The thing I love about my winter garden is how well it thrives under neglect. Things go in, they get ignored but Mother Nature keeps them watered and sometime later I seem to have all things in abundance. Kale, garlic, kohlrabi, swedes (they got harvested and eaten before I thought to take any photos) and, oh the weeds. Perhaps those weeds should bother me but in truth they do not. I like their green freshness splaying out everywhere and the wild flowers they grace our garden with. We’ve eaten a good amount of them too. I have this book and it has taught me so much about the bounty in my own back yard (and front and side and paths and steps... have I mentioned how these weeds have taken foot everywhere!?!). The kids are out there blowing the seeds from dandelions, wild lettuce and sow thistles all over the place and all I can do is enjoy the sight. Next year we will have even more spring weeds with those seeds taking root! When I see the nettle growing taller and taller I look at it and think do I harvest that now for the freezer, dry some bunches for some lovely tea, or just walk away and allow it to multiply so next years bounty is even more abundant? I already have some in the freezer from a few months ago and there really isn’t enough for drying, so nope, this year I am walking away or maybe I’ll make some nettle soup. I’ve not made any yet and I recently came upon this recipe.
That garlic above is due to be pulled right on Halloween, I probably could do it sooner but it feels suitable to celebrate the harvest then, plus it aligns with the moon calendar (it’s always best to harvest things for storage when the moon is waning and is in a “dry” sign). This weekend there is the one last kohlrabi in need of harvesting, plus a few Spanish onions hiding among those tall weeds. In fact, I'm planning to pull everything very soon - everything that's in the ground that is - before covering over with thick layers of cardboard and bedding straw and then stepping back over the summer while I plan out the fence. I am resisting planting anything this season, except maybe a few salad greens and herbs in pots because really, where's the fun in planting nothing at all?
I pruned our bay tree the other week and it won’t be long before I dig it up and transplant it into a half barrel. Nadja, who did our Permaculture garden design, has that bay tree on my list for this season and how exciting it will be to give it a big tick. In the mean time, I have a heap of bay leaves drying in the shed.
We're on the warmer side of spring now and day-time fires are a thing of the past. Even our evening fires are becoming far more scattered and soon, they too, will become a distant memory until next May (or there abouts). It's a lovely time of year right now and once I clear a space in the shed, that pile of remaining firewood living underneath the tarp in our driveway will be stacked away until the next season. We went through plenty of wood this year - it was a very long cold winter by our standards - and we easily went through the loads that were stacked on the day of the working bee. In fact, I ordered another five, one tonne loads during the course of our winter!
My home owner enthusiasm is restored and I have sent the word out for a local tradie to come and advise on our rain water tanks. I've been pondering over those garden plans (the folder that Nadja gave me) and before I get going on the fencing out the front I need to get those tanks in place! That front area is our only access to moving the tanks into position and if the fence goes in first... well... there will be all sorts of issues. Fence damage and tank damage to be sure! So I made some calls this week and have a few different “experts” coming to offer quotes in the coming weeks. They will be assessing the site where our water tanks will be located and then pricing on the preparation and installation of those tanks.
So there’s a bit of a spring garden update and it really does feel so good to be progressing.