Kitchen Garden Guides

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The day was filled with silence.... not a breath of wind.... after the ferocious, storm force gale of the week before.

I stopped the car and stood beside the Huon River, mesmerized by the scene. Sadly the light was not good for photography. But you get the idea.

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I have been here in Cygnet for 2 months now. It seems only yesterday Mary and I pulled up in front of the house, the car packed to overflowing with our luggage plus all the produce and plants we'd bought on the way, after getting off the ferry.

On the other hand, I was walking to the shop for milk this afternoon and felt like I'd almost become a local. I have become accustomed to the town and to my home. I have moved from being an observer to a participant, in my garden and am beginning to take charge of the big shed.

As the days become shorter and colder I am getting to know the vagaries of my slow combustion fire, beginning to recognise the types of wood burned here and realising when a piece of wood is too big to fit in the fire box, before I acknowledge that the door is not going to close, in time to take it out again! By 5pm it is beginning to get dark and I need to have a good stash of firewood ready to take me through to the next night.

image Although the overnight temperatures plummet down as low as 2.5C on my verandah, I still enjoy sitting outside in the morning sun with my steaming bowl of hot cereal, knee rug tucked around my legs. Now that the bottlebrush is flowering near the verandah, the honey-eaters are always to be seen.

There are lots of little seeds germinating in the poly house..... 5 kinds of beetroot, several kale, fennel, chervil, coriander etc. Next will be Asian greens again, as I am now eating those that I planted when I first arrived here. The peas on the new frames in there are all up and I am picking mizuna leaves daily. In my delightful glasshouse the tomatoes still seem to be ripening and even still flowering; it will be interesting to see how long they go on for.

image image I have been collecting the runner beans that I left on the stalks to dry and was amazed to find that, as well as the regular black and purple ones, some were a plain, brilliant pink; even brighter than the colour in this photo. The pods of some are still green, although very big and tough, so I just eat the seeds, usually raw or thrown into boiling water only for a few seconds, like broad beans.

So, life takes on a new rhythm but there still never seem enough hours in the day.

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