Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 24th 2015 Fruit.

End of December and we are starting to get grapes.  Lots of grapes.  We have 8 vines growing, maybe 6 different varieties but I am unsure what they are.    They get ripe, I eat them.  I don't need to know what they are called to enjoy them.. 
We have black ones over the pig pen, maybe not quite ready as they are sour but they are dark and look ready.  It's not 'til you bite into them that you realise that they are not.  I had some really dark ones this afternoon and they were a bit better but still not quite there.

 I know we have Red Globe, they are not ready yet.  One vine grows along the chookpen fence along the driveway.  We have put stocking over these as last year the birds got most of them.  We did, or didn't prune this vine last year, I remember hacking some branches off as they were in my way but it wasn't a proper prune so there isn't as many grapes on here this year.  But we have covered a dozen or so bunches and they are growing nicely.

The grapes we are eating now are small sultana grapes.  These grapes always end up with Powdery mildew and it looks like this year will be the same but there are plenty of bunches out there that are clean and we are enjoying these now.  I didn't stocking these, thought the birds would get them and I should but we have been lucky and are getting plenty.  I should stocking some before the birds come, and I may yet do that.  These grapes grow over a chook shed and wire topped yard.  They look pretty good the way they hang down and we can walk under them and pick as we go.

We did net one whole vine.  Husband cut the vine back so the net would fit and we bought some small clips to hold the netting.  It looks alright and there is nothing getting to them.  Last year the chooks jumped up and started on this lot and then the birds and then the wasps came in so it was a bit risky trying to pick any.  This year we will get more than enough.  A couple more weeks and they will should be ready
We have 3 other vines, 2 different sorts, they too need to have stocking put on them before they get ripe and the parrots find them.  I did think of doing it this afternoon...but didn't.  If I want some of these ones then I need to get them covered.

A few years ago I bought a couple of boysenberry plants.  Stuck them in the ground and left them too it.  The prickly plant grew everywhere, husband hated it, the chooks ate the fruit, the prickly vine kept growing away from the fence where I wanted it, husband kept threatening to rip it out...This year I started caring for it a bit, have been trying to keep it under control but a not succeeding.  Husband has brought in some 1/2 drums for me, we will fill these with dirt then get the plants into the drums.  This way they should grow up the fence and it should be easier for me to keep them off the ground where they root where they touch.  There is a bit off fruit on them now and as long as I keep the water up to them they are really sweet and lovely.  I have netted them from the chooks and parrots but it is still a work in progress.

We bought some raspberries and they too have fruit on them.  Only one plant from the 3 and I do tend to forget to water these but I'm hopeful I will get a taste a least.  I have more than a dozen other plants that were swapped for some chokoes but I have just put those in a 1/2drum until I figure out where to plant them.  They are getting big though so I need to figure it out soon.

The bananas are growing well.   Husband is trying to get these growing along a few fence lines and also out the back and it seems to be working.  We have 2 clumps at the moment that have fruit.  Well, 1 plant from each clump has a bunch of bananas. 

The bananas from the plants we have here are smaller than the shop bought one but so much sweeter and much more bananary.  I still buy bananas though as I like them and they make a quick and easy snack.

We have talked about pulling up the peach tree as it always gets over ridden with fruitfly.  This year husband is giving it 1 more chance.  He has netted it and if it still gets fruitfly then we will probably pull it out.  We haven't bee able to get any edible fruit from this tree for the last few years because of the fruitfly.

So far the fruit is looking clean so fingers crossed we will get some.

The Apricots have finished.  This year these ended up with fruitfly again too, I netted too late.  I was relying on the Naturelure to work but will know better next year and will get the net on before the fly gets there.

We are eating strawberries, not many but some each day as I wander around the yard.

I didn't get any watermelons to mature though.  Actually, didn't even manage to get the plants to survive more than a few weeks.  Maybe next year I will get some growing but for this Summer, I will buy them.  Summer means watermelon so if I want one then I will buy one.

Since we started growing our own fruit there is a lot that we no longer buy from shops, it is not as nice as the stuff we grow and we would rather go without than eat inferior stuff.  We now eat fresh, local, in season fruits, mostly grown in our own backyard.  I love being able to do that.

Some people say that I eat too much fruit.  Maybe I do but it is fresh, it is free, it is I will continue to do so.   

I would encourage everyone to grow some of their own fruit and though trees take a long time before you get anything berries are quick and strawberries can be grown in a pot or hanging basket.and fruit easily.  Try it, grow some fruit, enjoy eating your own.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

December 24th 2015. Vegetables.

I haven't been here for awhile, not sure why.  Too lazy?  Too boring?  Too busy?  All of the above?  Whatever the reason, I hope to get back here on a regular basis next year.  And as next year is next week then I better get some stuff going so I have something to put on here.

I did take the camera out early yesterday morning, so I now have a bit of a record of what the yard looks like.  Well, what it looked like yesterday morning anyway!

The fridge gardens out the back are going well.   We have 2 with strawberries in, 2 with potatoes, 2 with sweet potatoes
 One has tomatoes that are near on finished, this one had potatoes too but they're not doing very well.
Beans are in 1, I don't know what sort of beans as I can't remember but if picked young then they taste pretty good raw and just picked.

The tank gardens up nearer the house are full of weeds but there is some food in there too. 

There's corn in here, too much lemon balm, kale, capsicums, rockmelons that might give us a couple of fruit if the slaters don't get them.  I'm hoping the stocking will protect them as well as support them while they grow.


Pulled our first carrot last week and it was a pretty good looking carrot considering I'm not too great at getting carrots to grow.  It looks yellow but is orange

We have had dozens of cucumbers, eaten lots, given heaps away and still have a fridge full so will make some bread and butter pickle soon.  That s always worth making and is a great way to use up the excess.  The plants are looking a bit sad but still producing.

The proper size according to husband tomatoes aren't ripe yet but we have been picking and eating the small cherry type ones for months.  He says he doesn't like them as they are too small but I will keep growing them as they produce for such a long time. And if they selfseed and grow I see it as natures way of saying they should be here.

The drums down the driveway are hit and miss but there are some nice looking tomatoes in some, we will get a feed or 2 of corn, dug up a small amount of garlic last week, the asparagus never gets inside, the gogi has berries on it but not many, I think the birds get them before me, A few of these have potatoes in them and there is always enough for a feed if I want to go bandicooting for them.

These ones have raspberries in 2, a chilli/capsicum plant in 1 and some JA's coming up in the 4th.  I had though all the JA's had rotted away but am pleased to see they hadn't.

So as you can see we still have food growing, not as much as I'd like but enough to keep us from going hungry. I buy onions and carrots but not much else.  Next year will be better.