Thursday, November 22, 2012

He’s the Hunter… I’m the gatherer… Although at times I will hunt right alongside him..

 So what have I been up to the last year you may ask? Well besides doing the invoicing and bookkeeping for my husband’s business I’ve also been getting my edible garden up and running that’s what. Add joining in on an occasional fishing expedition thrown in with my fella to my list of activities and that about sums it up. There seems to be a running theme here between the two of us all our leisure time is spent catching or growing stuff to eat.  Let’s face it gardening requires time and effort and ornamental plants are exactly that…ornamental so why bother I say.  They look nice and all but other being something pretty to look at they have no other use… Not un-like models in that sense. :P  I personally like plants the reward you for your efforts and growing fruit, veggies, herbs and spices, certainly does that.  Where to start…  Sings: Let’s start at the very beginning; it’s a very good place to staaaaart-tah!’ Uuum okay maybe I should stop referencing songs from ‘The sound of music’. But the beginning is definitely the place to start. Reading and research - I spent many an hour reading up about all the varieties of edibles available. Carefully working out what plant types that would, fingers crossed both suit our Gippsland climate and also be something that we would really enjoy eating.  After all fruit trees are an investment of both money and time.  What could be worse that patiently tending a fruit tree for years only to discover on partaking of your first harvest that the tastes was just well, ‘Meh’.. or even worse ‘Blaaah’..  Yep those are the technical terms for it. I also became a member of the ‘The Diggers Club’ It’s a gardening club that I had always thought about joining but was waiting until we lived in a place that allowed me the space I needed for growing food. Their philosophy is in line with mine. That is preserving and using non-GMO heirloom seeds and plants and growing real food with real flavor. I wanted to get my fruit trees planted as soon as possible because they can (depending on the variety and also depending on whether or not they are grown from seed or grafted) take a few years to get a harvest, so the sooner you plant them the sooner you’ll get a crop.  Only logical right? So in first 12 - 18 months this is what I have planted… (Some trees/plants in the ground and some dwarfed trees in large containers to make maximum use of what space I have)
My first garlic harvest.. pulled up only yesterday.

Lemon - Meyor
Lemon - Lisbon
Lime - Finger
Lime - Makrut
Lime - West Indian (Key)
Avocado - Wurtz
Avocado - Bacon
Imperial Mandarin (x2)
Persimmon - Ichikikei Jiro
Bay Tree
Tangelo - Minneola
Mulberry - Red Shahtoot
Mulberry -Red Shahtoot
Apple - Sundowner (AKA Cripps Red  )
Apple - Winter Trenorden
Cherry - Stella
Strawberry – Hokowase
Strawberry - Cambridge Rival
Curry Leaf tree
Unexpected apples on my tiny tree.
Japanese Pepper - Sichuan
Spanish Liquorice
Chillies (a plant that my Dad gave me so not sure what variety it is)
White Sapote
Olive - Manzanillo
Pomegranate -Rosavaya
Mulberry- Dwarf Black
Pomegranate - Ben Hur

And now I’ve finished getting my raised veggie beds set up and my Spring/Summer seasonal vegies seedlings and seeds gave gone in and are showing signs of growth.  I’ve planted…

My raised beds..
Snow peas
Spaghetti squash
Spring onions

Keeping my fingers and toes crossed for a decent crop. I must admit fruit tree collecting has become quite an obsession, just when think I’ve planted all the fruit varieties that I could possibly want, I stumble upon another variety that makes me think ‘oooh that looks delicious, I wouldn’t my trying to grow that!”  But then I must say there are worse things to be addicted to that growing organic healthy food…Am I right? Phyllis Theroux once said ‘I think this is what hooks one to gardening: it is the closest one can come to being present at creation’, and I couldn’t agree more.  I hope I never lose the sense of awe I feel when I see the first few leaves pushing its way through the soil and also the sense of satisfaction that I had a part to play in making it happen in my backyard.  I’m also hoping that we’ll be in are in a better place financially next year and that a greenhouse for my yard might be on the on the shopping list. This will allow me to get a head start growing seedlings and also give my more cold intolerant plants a safe haven during the frosty winter and also allowing me to grow tomatoes in containers out of season. I'm even hoping to be able to grow a dwarf mango in a container there. A fruit that would be impossible to grow in our climate otherwise.  So for now I’ll sit outside at least once a day sipping a hot cuppa,  watching my fruit trees and veggies swaying the breeze and dream about the bounty that will one day be….