Thursday, May 19, 2011

Back on Track

How many movies have an escape scene, destruction snapping at our hero's heels and ahead, a shrinking exit, a door of steel grinding inexorably down to the floor. The long corridor from Brisbane to Nelson seemed to have many of these and we slid through each one on our knees. I could hear doors slamming shut behind me and felt like we were escaping in the nick of time. When I saw the ambulance at Nelson Airport I nearly wept with relief; responsibility rolled off my shoulders and my head cleared. I could see garden time in my future.

Checked in on a favourite little Nelson garden where the vegetables are still ousting the flowers from their strip beds. Beaut show.

Back home, Rose told me some weeks ago that the turkeys were circling; circling the quince tree that is. I got there in time to pick up a box full. They are seriously hard but that doesn't stop them bruising. Next time I will only get them off the tree and leave the windfalls. The turkeys must absolutely love them because already hapless, half pecked quinces lay about the tree.

We had a laugh about the fact that Autumn is prime eating time for these birds and I thought I was joking. Son turned up with minced turkey for the hamburgers at cooking the next week. Jude said the meat was quite yellow...

Turns out Rose had just waited until they were asleep and then carried one off to the chopping block. Look out.

So I'm preserving quinces over this week. Peel, quarter and core. A fairly thick syrup (2C sugar to about 3C liquid) with some honey and lemon juice in it.  These quinces don't take long to cook at all and cook to an apricot colour. They are delicious bottled.
We had a months' rainfall in a day in May which has hampered the great potato dig and curtailed the Autumn clean-up. Anthony had to swim the sheep by the river to safety about 5.30 that morning.  Later the wind came through and pushed over the sunflower stalks, bent double.
Prior to that they rather looked like a graveyard of lanterns; now all dignity is gone and I've been trucking them off to the compost heap: carbon loading.

I've cut back the asparagus fronds, and pulled out spent brassiccas. The ground is a bit wet for weeding but still plenty to do and when that's done, glasshouse.

 Here's the Bon Chretian pears. Found the best way to preserve them is oven method in a fairly slow oven. Prevents overcooking.  Have granted the other pear a stay of execution until I find out whether it is a crucial pollinator. 

I missed the deadline for broad beans and cover crops and whatever else will become apparent. Thank goodness there are things that wait for me, apples on trees at the minute and beehives waiting for their AFB check. Give me one warm day and see what I can accomplish. Posted by Picasa


  1. I'm glad you are back home safely and in your garden again. I hope your ambulance person is doing well now. Lovely to read your words again.

  2. Now that is a mighty fine box of quinces, even if the turkeys did get the rest you should still get a heap of nice things out of what's left. Pears look good too num num num.
    Where is that cute little Nelson garden?

  3. I love quinces! I don't know why, but they always remind me of Christchurch. Must be some weird memory linked to that. Those pears look great too. Love that photo.

  4. Time for the old autumn clean up eh? I do agree - it's amazing what you can get done in a day! Sounds like you've done plenty already!