Friday, November 5, 2010

Bean there, Done that

The remaining tomatoes are waiting impatiently to be planted but there is a bottleneck of produce blocking their way. The peas that went in as a cover crop have sprung pods and peas; it would be a shame to pull them out now. Furthermore the Autumn sown broccolli is just coming through so likewise it can crop and then be replaced and smartly at that.
My 60cm bamboo stick is proving to be a useful arbiter of space marking out 20cm or 30cm by simple divisions of thirds or half.
Five different bean types here and more to come when I get the space. At this time of year I get the best and easiest germination by planting direct into any spare space in the glasshouse. Besides, by now I've run out of seed raising mix whether mine or otherwise.
I've given the runner beans 60cm apart (in the glasshouse). I pinch out the tops when they get too high and they send out multiple leaders.
The climbing beans 'Bobs' and 'Frada' are next @ 30cm apart.  I'm growing these side by side to compare them for Otepoti Seed Savers.
If you notice the gap in the seed bed below you'll see the first point of difference. The slugs have honed in on 'Frada' and out of 20 seeds apeice I now have 4 'Frada' to 18 'Bobs' to subject to scientific observation. Whoops. Well slugs hate lime, oh yes I've remembered that now and have taken belated action after the buffet has been had. Sorry Bart.

The next two are purple bush and golden dwarf @ 20cm by 30cm rows. Now out of interest, it is the runners and the broads that cross freely and need isolation distance of bee flight proportions. The remaining Fabeaceae are self fertile so can be planted cheek to cheek, which I have done, and if necessary you can save seed from only one plant to keep the line going.

A playful splash of light on the potatoes? Fraid not. That yellow reminds me of the yellow lupin in the other glasshouse overwinter and they both had horse manure from same source; not that the oats showed anything. It will be interesting to see how these particular potatoes crop come Christmas. Only a few plants are affected and the foliage is luxuriant and deep green, otherwise fine. First tomato flowers on the Brandywine Pink. There ought to be a formula with tomatoes same as for strawberries. Basically when you see flowers on a strawberry plant you count on 6 (or 8? can't remember) weeks to get fruit. My guess would be about 10 weeks from now, say mid-January to get the first tomatoes. I'll let you know.

Lettuce, broccolli and dill chilling out in the shade house. Dill is very compatible with brassicas and the lettuce I thought would enjoy growing up in the broccolli's shade so they are all in together.  This year, thanks to the Swiss family fabulous, I have had time to cover the soil with compost, mulch the plants with old silage, circle young plants with blood and bone, snip up PVC hoops and find and cut to measure the netting to cover them. White butterflies were hovering hungrily as I worked.
The Swiss family are proving to be the equivalent of a lotto win for me; an unbelievable windfall that I couldn't have even imagined. Garden spaces are being systematically worked and nurtured in a way I would never have time for normally. It's becoming the garden as I always imagined it, but never quite realised. Today I had a day off for my own garden, a baking catch-up and an afternoon nap, knowing that yams were being planted, rhubarb watered and weeded and paths mulched without me.
Q. What's yellow and wears a mask?
A. The lone lemon.
Q. How do you make an orange laugh?
A. Tickle its navel.
(Rosie sent us some 'Laffy Taffys'. They each come with a joke.)
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  1. Wow things are looking great in your patch. It's so satisfying when things start to look the way you imagined isn't it? Your beans are looking good, at least they sprouted! I sowed some last month and averaged one sprout in six. Will try again soon and maybe give them a bit less water...

  2. Bob and frada sound like an old married couple.

    I just sowed some purple beans and they all came up- I must get them covered because last year at this point the cheeky blackbirds pulled them all out early one morning.

    What did you bake in your baking catchup?

  3. Hi Miri - thanks for the dress . Unfortunatley I look like a tree stump in it. Would you like me to recycle it or give it back to you?

  4. Well more productive work at your place Miri - and just like the seeds that don't make the crop, I understand there is a shirt dress making its way to the op shop. Hope it's new owners have better luck.. I can't help but think that luck in gardening and luck in sewing come in equal portions.

  5. Right Jen, First thing I made was a Boiled Sultana Cake then Belgian Square and Chocolate Swiss Roll (enough to make 2 trifles at the drop of a hat). They are all Alison Holst recipes. I had a foccacia started earlier to cook off and made 'Something Crunchy'; this is one of those coconut, cashew nut, cornflake, flour, sugar melted butter and syrup squares with a thick chocolate icing. I reduced the butter by 25g as a health gesture.! I was going to make a plain sponge in my cinnamon oyster tins to turn into lamingtons but I was recycling bowls all the way and hadn't cleaned the beaters. The butter on them prevented the sugar and eggs from going thick and that used up all my eggs. I used the egg and sugar the next day to make your sticky date pudding just beating them into the creamed butter and it worked perfectly. To cap it all off I got up Saturday morning and made savoury cheese scones for morning tea. The trick with Belgian Square is to cook it on bake not fanbake so that it is soft not hard and biscuity. Used plum jam instead of raspberry, it works just as well.

  6. You are such a star baker- what a mouthwatering list. I went to make some bread this morning and wouldn't you know it, no yeast. So I settled for pikelets instead which are none-the-less popular for lunchboxes and weekend breakfasts alike.