Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Garden Share collective April - the theme is SAVE

Once again it is time to catch up with other gardeners in our  Garden share collective and the theme is SAVE. Link to the other gardeners here.
I really dont make jams or preserves out of the garden - I prefer to just grow enough so that it is eaten right there and then while fresh.  I did plant extra ginger last year, and dug that out a month or so ago.  I like to keep a big bag in the freezer, so easy just to grab a chunk and grate it - I do that with turmeric as well.  My favourite after dinner drink at the moment is grated turmeric and ginger in hot coconut milk, with a little black pepper grated in.  A little golden cup of goodness.
Oh another thing I have been doing is picking and drying our coffee beans, and the first batch was roasted last weekend.  I just pick them as they ripen, so it looks as though I will have one pot a week :).

I do love to grow from seed - it seems proper somehow.  If someone else has started the seedlings it seems more like fostering or babysitting, whereas planting from seed is giving birth!  It seems that hard sometimes too!  I have decided that planting directly is the most sucessful for most of my crops.  I like to grow intensively and continually harvest leaves as soon as they are big enough.  In fact I am also trying microgreens again - will save that for another post (if they work out!)  Here I have some lovely rows planted, with their labels at the end of each row.  I clear a path into the sugar cane mulch and then sprinkle the seed, press lightly to connect with the soil, then lightly drizzle coir over the top.  We have suddenly had a wet season deluge of rain every day, so hopefully the seeds have not drowned.  I also noticed it is full moon so probably not the ideal time to plant.  Oh well.
To the left of the bar I have kangkong, then rainbow carrot, silverbeet, mangel wurzel, beetroot, then lettuce, banana capsicum, and cinnamon basil.

I do plant tomatoes as seedlings, and have laid the pots along the edge of the herb spiral.  Cherry tomatoes pop up everywhere, but the other tomatoes can be replanted quite deeply and they form extra roots along the stem.  This makes them bigger and stronger in my opinion.   Some tomatoes also need to be planted in pots since I have baterial wilt in the soil.
Saving seeds - some of my seeds that I planted were saved from previous harvests, and those seem really special - it feels as though there is a circle that I am completing. I find that when I save tomato seeds they seem to have developed a resistance to my common garden ailments.
How I save seeds;
Tomato seeds need to be placed in water for a couple of days so that they ferment, then the slime is washed off (I use a sieve for this) and they are dried.  I just spread them out onto a paper serviette with the name written on the serviette.  When dry they are folded over and stored in my seed box.  Herbs and lettuces are left to go to seed, and then the tops cut off and placed in a  small paper bag.  Label and peg to a washing line that is under the eaves.  When dry they can be shaken so that the seeds drop off and the branches can be removed.

Things on my to do list:
Keep up succession planting, so as there are empty spots, I will plant a few more seeds.
I have a few gift cards for the big box hardware store, and on my list are sugar cane mulch, seaweed solution.
Next month the theme is leaves, and hopefully by then I will be harvesting daily salads from my garden.


  1. I love this post. How fabulous, a pot of your own coffee! Your after dinner drink sounds like the perfect thing on a cool evening. I enjoyed your description of planting seeds. I'd not thought about it too deeply but your description I absolutely agree with and love. Thanks for joining in to the collective

    1. Thank you for hosting it Kyrstie! I think anything that comes out of the garden tastes better. ;0

  2. I enjoyed this post and reading about your garden.

    1. Thank you, Joyful, glad you enjoyed it. I hope your garden is settling into spring.

  3. A very productive garden Gill.
    Thanks for the tip on savings seeds.

    1. Sami,
      I always take the easy way out, and when it works I am thrilled!

  4. Great Post!

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  5. Wow, I am always impressed with your gardening exploits.
    Thank you for sharing your seed saving tips, especially with the tomatoes. My mum would dry them first and then save but I think I will try your watery way next time.

  6. I love that you're growing your own coffee beans and spices. We are just beginning the seed starting and planting process in our part of the U.S.

  7. It must be wonderful to grow your own coffee, it doesn't get any fresher than that.


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