Tag Archives: gardening

It’s cold!

28 Apr

It is a lot harder to get inspired about gardening when it is cold and wet and windy outside. I love Wellington’s wind in the summer – it helps prevent mugginess in the heat – but in the winter it just blows that chill right through you. With all the rain and cold we have had lately, I have not wanted to get out and garden.

I have a pile of lawn clippings to mulch the second terrace with, some companion seeds to plant amongst my brassicas, and some pots to put potting mix and herb seeds in. Life gets too busy to garden sometimes, but I realise now that I have to prioritise it occasionally, rather than just doing it when it’s convenient.

So as you can probably guess I haven’t been very active in my pursuit of self sufficiency for the last few days!

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Appreciating weather

21 Apr

Pic by John Loku

In the city, rain is simply an inconvenience that requires you to wear an ugly rainjacket or battle with an umbrella. But when I woke up this morning and it was grey and spitting, I thought “oh good, my seedlings will like that”.

It’s nice to have a reason to appreciate weather that isn’t just sunny. (Although I might not be so chirpy after it has rained for a week solid.)

Planting brassicas

21 Apr

Today seemed like a good day to plant out my brassica seedlings, so I did. As we are coming up to winter they are about all I will be growing for now, although I am planning to put some herbs in pots on the balcony (easy access). I’m also planning to mulch the second terrace and plant garlic in a month or so.

The first step was to improvise a temporary gate at the bottom of the steps so that I wouldnt have to keep following the climbing toddler up them.

However, said toddler went straight to the other steps and climbed them, so I had to improvise another temporary gate.

With the steps out of reach (for now) I was able to plant out the seedlings in the bottom terraced bed, which was semi-mulched. I added another bag of potting mix and half a bag of compost, and then dug holes at regular intervals to place the seedlings in.

Red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, broccoflower and pak choi seedlings

When I attempted to water them using the hose that had been left behind, I was a bit disappointed with the pressure...

So I watered them the old fashioned way with my watering can.

Made from scratch

19 Apr

I just finished reading Jenna Woginrich’s lovely book Made from Scratch. She tells the story of moving to a small rental farm in Idaho where she puts in a garden, keeps chickens, rabbits, and bees, goes sledding with her dogs, and makes her own clothes. Not to mention antique shopping, mountain music and baking bread. She interweaves her personal account with easy to follow instructions and information on how to do all these things yourself.

I already know how to sew and knit and bake a loaf of bread, but I like her humourous advice on gardening and keeping chooks. In fact, her chapter on pack dogs has almost got me tempted to have a dog. But not quite. And definitely not here!

I related to the book, as she is a young web designer who yearned for a more ‘simple’ and self sufficient lifestyle, and did it in her own small way. From the beginning. Although the fact that she rents a farm rather than a house with a yard in suburbia, as I do, helps a little. It also probably helps that she has a full time design job and no children, and therefore money, which I don’t. Nonetheless, I DO have a garden, and I have a wonderful little boy who deserves homegrown veges and fresh eggs, and therefore I am going to attempt to create my own little slice of homestead pie, on my piece of rented suburbia. Until I can move to a farm and do it for real.

Check out Jenna’s blog here: Cold Antler Farm I like being able to see some photos, although I haven’t yet had a chance to read any of her entries.