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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

Finishing up the summer harvest

Mid May might seem very late for tidying up my summer growing garden but it is what it is. With such a large space for all my vegetables I'm in no hurry to pull out plants that are still producing. They may have slowed down, but I find that pace more in keeping with my needs and the time I have to preserve. Today I decided to pull lots of the chillies as I don't think too many more are going to ripen and become red. I managed to tuck a large bag of green chillies into the freezer alongside a much smaller bag of red ones. I still couldn't bring myself to pick all of them though. If there was a slight tinge of red happening I left them - you never know!!

My harvest basket is certainly looking a lot more wintery with the carrots, celery and kale.

I have been intending to harvest the kale for sometime but kept having other things to do but it's like someone out there forced my hand. The wind of recent days broke a lot of the large lower leaves from my plants, so it was bring inside and do something with it all, or feed it to the chickens. Turns out there was plenty for the kitchen and the chickens, so everyone was happy! I'm making a batch of kale chips with chilli and nutritional yeast - I'll let you know how that goes!

I've decided that tackling the front garden one bed at a time, and planting in the same session, may be the way to go. Just deal with that area once and move on. My neighbours visited on the weekend and took with them a large bucket of tomatoes that I was never going to use (and there's still plenty of half rotted ones for the chickens!), so it was time to start clearing these dying plants. They had been super productive throughout the season after the slow start, and my unnecessary concern about them! I got one bed done and ready for planting. It is fairly easy with the no dig system. I do pull out the grasses by the roots as I don't want them growing back but just cut off plants that won't regrow, at the base. Leaving as much of the soil undisturbed looks as possible, looks after the soil food web and is really important if you want the best production. I planted some beetroot and spinach seeds, and also transplanted five cauliflower seedlings. I'm hoping this year to have a better crop of cauli heads than last year. If I get two heads that would be a one hundred percent improvement - haha!!

I filled my day with moving animals, tending chickens and ducks and their coops and houses. Cooking some basic foods in the kitchen and other activities that called for my attention. Not terribly exciting but needs to be done. It is a little exciting looking at those photos of produce coming from the garden - I wonder how far through winter I can keep that going!!??

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