Sunday, December 11, 2011

Babies can Garden #2

Today Abby, Heidi, Zoe and I went to the garden for a late-afternoon visit. We did some weeding, planted a few basil seedlings and added compost to the areas where we've already harvested things- these areas are now ready to plant again. We harvested lettuces, radishes, silverbeet and a broccoli. Yum! The babies did well, but both of the mums had close encounters with stinging things- Abby knelt in a pile of stinging nettle, and Alex was stung by a bee. Ouch on both counts!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday morning

Woops, this is a late post about our gardening session on Thursday morning. Zoe and I did heaps of weeding (we pulled out an entire wheelbarrow full of weeds), and put mulch on the freshly-weeded areas. We planted some more soya beans and harvested a big lettuce, some mizuna and some radishes. There were lots of other people at the garden, so we had a fun time. Zoe was given yoghurt by a nice lady from Bhutan. Combined with the beetroot that she had already been eating, it made a pretty picture...
There were some young basil seedlings that would be great to plant- unfortunately we ran out of time. Also, it would be great to put some more carrots in. Next time maybe!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friday visit

Friday afternoon (Dec 2) Heidi and I made our way to the garden to water it. However we only watered some smaller plants as the irrigation has now been installed! We talked with other gardeners and harvested a few lettuces and radishes. There were no seedlings out to plant so we decided to return another day. Everything is coming along nicely!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sun and more sun

Zoe and I visited Tenderfoot early on Wednesday morning- due to what felt like a huge effort to get ready in the morning, we managed to get there by 9am! Hooray! We (I) planted some more bush beans, scarlet runner beans, some coriander seedlings and some more of the edible flowers (I forget what kind of flower they are). Oh, and more sweetcorn in the remaining free space. We gave the garden a bit of water as well. We harvested one big, beautiful lettuce which so far has been made into 3 salads and is still going strong, and some mizuna. And, as you can see below, we harvested tons of big, red, slug-chewed radishes- lots more where those came from! Yum yum!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sun, Frost-bite and Tomatoes

Today Zoe and I attended the co-ordinator's meeting, and then did a bit of gardening afterwards. It was a lovely warm, sunny day. Our plot is looking good, although the slugs continue to be noticeable and I think some of our plants could use more water. Lettuces are ready to harvest! Maybe some radishes too...?

There were some lovely looking tomato seedlings, so I planted some in section 2 along with two kamo-kamo plants (kamo-kamo is a kind of pumpkiny-squash). PLEASE WATER THEM when you visit! They will need lots of water while they're so little.

There was a frost over the weekend, and our potatoes got hit hard! Jen says that they will recover. Here is a photo of the frost-bitten potatoes:

Sweetcorn has germinated in Section 4. Let's plant more! We can keep planting it until the end of this month, but after that it will be too late (according to Jen).

Last week (in the session with Abby and Heid
i, which we haven't blogged about -sorry!), I made some little paths in the garden and marked them with blue string and bamboo. Please try to keep to these paths and/or just garden from the sides. The less we walk on our beds, the better for the plants.

I also planted Japanese onions ('Ishikuro' and 'Red Beard'), feel free to give these a water if you're visiting. They should germinate in a week or two. Oh, and last time I planted beans. You'll see the little (budget) labels on these newly planted areas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heidi and Abby at Tenderfoot

On Friday (21 Oct) Heidi and I went along to garden in the afternoon. We saw Jen and had a bit of a chat with her before getting into the gardening. I planted parsley while Heidi slept and then I removed a lot of mulch from the edge of the plot as the slugs love to hang out in it during the day. I had always wondered where they hid, but after Alex showed me last time, I was keen to uncover them and get them away from our little plants. Some of the silverbeet seedlings I planted last time had been munched but only a few and I plan to replant them next time we go as it started pouring with rain so I quickly packed us up.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A grey, cold day at Tenderfoot

Today Abby, Heidi, Zoe and I made a visit to the Tenderfoot plot, despite unappealing weather. Abby was delighted to see that her lettuce seedlings were surviving and thriving! I was less delighted to see how many of my cabbage/broccoli seedlings had been eaten, but at least roughly half of them were still there. The garlic has also germinated, and some of the peas/beans are starting to show as well- exciting! And in section 1, something (radishes? parsnips?) has germinated too.

Abby planted more silverbeet seedlings alongside the potatoes, and I planted some carrots, radishes and mizuna in section 1. We also took away some mulch from the plot, which was hiding many fat, juicy slugs! We actually smushed a few of them too, in retribution for all the lost seedlings. But mostly the slugs just got sent to Slug Heaven, the big mulch pile.

By then our respective babies had had enough and we packed up and headed for home!

Just a friendly reminder too that we need to plant our garden according to the rotation plan, e.g. salad greens/carrots etc in section 1, tomatoes (I think?) in section 2, etc etc. There's usually a copy of the plan in the shed if you need one while you're at the plot.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A rainy morning at Tenderfoot

Zoe and I attended the co-ordinator's meeting this morning at Wai-Ora. Not much to report, other than the shared BBQ lunch coming up - Thursday 20th October at noon. It would be great if some of our group could make it. Zoe and I will be away in Kerikeri, unfortunately.

There is going to be a scarecrow competition in November - so if you have any funky ideas, feel free to start creating something for our plot!

After the meeting we attempted to do a bit of gardening, but it started to rain a lot. So unfortunately I left the plot looking a little messy- I was going to plant some rows of carrots and radishes and salad greens, but had to run for cover and left the prepared soil covered with bird netting. Sorry it looks pretty scrappy. Hopefully Zoe and I will be back on Wednesday to finish that job and tidy up the plot!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Getting a bit fancy....

So, I have finally figured out how to make a post (thanks Amy).

My last visit to the plot I planted some beans and made Teepees for them, I had a bit of time (and creativity) up my sleeve so made some nice corsetry on it, looks a bit weird but at least ours is a bit different to the others.

I will be heading out tomorrow to help Amy squash slugs and perhaps replace some of the cabbages/brocolli as they took quite a hit with the snow.

Anyway girlies, its going to be nice to meet up and enjoy scrummy meals from our harvest come summer.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grr Slugs!

Opps sorry for being a bit late posting this! On Tuesday Sharon and I went to visit the lovely Tenderfoot. Sharon planted carrots, radishes and parsnips and after discovering the slugs had eaten EVERY last trace of my broccoli plants from last week, I planted more!! I also planted a few silverbeet plants. It will be good to plant a new lots of those kind of plants every week, so we will have a continual crop.

The lettuces from last week were looking great! Still no sign of my peas or beans yet, but hopefully as the weather warms up, it we will see some action :)

I won't be able to make it this week, as my schedule is full and crazy with end-of-term busy-ness, but I can't wait to get back next week!

Alex, that photo of Zoe sitting in the middle of the row is so cute!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A sunny, busy morning at the Tenderfoot plot...

On Wednesday (21st Sept), Zoe and I made our first visit to Wai-Ora as we've been away in Australia for the past two weeks. It was a sunny, beautiful morning and there were lots of people out working in their gardens. Peeto, the English language school, was having a gardening morning with about 20 people working on their plots. Other groups were out too, enjoying the nice weather. We met Jenny, who showed us around and helped us to find plants, tools and seeds.

In between nappy changes and feeding, we sowed carrots, parsnips and a row of peas. Unfortunately it sounds like we may have doubled up on what had previously been planted. Oh well- more carrots etc for all!
We also planted cabbage seedlings in section 6 - let's hope they survive the slugs! We covered all the newly planted areas with bird netting and gave the seedlings a little water.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lots of lettuces

Heidi and I went to the plot this afternoon - finally managed to get out of the house! I planted two half rows of lettuces in Section 1 while Heidi kicked on her blanket and tried to eat the grass :-). Three different kinds of lettuce. Jen showed me the seaweed concentrate fertiliser and how to make it up. It was one small measuring cup to one watering can of water which was enough for the 20 lettuces. She said that it helped the plants to get the most from the nutrients already present in the soil. I would have liked to sow carrots and beetroot as well but Heidi was not so keen, so after covering the seedlings with netting to protect against the birds, we signed out and went home.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Cloudy Day at Tenderfoot

It was my first visit to the Tenderfoot plot today. Unfortunately, Abby and Jacob couldn't make it so I ventured out alone. There was no one at the shed when I got there, so a nice lady from the office hailed in the lady on the tractor (and her very cute dog) who came to show me around. It was a cloudy day but perfect weather for planting out new seedlings and not getting a sunburned face!

The place is gorgeous and I had a blissful hour and a half, planting broad beans and pea seeds, and six broccoli seedlings. I normally only grow broad beans in Winter, as a cover crop, and they never get pollinated by the bees as it is too cold so I am very excited to be able to finally eat some we have grown ourselves! The beans and peas will need staking at some point, so they don't flop over in the wind. The newly planted area I had been working on needed to be covered with bird netting, so the birds wouldn't be able to help themselves to my freshly planted seeds. I grabbed a roll of netting from the large bag and took it down to the plot to unroll. It turns out the roll was larger than I anticipated and after unrolling about 30 metres of bird netting for my five metre patch, I decided I better try and find a smaller roll!

The plot is managed on a strict rotation system, with each plot divided into six sections, and information provided on what to plant in each, and when. This is such a fabulous opportunity for non-gardeners to discover the joy of growing your own food, in a very well-informed and well-managed way. I am very excited about what is to come for the Tenderfoot plot!

I took a few photos for the archives too. Soon this plot will be full of plants!

Note to self: bring gloves next time!

Friday, September 9, 2011

First time to the Tenderfoot plot

Friday 9 Sept 2011

Jacob and I took Heidi and our lunch to the plot today. It was sunny and warm, with blue skies and a little wind. Found the Trust easily, parked and were pleased with how close Tenderfoot's plot was to the car park, shed etc, thumbs up to Elaine for picking such an accessible plot.

The office was empty but we spoke with two gardeners who had spent the morning there, Tania and her mum, Win. They were very helpful, showed us where to sign in, the garden shed with whiteboard (lots of information on there about what to plant at the moment and what is available to plant).

First we divided our plot into the six sections (different things planted in each section). We realised that we didn't have the whole length of the plot as we originally thought and later asked Jen the garden manager about it. She said that there were so many requests for land that they had divided the larger plots in half. She apologised and said that if people didn't show up to do their hours, then we would get another half plot.

We decided to plant early season potatoes which should be ready by Christmas (there was a big bucket of seed potatoes there with very precise planting directions. We planted three rows, half the length of section 3. The rows are meant to run up and down the plot, rather than side to side because of irrigation requirements. We did this, setting up stakes and string to ensure they were all straight. Then we covered all of it up again with mulch as per the planting directions (the mulch will keep the weeds down and will protect the plants from late frosts (Jen told us this later).

When we were eating lunch, Jen came over and introduced herself. We talked for a while and she mentioned that because we would harvest these potatoes early, they wouldn't necessarily need the 60cm gap that we had left between the rows. She suggested that we plant garlic in between the rows of potatoes. So, after lunch we (Jacob did it while I fed Heidi!) planted two rows of garlic. You can tell the garlic because they can't have as much mulch on the top of them so there are big mounds of mulch on top of the potatoes and not much on the garlic. At the beginning and end of each row there is a short bamboo stake.

There is still half of section 3 available to plant silverbeet, spinach etc!

We had fun and can't wait to go back. We made sure we signed in and out so Tenderfoot completed the requirement for time in the garden this week :-)

See you soon