Garden Share Collective, December 2013

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 For my fellow gardeners in South East Queensland the weather has just been playing silly buggers with us, hasn’t it. We have gone from extreme heat to huge hailstones in a number of days. Here I am sitting in a jumper typing this up (Saturday) with the rain coming down gently which is nice for a change. For those of you who want to take a peek at the hail we had CLICK HERE.

Here we are again, the last Garden Share Collective for 2013. For most of us December is about getting ready for Christmas. I too have been getting ready for Christmas but in the garden. As some of you know I am 21 weeks pregnant and working in the blistering heat of 35 degree days is no longer an option for me. You will see me still in the garden at the crack of dawn or on dusk but that time is very limited each day.

Last time Roy was home he got back into the garden with me. Usually its a project I take on all by myself, but now I need a little help. With only a week off, each afternoon we would walk down the paddock about 4.30/5pm and spend the last of day light hours pulling weeds and mulching. If you notice my place looks pretty darn good for a change and you can’t see a weed insight.

Going back to the garden, the tomatoes above were hit by hail and a down pour of 33mm of rain last weekend. Needless to say for the first time ever my tomatoes have split even my robust sturdy cherries. A good practice that I usually have is to pick my tomatoes just on ripening, so if they have a bit of colour I pick them. They take about another three days up at the house to ripen and taste just as good. The most important thing about picking tomatoes a little early is to make sure to get the stem still attached as it aids the ripening process.

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ABOVE: last month the row on the left which looks straggly and eaten by caterpillars is kale. I was going to pull it out and mulch the last of the bed. BELOW: evidence that rain makes a huge difference in a garden, the whole row has re-shot and looking healthier than ever. I might be able to have kale through all of summer – who knows.  I am going to leave it as an experiment.

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The chili’s on the left we planted last month looking healthy while my mung beans have started growing pods.

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My three tiers of peppers and eggplants. When I stand next to my eggplants they are up to my hip in height so I reckon that they are just at a meter in height. Pretty proud of that. Last week I harvested over 5kg off them and it looks like I will have more thanks to this rain this weekend just gone.

Harvesting:

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With not too much left in the garden, we have picked all of our corn, I am happy to report that only a fw caterpillars were found hiding out. Plenty of capsicums, I have to pick them when they are green. This year we have attracted fruit fly to the garden so a few of them get stings, so the earlier the better. The zucchini’s are on their last legs, they will get pulled out the week before Christmas if they are not dead by then.

Also this week my Hungarian wax peppers finally started turning yellow, I have only been waiting weeks for this to happen. I sell them to my boss at Kookaburra Organics. I harvested 3 kg this past week. Mind you they are not a bigger seller at the farm gate so I doubt next year I will be growing them again. Well, unless I can find another use for them a preserve of some sort that may be popular.

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THINGS TO DO:

I thought I would quickly share with you my mung bean experiment. One of the things Roy and I want to achieve by having such a large garden is to grow most of our food. This means trying to grow crops that are good for preserving. One of Roy’s favourite dishes is Dahl and lucky for me I make a good one using mung beans. This year I thought to give them a go. With the pods starting to dry on the bush I have picked them and put them aside to keep drying, I want those precious green jewels inside for eating and sowing again next year. I have never grown mung beans before so i am looking forward to see how much the one row will yield. From this I can gauge how much I will need to grow for next year.

Back to my to do list; Keep on top of those pesky weeds that just want to keep coming up, its not to bad now that the garden has mostly been put to sleep. Finish the last of the mulching. Harvest Everything before Christmas and cook it up so while we are away I don’t have rotting fruit and veg in patch due to neglect.

Organise a chook sitter for while we are away. The garden will survive but the chooks need water.

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23 Comments

  1. Your crops are looking lush as always Liz. Congratulations on your pregnancy, I did not know but am thrilled for you. Wonderful news 🙂 Have a beautiful Christmas and fingers crossed the weather settles a little.

  2. Hey Lizzie … wow I didn’t know you were pregnant! How fab … Gosh your garden looks amazing and the water has made a vast difference. Your plot is so much more advanced than ours. Mung beans – never thought about growing them. Love Dahl! Julie

  3. Oh those mung beans look interesting! congratulations on the pending arrival. 🙂 I always make dahl with lentils – is the mung bean one different? Do you have a recipe posted somewhere here? Happy Christmas and have a lovely holiday.

    • I don’t have a recipe on the blog for the mung bean dahl yet, I hope to have my homegrown version soon. My hubby prefers mung dahl instead of lentil dahl – so i have never made a lentil version ever, just mung. I will dig my recipe out and send it to you.

  4. at the risk of sounding like a broken record, i am envious of your crops. those last beans are astounding looking! dad grows the corn and zuke for us, his garden is so much bigger, and his corn is only a foot tall at the moment and the zukes are on, but only as big as my finger. and you are finishing up! good luck finding a chook sitter… i would offer but i’ll have my own garden to look after 🙂
    thanks again for organising the Garden Share round-up XX

  5. Lucky you with the rain! I hope it cracks here soon. It’s so crazy that I am just getting my first zucchini flowers and you are about to pull yours out. I’ve never eaten mung beans, so will be interested in this dahl recipe too.

  6. Woahh I had no idea you made dahl using mung beans?! (or that you could?) We literally cooked some dahl yesterday for dinner! Meanwhile, your eggplants look so great – actually I’ve got a few fairytale eggplant seedlings in a container and am hoping they will continue to grow and flourish – do you have any recommendation on how much space each needs as minimum?

    • Helen as the eggplants get bigger they tend to take up a lot of space so a good 8 -10 inch pot per plant I would think. They need about 50 cm apart, mind you it is possible to plant two in one pot so they can support each other.

  7. Lizzy, you’re doing a tremendous job given you’re 21 weeks along! The garden is looking great and its wonderful to see the kale recovering so well after the rain! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of mung beans before! Love seeing something new. I’m very envious of your eggplants and Hungarian chillis, they’re looking wonderful and if I was nearby, I’d certainly buy some from you !

  8. Your garden is looking very luscious despite your enormous hailstones. Hope your morning sickness has eased

  9. Your chillis and eggplants look wonderful and so lovely seeing pics of such lovely home-grown tomatoes as I’m starting to rely on wintry root veg. Hope you don’t do too much, you need a hammock on your plot at 21 weeks. I remember feeling faint when pregnant with Ruby walking back from the allotment we had at the time – definitely recommend the hammock!

  10. Congratulations! – I didn’t realise you were pregnant… lots to look forward to! Your garden looks well, especially considering the varied weather you’ve had. I love the photo of a basket of harvested aubergines – which variety are the slightly lighter purple ones in the top half of the picture?

  11. Your garden looks amazing! I know the feeling about things getting difficult. For me just getting up and down to the ground is becoming exhausting!

    • Ha ha, thats so funny, once I am down I am good, but a pregnant lady crawling around the garden doesn’t look so good. People will wonder what the hell I am doing. Too Bad.

  12. Do you need anyone to come and just look at your eggplant fondly for a few hours? We have had ZERO success with eggplants this year!!

    I have an excellent Mung Dhal recipe from the Krishna Cookbook – takes ages to make but it is sooo good. Where did you get the seed? We have been trying to find Pinto Bean seeds and it seems they might be found with hens teeth.

    Mum has some similar peppers to your hungarian ones – she does nothing with them, I reap what I can when I am in her vicinity and use them pretty much as capsicums – they are great barbecued or roasted also.]

    So excited about your baby news – commented over there.

  13. Your garden is wonderful! You’ve got such a green thumb 🙂

  14. Hi Lizzie, your garden looks healthy and productive as usual. The Hungarian peppers look lovely, I wonder why they don’t sell at your farm gate? Your eggplants are incredible, great work! Thank you for hosting this fun garden tour. Happy gardening to you!

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