Uma, Independence and the wicking beds.

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A quick look at how the large wicking beds are doing. I’ve left these Purple King beans go too long, so I’m going to save some for seed and dry the rest and grind them in the thermomix and use them to add as a thickener for soups and stews in winter. More nutritious than just using flour, I’m guessing.

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The earliest sunflowers are now looking far less sunny, so one of my weekend jobs will be to see if I can harvest some seeds for the chooks.

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You can see here how the trellis on the wicking bed near the boys’ bedroom is starting to tip over. If you look you can see a trombone zucchini weighing it down.

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The seeds are in the lower section. After I took this photo I saw two others of equal size half-hidden by the leaves. No wonder the trellis has a drunken tilt! Another weekend job is to pick as many zucchini as I can find and chop them up in the thermomix and put them in the freezer. Then I’ll have something to add to my Independence Days table. But more on that later.

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In the interests of honesty, I have to say that I’m not too impressed with the scarlet runner beans. They’re flowering beautifully but haven’t set a single bean.

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The tomatoes that popped up from the compost that Mick’s worms were housed in have started setting fruit. It’ll be interesting to see if we can identify what sort they are.

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Here’s a long shot of the wicking bed near the boys’ room. (Ignore the less than razor-sharp lawn edge… I’ll have to have a word to the boys about that.) Of all the wicking beds, this seems to have been the most successful in terms of rampant growth, despite the rough start we had with the soil. The parsnips are growing taller and taller, the chillies are in there somewhere along with the carrots and the bush beans are still producing well. Another of the weekend’s jobs is to get in there and actually take a close look at what’s growing in there.
Anyway, on to the Saturday reporting of the challenge!

Independence Days Challenge

This week’s results are even worse than last week’s! But to be fair, I did three thermomix demos so it wasn’t as if I was lolling around on the couch eating bon bons.
Tomorrow we have our monthly gardening POD meeting so I have today to get out into the garden and whip it into some semblance of shape so I can go the the meeting and hold my head high.

1. Plant something: not a thing.

2. Harvest something: Warrigal greens, silver beet, tomatoes,zucchini, eggs. (The garden is coming in handy for the thermomix demos…. I don’t have to buy spinach for the risotto or parsley for the dip and soon I won’t have to buy garlic and spring onions. Every little bit helps!)

3. Preserve something. nope

4. Waste not: just the usual veggie scraps from the fruit shop for chooks and compost; coffee grounds from work for the compost/garden; household scraps for chooks and worm farms.

5. Want Not: finished ‘The Urban Farm Handbook’ (particularly liked the section on cooking with grains now that I can mill the grains myself); use home-grown veggies in demos.

6. Eat: all the things we harvested. Plus figs from our tree, but that was this morning so I should only put it on next week’s entry. oops.

7. Skill up/ Build community: sent out emails to the gardening POD with links to interesting sites and reminding them of the place and time for the meeting. Gave ginger beer and bread to my neighbour.

***WARNING!!! THERMOMIX ALERT!!!***

I saw this clip this morning and got excited. (Don’t judge me! I’ve been peeling a lot of garlic since I bought Uma.) This looks so quick and easy, and I particularly like that you can store the cloves of garlic in oil if you don’t want to use them immediately.

I delivered Blogless Sandy’s new thermomix last night and was invited to stay for a dinner of soup, bread and custard for dessert made in Hermie the Thermie. We had a lovely night. I showed Blogless Sandy and her husband how to clean/take apart and cook with Hermie, then we made the bread and soup. The best part of the night though, was when their 16 year old son got intrigued and followed the recipe to make the custard for dessert himself. Then he was flicking through the recipe book, saying, “Mum, we have to make this icecream slice with Crunchie bars in it”, and “Mum, we need to buy some avocados to make the guacamole.”

Today they’re going shopping to have a food fest weekend with Hermie. It was great!!! Our monthly gardening POD weekend is at Blogless Sandy’s place tomorrow, as it happens, so I’m guessing there’ll be a few home-made dips on offer, made with produce from her garden. Pretty cool.

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4 Responses to Uma, Independence and the wicking beds.

  1. CatJB says:

    Our chooks have been loving the sunflowers, I just yanked the plants up by the roots and the chooks picked them clean. I’ll plant more next year, I wonder how hard it is to harvest the seeds for us to eat, instead of giving them all to the chooks?

  2. Jayne says:

    We’ve had THE best seasons produce from the self=seeded tomatoes this year, big reds, yellow Romas, dark red Cherry Toms (leftovers from last years unsuccessful heirloom plantings) and more.
    Am planting the wonky ones straight back into containers and they’re sprouting already!
    You’ve inspired me to keep returning something back whenever I harvest food 🙂

    When scraping the seeds from the sunflowers, wear gloves, they can be savage on the skin.

  3. Mrs Bok says:

    Your wicking beds make south sense. Keep meaning to set one up bit I never seem to get to it!!
    You are getting me very interested in a thermomix!

    I’ve found that eating the trombocini when they are a lot smaller is better – when they get that size the texture gets quite course.

  4. river says:

    Your wicking beds are going so fantastically well after their rocky start!
    Don’t forget to harvest some sunflowers seeds for next season’s planting, and some for yourself too. Roll them gently with a rolling pin to crack and hull them, then dry roast the seeds for eating. Or dry and grind to add to soups, breads etc just like your purple king beans.
    I never had much luck with scarlet runner beans either, french beans or bush beans were much better producers.
    I still haven’t bought the trombone zucchini seeds………

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