Sunday, March 18, 2012

Marmite Shortage... Plants... Seeds etc

Almost a week since I wrote a post, I cant believe how quickly that week has flown by!
Its wet and we are hunkered down today. Mr almost-12 didnt want to get up, and I cant say I blame him. Yesterday was a stunner, very warm. Last night even, was warm, a perfect weekend really, despite the aftershocks weve been feeling of late. The hedgehogs were out snuffling along the drive, looking for remnants of cat food. They make so much noise! We caught sight of one, and Blaise got the torch while Arlais got out of bed to have a closer look. He was a good size, they are such interesting, cute creatures...

So, here I am. Ive just lightly spread my last (ever maybe?) pikelet with marmite. Who'd have thought we would have a shortage of one of our kiwi staples? So Im picking the stores will be selling out too. Its such an unusual taste, but people either love it, or dont like it at all, or prefer Vegemite. Personally, we grew up with vegemite only - Mother loved it on her toast. Ex-hubbys family had marmite. We, when married, always had a jar of both...
Heres the story here - MARMITE SHORTAGE

Anyways... I spent a greater part of a very hot, pleasant day out in the garden yesterday. I dug over the soil and composted. I added horse poo and dug it in. I pulled out many! weeds and spent plants - beans that had given their all to make the remaining pods into seed pods, brown and twisted... and Tomato plants that had really done their dash - time to get ready for Winter and build up the soil. Ive also kept my marigolds tidy and the seed pods trimmed (seed saved) They make a splash of colour in the Winter garden, when not much else is around, and are excellent companion plants to most vegetables, also they create a general deterrent for most garden pests. Ive grown mine alongside my  potatoes, under my tomatoes and around my strawberries.Planting marigolds enhances the growth of basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, kale, potatoes, squash and tomatoes. Marigold also makes a good companion plant to melons because it deters beetles.

Loving the seeds I am harvesting this season. After having three bean plants last year, we had NINE this year. Next year Im going to continue with our old staple - Scarlet Runner, but try something like a butter bean and a string bean, and see if I can successfully get a better crop of Borlotti. I just cant quite keep them healthy for some reason (possibly hedgehogs!!) They grow pitifully.

I have a huge Winter deluxe pie pumpkin seed stash. Next year Ill do three plants of those instead of this years one vine... And hopefully keep the hedgehogs away. I had two live pumpkins on the vine still, but one died -- small nibbles like wasp bites or slug sucks? The other I found yesterday and I gather the vine holding it onto the plant has been bitten open. Im not expecting it to last long. Annoying!
I would also like to try a squash variety next season... I got one squash off our Hubbards golden nugget vine this season. It did very well, given it was late into the soil.
This is whats been happening around here...

Drying Tomatoes to store for stews and soups

Black Cherry - Sweet, but must be eaten quickly. Tend to crack if not picked when ready.

Black Krim and Purple Calabash. The Pleated one is Purple Calabash

A small Yellow Brandywine - GORGEOUS beefsteak that is fruity to taste, excellent cooked

Small Freakazoid Tomato, from F1 seeds. Grape Sized & Sweet!

Tommy-Toe cherry (red) Yellow Pear or Jaune De Coeur du Pigeon

Dried Tomatoes

Hubbards Golden Nugget Squash

Harvest - Black Boy Peaches, Green ripening Toms etc

Green Tomato & Lime Jam
So thats what we are up to... Hope life is treating you kindly.

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