Autumn? Winter? Change of season…

Well, hello there from the Gung Hoe patch!

 As I write this the sun is warm and the sky blue, down here in central vic its amazing how unused to rain we are…a few days of grey skies and stormy clouds and it makes me appreciate the sun once again!
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Don’t get me wrong though, the rain we’ve had is perfect, even though it brought hail which destroyed a lot of our delicate little leafies, our customers this week (The Good Table in Castlemaine and Redbeard Bakery in Trentham) are fully understanding of a little less quantity for wet soil and happy plants!
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It’s an interesting time of year here when the seasons change, everything seems so extreme..a week ago it felt like the oncoming of Spring – balmy nights and hot days, to last week where the fires have been blazing and all you want to do is soup and have a glass of red in front of aforementioned fire!
It is that time where we are madly weeding, trying to let our green babies get enough warmth during the day, but too not too much to make them wither, or bolt, or protest outright and simply die.
Its my mission this autumn/winter to convert Sas to a love of brussel sprouts!
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So far, everything is looking good! Small, but good!  We are more on top of the change of season this time and are becoming reflective as we realise we’ve been here a year now!  This in turn, allows us to be gentle with ourselves…a year is not long in the run of things.
 We’ve been collecting seeds this week off the beans, which we loved, and are excited to plant with them when their next season turns around…
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This has turned into a slight ramble, but with pics of the garlic, some yummy beets and the decaying bean vine, it’s a really nice reminder that life and death is a cycle, and nature continues to do its thing whilst we fumble around on the edges trying to make the most of it.
Hope this finds you well and taking stock of new chapters.
Mel and Sas

Change of season…and garlic!

Well the season has done its full change now…the morning are crisp and when the sun doesn’t shine, the air is starting to feel cold.  For us out in the earth, this means we have a busy month ahead; (which we’ve been already busy planning for by planting out extra seeds, trying our damned hardest to calculate the correct amount for a continued harvest throughout autumn and winter…namely winter). We need to make use of the still-warm soil, and the kinda cooler days which means cooler green babies like brassicas gotta get in the ground pretty much in the next few weeks.

We are feeling a tad tired, summer is busy and you get into the flow of getting up early, harvesting, picking, delivering, harvesting, trying to keep up water…eek!

So the new season means a new pace…which is welcome, and we will find our groove. Of course the other exciting come back to the garden in this month is garlic! As we plant by the moon there are only a few days that scream ‘GARLIC’ this month and we have gone with early next week, rather than at the end of the month.

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We generally try and save our best bulbs from the previous year to be our seed for this year.  We have decided this year to not do elephant garlic, however we will be trying a few different varieties of the smaller bulb.

We plant ours out 10cm apart, a good thumbhole deep, give them some yummy food (compost, manure) and water. Pretty easy! This year we are going to mulch the beds to save us some weeding, it will also feed the soil.

Mel garlic

Garlic likes food about once a month, and water when it starts to get warm.  If you live in a place like we do and there’s no guarantee that winter and autumn bring rain, so you may have to water throughout the cool months too.

I find it funny that people complain in the months when there is no garlic around – well, Australian garlic that is.  When it disappears from the markets and the shelves it is because it is growing!  It makes complete sense!  The little cloves even tell us its time because they grow green sprouts!  You can prolong the life of your garlic by storing it somewhere dark or preserve your garlic in oil, by pickling and (I’ve never tried it) can you freeze it?  Anyway, my point being, living in sync with the seasons means eating what is growing and ripe at that time. But garlic always seems to stir people up!

May you enjoy eating  growing and keeping those vampires away!

Sas & Mel