Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tidying up

It has often occurred to me that gardening is alot like housekeeping with dirt. You organise,  tidy up,  put away, it's a constant cycle of restoring things back to plan, so why is one so very  far more interesting than the other?
And of course for some people housework really is interesting, apparently.  
And who would have thought that such alien life forms would produce asparagus but here they are, a year old and straight out of the bag. I spent the afternoon preparing a bed for them but it became apparent the bed is going to need weeks to settle so I have started them off in the tunnel house. 
I have been looking at them carefully in the packet and one or two limbs have dropped off; best tuck them in for rehydration before dessication is complete.
Yes the seaweed gathering has been going apace, and other resource collecting as opportunity affords. The base garden is clay of sufficient purity to throw on a wheel and throw a pot so no point double-digging here. I loosened the clay with the fork tines and added layers to the existing scrape of top soil thus:
  • rough compost
  • sieved sand from the old sandpit (sieved out wire worm, grass grub and couch)
  • aged stable manure
  • bokashi

Mix it altogether and leave to stand probably six weeks anyway. A little bit like making home brew but hopefully more successful. Strange that a garden should be so short of dirt but that's what I could have done with more of. 

Dug a little field drain from the retaining wall, at a point where a daisy was growing. In this garden that is a surefire indicator of bog (along with buttercup) and sure enough  a little river began to flow. Was able to fill it with all the stones  that turn up as I work, some come attached to seaweed, some come in with manure, and others are bits of concrete and things that are here already.
A garden, like many other things, becomes increasingly meaningful when you know the provenance of all its parts.

Wayne from garden club went up to Kakanui last week and brought back grafted tomatoes, in August!
I haven't even planted seeds yet (This year I am growing Capri). This is  Kakanui 2000. I am hoping for great things as I only bought the one. No pressure little plant, you're home now and we love you.
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  1. I enjoyed your comparison of gardening and housework, give me the garden any day. I am interested in your rhubarb, mine is dormant, what type is yours to be productive in winter - even if it feels like spring?

  2. Good question because I don't know except that I brought it back from the Maniototo. I must ask them where they got it. It is quite hardy although the snow knocked it right back a few months ago. I think in part it is in a reasonable sheltered spot and it just seems to try and keep growing all year round. I have given it seaweed, compost and plenty of grass clipppings because I am picking it regularly so it doesn't get a break. The stems are always a lovely red and it is not as sour as some rhubarbs.

  3. I have heard some incongruous statements over the years; phrases like "an Ethiopian meal" and the like but "Wayne from Gardening club" would have to be up there with the best of them.

    Our new commercial milkshake machine is amazing. It can perfectly blend any milkshake no matter how high the ice-cream to milk ratio is. Splendid. Ken

  4. And he doesn't look like a Wayne at all you know, Gardening club is a treasure house of interesting people. NOw it wouldn't be a Hamilton Beech the new machine is it? I suppose when that ratio gets high you can just about roll the milkshake with an ice cream scoop...

    We are still enjoying juicer and to take it a step further, I have a kefir bug and use it to dilute hte juice. It's terriffic for a sore throat, seems to really knock on the head whatever the garlic hasn't dealt to. I'm babysitting it for Uncle Brian until he gets back so just have to remember to keep feeding it. It was handed over with full instructions.

  5. the milkshake machine is a "Hayman" which are a great machine but cheaper than a Hamilton beach. The Hamilton beach art-deco machines with three spindles are quite collectable and go for $800 plus in trademe. This is a single spool but fantastic to use. Mary returned from kindergarten at lunchtime with a parent of another child and when I offered them a cup of coffee they said "actually I hear you have a new milkshake machine" so I whipped them up a chocolate milkshake with ice-cream. They said it was top corner store quality. Ken

  6. The garden is looking great and very springy too I might add with the sunlight shining through the rhubarb foliage. For some reason reading through these comments has made me fiendishly thirsty for a chocolate milkshake. Would it be too silly to bring the whole machine up to Dunedin in November? I feel like its a part of the family and I want to meet it.

  7. no worries at all Jen; as I said to Mary the other day "there are five in our family now, you, me, Louis, Gabriel and Hayman. And I love you all equally".

  8. I believe there are management jobs going at Fonterra at the moment if you want to ally yourself with an industry that is more compatible for Hayman...

  9. thanks for the suggestion Miri but one of the best things about Hayman is how cheap he is to run. Depending on the ice-cream to milk ratio - I worked out it costs about fifty cents to make a milkshake with Hayman. Every time I take the boys to the park and we bypass the cafe and come home for a milkshake instead, Hayman take another step towards paying for himself. It also brings home to me how stingy a lot of places are with the ice-cream component of a milkshake. At home we put heaps of ice-cream in.