gardening fever

Never mind peak oil; we've a winter of expensive vegetables to plan against, not to mention the possibility of further seismic disruptions. Today I finished eating the red clover sprouts and began sprouting red cabbage seeds.

Outside, I laid two beer traps for the slugs. I weeded where the seeding parsley and pansies were more messy than productive and sowed coriander (all fingers crossed, in a low slugs garden bed) and rocket. In other vacant spots I sowed more rocket plus some mesclun. Brighid and I came home from the garden centre with lobelia for her garden, spinach and celery. My celery is still succumbing to disease so I'm planting the new lot a long way from the current plants.

Favourite Handyman arrived home with a huge bag of untreated wood shavings. It is all in the chook run at the moment, but tomorrow I need to take some out and add to the compost along with the bags of donkey poo.

We also bought daffodil bulbs and a new watering can. This one is metal so I hope it lasts better than the plastic one I only bought five years ago.

I'm starting to plan the winter garden. Central to the project is where the garlic goes. It has been in a new bed each year so far but this year we've not created any new garden. It will have to go in the same bed (the punga raised bed) which I planted it in 2008, which is not quite the four year rotation which I believed in from some book long ago, but by winter we should have added more new soil to that bed so not same old same old soil and viruses. I need to sow some cavolo nero seeds and hope I can get them sufficiently established before winter. The other key factor for planning is where the spuds go in spring. I haven't decided yet.

In addition to the winter and spring vegetables, I have plenty of bulbs for spring colour: daffodils, irises, anemones and a collection of unnamed spring bulbs which I bought in the Bay of Islands last December, either from the Old Stone House in Kerikeri or from Pompallier House in Russell. They have to be planted yet.

Dinner was sushi. I mixed spirulina poweder into the rice and grated beetroot into the filling mixture with good results. Seriously.

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