Friday, February 11, 2011

The Lazy Perfectionist

I wouldn't reduce my personality to two adjectives, but this cap, among others, fits very well. My husband has cut back on coffee and I seem to be the one without any energy this week, out in sympathy.
So I've planted out the last two dozen leeks. Two months too late for this climate. The first batch of seedlings were wiped out twice; It seems to me that this soil does not drain well and short of bog plants, even moisture lovers need drainage. That was one problem.  A weeding 'incident' took care of the rest. Dibbled these leeks in to a better class of dirt and my secaturs weren't sharp enough so I gave up mauling the tops and in they went. Good enough gardening.

The broccolli has gone to flower and the bees are loving it so much I can't resist leaving it in a bit longer. There's kale and silverbeet and parsely in the background. The Kale will make it through the winter.

This year the garden has had shelter on two sides. I'm really enjoying the potatoes (on this side) which other hands planted, tilled, hoed up and weeded  (in the old strawberry patch). Sun-yet-to-be-flowers are a windbreak on the other side. We're digging the potatoes now, and with a record 53mm of rain on Sunday night the tops have freshened up no end.
This place is potato heaven and on the menu it is always Red King; We go from the new potatoes at Christmas (glasshouse) onto the first new potatoes  outdoors and then dig them through to the maincrop is lifted about May.
I remembered the other reason I like to grow a tiny tomato, beyond something to eat in the glasshouse, is for drying. I prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon and have the oven low, about 120C or anything less and just leave them in until they have dried or the fire goes out.  Salt the halves first,

they sweeten as they reduce and of course the flavour intensifies. The boys who won't eat fresh tomatoes will eat these like candy.  This is blackjack and never goes very red. I store them in the freezer because they aren't normally dried to a crisp. In winter I put them into an olive oil
mixture in the fridge as we need them .

I pulled out the dwarf beans this week; runner beans still running. The roots were pretty poor and I've already loaded the soil with woodchips, sheep manure and sowed a cover of black oats. I'm beefing up the organic matter to improve drainage in the soil.
Bean fatigue starts to set in when you have them every night. What helps is  the magic tool, the Krisk bean slicer. Just think of them as vegetable linguine I cheerfully  advise
when the kids start complaining that the serving size is getting bigger and bigger. The Krisk even has a little blade to top and tail them (mine has broken off, this is an old one.) It also usefully rejects anything too big and tough, bean pile on the left, so that young palates can enjoy their beans in optimum condition and form good mealtime associations. Hear, hear.  Posted by Picasa


  1. Lazy is never a word I would use in your direction Miriam. I remember this reality show on TV where they showed a husband lying on bed all day watching TV while his wife was out working and then came home to prepare dinner for him and the kids. "Unmotivated" is the word they used for him. I loved it so much I adopted as my term for how I like to manage the household tasks.

  2. Oh, now those tomatoes do look nice. I did a few trayfuls of toms recently too, Mum had said they weren't up to much when she gave them to me, but they roasted up a treat. Your perky potato plants also look very inviting. We have just come back from a weekend away and stopped in to get some heritage plums and various other very fresh bits and bobs on the way home, for me, a favourite part of the trip!

  3. Hi Miriam - thanks for your comment on my blog! I've been planning an update for some time but never quite get round to doing it... think I need to hire a blog secretary! (maybe I could pay her in tomatoes?)

    YOur oven dried tomatoes look lovely, I really want to dry some too but so far I just keep scoffing them fresh :) When I plant leeks out I never trim the tops off, and they seem to do fine. Hope this batch takes off for you!

    Anyway I'm off to prepare some photos for a post - fingers crossed I get it up before the end of the week!

  4. Hi Miri - I have a hat, lunchbox and library book - all yours at my place. You will find behind the dining room door when next you appear in DN. ALso am planning to clear out the garden for a winter crop soon. Next time you are through can you prune the blackcurrent and gooseberry - ( if this is the time to do so) and you mentioned you had some ground cover seed I could have a little of also? Cheers MArg