We are continuing to work hard to reclaim our little slice of paradise from the insidious creep of weeds that has occurred whilst my butt was firmly planted in my rocking chair by the fire over what has been the coldest winter in 26 years or so they say.
My winter garden is nearly non-existent. I planted enough garlic to ensure planting stock for next year and the same for potato onions and multiplier onions, broadcast some purple broccoli seeds during a mad fairy dance (dancing like a mad fairy, throwing seeds to the winds) and that’s been it. There are a handful of broccoli that survived the weeds and 3 beds of garlic. However, with the reappearance of the sun, my moods have cleared like the sky and funnily enough, with the return of motivation, so too has bare soil returned. Well, not for long. I intend to fill it before Mother Nature does. 🙂
copious weeds chook food, I have found a thriving crop of chives which I harvested to dry out for times when fresh chives aren’t so readily available.
I also harvested the unopened flower heads from my kale plants to blanch and freeze for broccoli although with my kids browsing the kale patch like cows (no photo sadly but yes, they roam around, check for bees then bite!) it was a small harvest. With the wheat heads from the random patches of wheat drying and ready to harvest to sow again, over 40 strawberry plants in (excluding what was already in place), 50 asparagus crowns, carrots coming up, snap peas planted and all my seeds in for summer crops I feel like the winter spent inside hasn’t been entirely wasted. I’ve achieved a heap these last 2 weeks and managed to salvage a winter harvest too so feeling good. 🙂
The bounteous chives were harvested, washed, chopped up and then thrown in the dehydrator. I ran the 1st batch through at top temperature (75°C) which had them crispy dry in about 5 hours but I didn’t want to run the dehydrator like that overnight so dropped the temperature to the lowest setting (35°C) and after 12 hours or so, the same crisp and bright green chives.
Given the sap inside was running like a tap when I diced them, these were very moist chives. I’m impressed how dry they’ve become. 🙂 In the meantime I still have an abundance to pick fresh in the garden.
Otherwise I’ve been in the kitchen and bottled up a batch of beer, started in on the soap making again, and continued on with my new favourite hobby of crochet. The weather is not yet so warm as to make it unpleasant to work with wool. 🙂 The cherries and pears are in bloom, the apples and grapes are at or near bud burst and the birds are pilfering anything worthy to make their nests. My seeds are in and sprouting nicely in their mini water wicking greenhouses (clear plastic crates with lids) and so it’s just a matter of keeping on in the garden, weeding and clearing and getting ready for spring. 🙂
What’s the news in your gardens?