Sunday, February 1, 2009

Seed to seed update and back to basics challenge

I have joined The Growing Challenge from Seed to Seed, which is an extended version of the normal challenge to grow your own food, where you try to save your own seeds from the best of your plants. It should be fun!


I have saved about 30 seeds from this gorgeous crimson flowering broadbean I grew in Spring.
The pack of seed I bought originally only had 12 seeds in it so I am slowly increasing my seed so one day I can put this everywhere in my garden just for it's decorative value, the braodbeans are an added bonus!

* I have decided to let the rest of my bean crop go for seed. The heatwave last week really savaged my bean plants and the beans are not much good for eating now, they have gone all rubbery and soft, so I will let them dry out and save the biggest, fattest pods for seed.

* I have found a few spinach plants that have gone completely to seed, so I will collect it and have a go at growing it again later in the year. I have heard that spinach doesn't set fertile seed very often, so it will be interesting to see if it germinates or not.


I have also joined up for Belinda's Back to Basics Challenge
This is a challenge to basically get organised and record your progress for a variety of different focuses.

Back to basics update #1

Sowing seeds or planting -
Bought some silverbeet seedlings to plant as soon as we have a cooler day.

Harvest - Zucchini, Bok Choy, Beetroot, Beans, Carrots (Community Garden) Spring onions (Com. Garden) Eggs, Apples, Apricots

Maintenence - Spread sugarcane mulch around corn and cucumbers. Tried to keep things watered through heatwave.

Observing - The garden suffered badly through the heat, and I think I've lost the early beans which were cropping well. Other things seem to have bounced back ok. The sweetcorn leaves are totally burnt to a crisp, but I can see new growth, so will see how they perform for the rest of the season. The apple tree in the front yard seems to have suffered the worst, with badly burnt leaves and sunburnt fruit, I guess the chooks will get most of them.

Planning for the future - Have decided to look into getting some solar panels for electricity.
With all the blackouts due to the heat, it would be good to have our own source of energy.
Same thing with another water tank, we have 9000 ltrs, but I need more if I'm going to grow alot of our food.

Working for the future - I made apricot jam with some of the apricots. I cleaned out the chicken pen (delightful work, I must say) to form the basis of a new compost heap for the winter veg.

Building Community - Organised our tennis team for the summer season. Had coffee with a group of school mum friends to mark the return to school. Supplied eggs to a friend. Picked up tickets for a group of friends to see The Waifs.

Learn a new skill - I made jam for the first time!

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