"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


I am, mostly, a traditional person.

Thus, when MKid came to spend his first term holidays with us last month, we had to repeat what we did last year.  In April 2010, I had just purchased a Stack-a-Tub and MKid and I had planted that up with basil, peas and baby spinach.

The peas sort of worked, I had a rogue tomato plant raise it's head, and that did well, the baby spinach - nada, and the basil - perfect.  Since then I have converted the Stack-a-Tub to my version of a "herb spiral" - that works much better.

But this year MKids aim was bigger, so we planted up an entire (small) raised bed with peas...

RMan and MKids favourite vegetable - peas
... and a small raised bed of each for the last of the onions and garlic, as well as spinach and beetroot.

My broad beans are coming along nicely, although the south easter is playing havoc with them.  I have had to give them front and back support.  I have also sown a row of Franchi Sementi yellow, white and orange carrots in front of the beans - my space is so limited, I have to try and make use of all, and any, space I have.  I can't wait to grow vegetables on the farm - so much space - how am I going to control myself?

Sowing carrot seeds is a breeze
with the Magic Seeder :-)
It is brilliant growing the multi-coloured carrots - come supper time there is a whole rainbow on your plate of food :-)  Did you know that the original carrots were purple in colour.  The orange carrots (full of beta carotene) that we eat today are as a result of the Dutch, many years ago, creating a carrot for the House of Orange - the Dutch Royal Family.

And I am still harvesting egg plants and capsicum - I can't eat green peppers (like fresh coriander and cucumbers, they repeat on me too much) but red, yellow and orange - hmmm delicious :-)  I have a feeling that I am going to have to pickle some...

Tradition works for me - as well as being a repetitive lesson for grandkids :-)  I sent him home with his own packets of pea and carrot seeds so that he can have a small veggie garden at his mum's place.  I can't wait to see how his garden grows LOL

Oh, and, before I forget, I discovered a gardening tip yesterday.  Did you know that tea leaves, especially Rooibos (Red Bush), scattered around vulnerable plants, discourage slugs and snails?  (It must surely also work with normal tea leaves.)  And the Rooibos tea leaves are simultaneously feeding the soil with copper, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Now that's the kind of tip I love!


Jane said...

I am a big tea drinker, so it all ends up in the garden. I wonder what about it deters slugs? Anything is worth a try for those buggers.

Dani said...

Jane - I only drink tea, but previously put the tea leaves / bags in the compost heap. Not any more :-)

Perhaps the slugs / snails don't like travelling over it? Whatever, as long as it works, I'm happy LOL

Mr. H. said...

Traditions are good, we hope to create/ingrain a few with our own grandson...time will tell.:) Those are some nice looking carrots in the picture, I tried a yellow variety last year and they did very well for us. We always have wind issues with our broad beans too, hope yours manage the weather long enough to provide for you.

Dani said...

Mr H - I am determined that my first ever planting of broad beans will provide a good harvest - molly coddling is the name of the game LOL

RobynK said...

Lovely healthy looking veges. You'll have to stock up on vege seeds with different maturing times when you start veges on the farm then you can fill up all the space but not have all the same type of vege maturing at once. Lol, it is possible to have too many carrots :D.
I use crushed egg shells to deter snails/slugs but I'll try tea leaves as well as I'm a tea drinker. Egg shells don't put as much goodness into the soil as Rooibus tea leaves but at least I don't have holey vegetables.

frann said...

I am off to buy tea!

Dani said...

RobynK - tea leaves are perfect for me - we don't eat that many eggs :-)

Frann LOL