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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

A surprise!

I've been growing aloe vera for about 8 years or so and had no idea that it flowered but about a month ago I noticed two of my plants sending up a flower head. I'd forgotten all about them really until yesterday when I saw this beautiful flower. Such a surprise, but really welcome. I've had a frustrating week with my phone and internet being really weak to non existent since the power outage and storm the week before. To add to my frustrations is the fact that one of my commonly used passwords has been made available to the world through a data leak!!?? My Instagram account for huttonsvalleypermaculture was hacked. I changed the password on all 3 insta accounts but now the hvp one is non responsive. I logged out to see if going back in helped but I can't get back in. Disappointing. These pictures represent my journey over the last few years and while I didn't have that many followers it was slowly growing which I was happy with. I'm trying to get access again - wanting on Meta to respond and help - wish me luck!! I'll be posting on huttonsvalleyharvest in the meantime!!

Moving on!! I dug up two thirds of my garlic crop this week which I always get excited about. The video will come out Sunday! Not quite the same size bulbs as last year due to a rust infection and maybe I didn't add as much compost to the bed also. There is still plenty for me to use however so all good. I had left some of this garlic in the bed a little too long, so as not to waste the bulbs that were already splitting, I've made a garlic powder which smells and looks beautiful ( process also in video).

Also in the kitchen this week I've started two different batches of fermented berry sodas - one blueberry and the other is strawberry. I had earlier made a boysenberry one with berries from the freezer and that was delicious so expecting the same result from these two.

I've been putting in some time making friends with little Zumi and it seems to be paying off. This week I had an arm licking. Felt like sandpaper rubbing across my skin. He really seemed to enjoy it as he kept at it for some time. I think we're officially friends now!

I had another surprise this week with the discovery of a whistling tree frog hiding in the cauliflower that I harvested. Such a beautiful colour. If it wasn't for the snail sitting next to him, he would have been hard to spot.

Yet another surprise was the arrival of Dougie back on my doorstep. Seems he's a bit bored with his ladies sitting on nests so he's come up to the house for the company of Ruby and myself. Ruby just seems to wander around him although I do wish she'd give him more grief so that he'd go back home. Hopefully he doesn't keep coming each day like last year as he made a huge mess all over the pavement.

Something I'm really excited about is the number of ladybugs in the veggie garden at the moment and by the looks of things there might be more to come. These little dudes eat aphids and other pests in the garden so are a very welcome addition. Just a reminder that even organic pest sprays can upset the ecosystem and affect these guys. If you can hold off when you see a pest who knows maybe something like a ladybug will move in as there is plenty of food for them and they will restore the pest/predator balance.

While there seems to be plenty of space in the front garden and I know I've got to plant out lots of veg for the summer growing season I'm harvesting quite a lot of food still. Some of the winter crops like cauliflowers and cabbages are ready as are lots of lettuce. I finally got my broad beans out of their pods and I'm enjoying picking lots of peas that also require podding. I'm hoping to get a lot more of those into the freezer for future meals so making sure that I pick and pod on a regular basis to keep them coming.

Well thats been my week - some ups and some downs - I guess thats how it goes sometimes.

Be sure to check out my videos - just published one on sorting out my greenhouse and if you're into gluten free foods I show you how to make great gluten free bread.

Enjoy your week


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