Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beans,beans and more beans!

Yesterday I picked our first meals worth of beans- woo hoo! Got about 230 grams of delicious Rattlesnake beans, they are growing up this teepee, one side seems to be doing better than the other, no idea why.I love the purple flecks through this bean, they look so exotic and are totally tender and have a juicy beany flavour. The boys eat theirs raw straight from the vine, I cook them briefly for us and the purple streaks dissappear leaving beautiful jade green beans.

I am growing other bean varieties as well - Frederico(climber), Lazy Housewife(climber), Giant of Stuttgart(climber) and Violet Queen, Tendergreen, Banjo, Dragons Tongue, Brown Beauty and Gourmet Delight(all Bush Type). TheViolet Queen and Tendergreen are looking really good, lots of flowers already so I'm hopeful of a great crop this year.
I have staggered the planting of the other varieties, just because I'm never organised enough to get everything done at once, but it could work better in the long run, if the harvest can be stretched out longer.

I also went down to our community garden yesterday (Crib Point Community Garden, known affectionately as 'The Crib"), I can't believe how well everything is growing! I collected a basket of goodies - potatoes, silverbeet, beetroot, radish, lettuce and,yes, more beans!
Our garden is run slightly differently to a lot of community gardens around here, we do have some individual plots, but mostly the site is worked communally; which means that if you come and do a bit of work ,you are able to take some of whatever is ready to eat! This is usually heaps of stuff as we don't have many members and it is a pretty big garden (10 vegie beds +orchard + rambling beds). Luckily there are quite a few older members who have amazing knowledge and experience growing food, so we all try and soak up information and learn lots of new techniques and little tricks to enhance the health of our garden. I will try to post some pictures of the garden if anyone is interested

On a slightly sad and guilty note, we had to "get rid' of our rooster yesterday. Poor old( actually young) Randy the Rooster was taken care of by my brother in law very quickly, and I'm sure he didn't know anything about it. Randy had decided that allnight crowing was his thing. The last few weeks we've been woken up at 1am, 2.30am, 3.00am, 4.32am, etc, by his raucous cock-a- doodle-dooooooooooooooo, It has been worse than when the boys were little and waking at night. I was also stressing about the neighbours; being very non confrontational I have been dreading a knock on the door from a sleep deprived neighbour! It is amazing how far sound travels at night around here, and how LOUD one bird can be!
We bought him as a pullet from a local farm and were told he/she was a hen, but time proved otherwise. I was going to try and make chicken stock from him, but having never gutted an animal or bird before, I chickened out (pardon the pun) and we buried him under the comfrey patch where he can feed the leaves that make our compost.

I was looking at another blog One Green Generation, and they are doing this 'Growing Challenge' thing where you have to grow something that you have never grown before, from seed. It sounds like fun so I am going to join in. I am still very low tech, so it will be interesting to see if I can figure out how to link to their site, etc. ( I'm sure one of the men in my home will be able to help, being the severe techno heads that they are). Anyway, I will post more about this later.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

First ever Blog!

This is my first posting ever on my first blog ever, so I hope it doesn't take long to catch on to how this all works!
I thought I might use this blog to record my attempts to feed my family firstly from my own 1/2 acre block, and our local community garden and secondly from our local region ( Mornington Peninsula). I have been trying to do this off and on for several years, with very varied levels of success!
I really enjoy reading about other peoples gardening adventures and food producing exploits, so I thought I would add my somewhat chaotic garden into the mix.
I am a mother of 3 gorgeous boys who could not care less about our garden, they tend to just roll their eyes and put up with my eccentric watering regime and know they will probably find me somewhere outside if they need me. They have nearly all reached double digits now so I can disappear from the house to the garden for an hour or so with out them even noticing and without the house being destroyed in my absense. Freedom!!!
I am also the wife of a great guy who doesn't really see the attraction of 'grow your own' and is not into gardening at all, but is quite happy for me to do what ever I like in my pursuit of fresh, healthy food for us all to eat. Our life is very full with school and sporting activites , music lessons, close extended family, keeping up with friends and other miscellaneous happenings, but I still find that my garden is a constant source of interest, wonder, happiness and of course delicious pickings!!

So hopefully this blog will become my ramblings about us becoming more self sufficient, our successes, failures and on going experiments into eating locally as much as possible, and providing for ourselves where we can (and my somewhat futile attempts to engage my boys in growing our food and eating the best veg and fruit that we can - they are quite attached to highly processed industrial eats, and love nothing better than charcoal chicken and chips from the local shop,(I have to agree it is pretty damn good!) but I think they are eating more home grown stuff, which has to be a good thing!)
I will also try and put up some really yummy recipes that we all like to eat , because people who care about growing their own food, I find, generally love eating delicious things; foodies from the spade to the fork!
I will also tell you more about our place - half an acre of garden, chickens, fruit trees, vegie garden and still heaps to do.
Happy gardening and eating!