Wow - this is year three of April updates: April 2015.
1. I've accepted the flow of the seasons much better now. Kale went in today along with tropical garlic varieties and a heap of gooseberries that came up in the compost. Gooseberries are wonderful in winter. Snow peas put in the little dogs' yard where there is more sun. As expected, the Ceylon Spinach has started to boom (just in time for winter).
2. Having some Tom troubles. Probably have a virus in a lot of my beds now. Have 4 or 5 bushes which are starting to take off again. Checking previous years' blogs, they do much better here in winter.
3. First two Perch harvested and enjoyed. Great taste. They are mostly around 30 cm now. This experiment has been a big success.
4. Chickens: all three have done wonderfully over the last year or more. However, Ruby will be put down soon. She is the one who has reproductive issues and she's started to lose weight. I gave her the best life I could and now I need to "man-up" and make sure she doesn't suffer. Had to be my favourite, didn't it?!
5. Haven't made bread in a long time but am still making cheese. The focus now has moved to a few different blues (since my fridges are infested with blue mould). The Swiss Blue (Brisbane Nutty Blue) is especially good and I am moving towards codifying the recipe and documenting it.
6. Can produce greens for salads, pesto and slaw at the drop of a hat most of the year around now. That is one of my big goals met.
1. The big girl's yard on the south side of the house has slowed down, even in my aquaponic grow bed. On the other hand, the little dog's yard on the north side of the house is picking up really well. I have snow peas in both sides and can REALLY see the difference. Same is true of the grapes.
2. Toms on the north side are going great, as are the border flowers.
3. Jade perch are about 6-7 inches long now.
4. The plant "in bulk" lesson still applies but I have only partly applied it.
5. The new sourdough is wonderful - I am back on it.
6. Jarlsberg is still damn hard to make.
7. The sweet leaf betel has established really nicely now and I will soon be using it in droves.
8. Ceylon spinach is a colder weather plant and has now sprung back. (Phew, I thought I'd lost it.)
9. Rozie still has everything covered in paw paw, passion fruit and pumpkin. Some things are not worth fighting about.
10. I'm happy to see that my plans from last year for the aquaponics and chooks actually came to pass! I feel good about that.
11. My handyman skills still leave a LOT to be desired.
Andy's Log: Stardate 02.04.13 (or what I learned in March)
Useful things I learned this month:
1. Don't plant big tomatoes in summer - use cherries so they don't get all stung.
2. To pretty up the permie style gardens or vege patches, use pretty flowers around the front border. Looks good, and find ones you can eat or use!
3. Don't buy cheap garden arches - they fall apart.
4. Silver perch are too timid - use jade perch.
5. Plant things that you use - I've just put in four more sweet basil for my pesto making. Oh, and sweet potato leaves and cylon spinach go good in pesto.
6. To get a useful crop, plant in bulk.
7. Shallots go great at my place and I use them for lots of things.
8. When you plant stuff, label it so you remember what the hell is coming up in a month or two's time.
9. Top and tail has a limited sucess rate. The sweet potato was done that way and I am using the leaves. Dunno if I'll actually get a sweet potato but the leaves are good. The onions died. I have one orange carrot plant and one purple one sprouting.
10. Lemon basil spreads like crazy but I need to work out what it tastes good in (and it is not pesto!)
11. Don't make a ton of liquors that you will never drink, no matter how much fun it might be.
12. Jarlsberg is damn hard to make! I have a natural advantage with Fetta for some reason. Normal cheddars are no good because my Rozzie doesn't love them. And, stay away from Lipase (it is too bitter)!
13. It is really hard to get a half deaf, half blind, crippled old dog off the garage roof (so don't throw him out on the front verandah when you are half asleep).
14. My handyman skills leave a LOT to be desired.
15. I've gone off sour dough and will return to normal bread to save room in the fridge.
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