    Wow, you'll be up to your kneepits in tomatoes soon I guess. I made your tomato salsa recipe yesterday with a 5 kg sauce box of tomatoes and it tastes fantastic.

  2. It's been a lovely break up here too - we are ready to go back - how do i know we are ready? Because I'm not resenting Play Centre with every bone in my body - ready enough to have forgotten all the pain.

  3. That'ssuch a stunning photoofallthe garlicMiri. It reminds me of the time we were going togrowgarlic as a fundraiserfor playcentre and I planted about 100 cloves and keptwaiting and waiting for them togrow upallplumpand delicious like those ones but none ever did.Not one singleone germinated. Glad the holiday went well.