Garden Time

Tonight I weeded a section of garden, about a metre square, and sowed seeds of argentata beet (from Kings seeds, an Italian heirloom variety which is totally worth the effort of obtaining and growing from seed for its flavour), chicory, pak choi and rocket.

The garden before I started was testimony to the folly of not mulching over summer. Thick with weeds, the soil was low on worms compared to much of my garden. It was nice and dark and mostly crumbly though, in contrast with the areas which had potatoes and are now bare, exposed earth. My favourite 'weed' was borage, which has self-seeded very vigorously. I did find some self-seeded thyme which pleased me.

I'm pleased with my gardening tonight. I worked in the old chook run, an area which was grass before we laid the poultry palace over top of it. At ten square metres, it was the largest garden I had ever had the pleasure of working with. As I look across tall weeds and at healthy looking beetroot, roses, sunflowers, leeks, zucchinis and lettuces, as I pass my store of garlic (much of it awaiting plaiting), I'm grateful for the moments when I do get in the garden, for the food we are still producing and eating. My life in 2010 seems to be spent outside of our home and garden more than for a very long time, certainly more than any other time that we have lived in this house. If I can keep sowing and planting our food in snatched moments, then hopefully our garden will never be merely a sad remnant of a time spent in gentle hippiedom, at home with babies and broccoli, but something which endures with our changing lives.

I'm delighted that our garden centre sells punnets of seedlings - they provide a valuable shortcut much of the time. I'm growing basil from seedlings from a friend. I keep them in small pots on the north facing kitchen windowsill. The liquid from the bokashi gives them a very noticeable boost.

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