Sunday, July 3, 2011

Winter planting of garlic

This afternoon I quickly planted some garlic in my Melbourne backyard: it is now or never! Most of them could have been planted over the last three months, but I didn't get around to it. Someone else told me their rule of thumb: plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest day (winter and summer solstice). The winter solstice was only last week, so I popped them in at sundown and I hope some of them do well. I planted both Russian garlic (large, mild) and Italian white garlic (small, white and I assume stronger flavour). I also planted some shallots: can't remember when they were supposed to go in!

I'm currently eating my way through the pumpkin harvest: got 22 pumpkins from two plants! Very happy, especially as I was given the seeds and told they were zucchini! They look like Jap pumpkins.

The unusual zucchini - a pumpkin!
I also had two Delicata pumpkins - very cute. I cooked them and put butter and honey on them for a neighbourhood Autumn harvest.

Delicata pumpkin
In preparation of many years of prolific zucchini and pumpkin harvests, I've gone and bought a book which gives me 225 recipes on how to use them! The Classic Zucchini Cookbook. I'm sure I'll need both this and other books with an ingredient specific theme as I try and best accomadate abundance. As a permaculture principle says: catch and store energy. When you have something in abundance, make best use of it at the time and even store some of this energy for future needs (pumpkins are great at keeping for months).

I was given a cutting of sage from a friend during summer and I planted it at the farm: I believe a pineapple sage. Gorgeous red flowers. Now that I have both Simpson and Day's bird book and some good binoculars, I say it is probably the Eastern Spinebill which love to eat the nectar, hanging from the thing branches. Great to watch in Autumn. Am I becoming a twitcher? I can only hope.

Pineapple sage

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