"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

Saturday, 31 August 2013

A spring in the step...

Spring is just around the corner and that is evident in so many parts of the garden.
The strawberry plants are all producing flowers
Our apple, apricot, pomegranate and lemon trees are still all hiding under the covers, but our peach tree is in full swing...
The peach trees are the first
to blossom
The peas and broad beans are providing their last - it almost feels as though I am stealing from the plants.  There are so few peas left on the plants, but I just can't resist.
How priviledged I am to be able to harvest
fresh, organic produce from my garden :)
Whilst shelling the peas and beans - even though I am thrilled to be able to harvest from my garden, I still find it slightly tedious sitting for 2 hours whilst mindlessly extracting the fruit from the pod.  During the course of one such session, I made an interesting observation  - there are no more than a maximum of 9 peas / pod.  How weird is that?  I wonder if the seed I am using (it is not an heirloom seed) has been "programmed" to only produce that many?
The maximum number of peas in any pod
never exceeded 9!
I also had to make a plan whilst harvesting my broad (fava) beans.  I was having to bend and stand, bend and stand and, trying to take care of my back, that was sometimes painful work.  And my apron pocket could only hold so many, which, as it filled, naturally became harder to fill.
There were only so many broad beans I could fit
in my apron pocket
So I had the brainwave of placing a suitably sized container inside the pocket and that worked by (most importantly) keeping the "collection area" (pocket) permanently open, and allowed for a bigger collection area, and prevented me from having to make those extra trips to the kitchen in order to empty out what I harvested. 
Now I can collect much more than before :)
We had big warnings broadcast on the TV and radio for extreme weather with an extended cold snap starting on Wednesday, and the maximum temperatures indicate a possibility of snow on the mountains?  I am loving the cool weather, but it is preventing my seeds from germinating.
Pumpkin and butternut seeds in their mini
greenhouses, all housed in an old styrofoam
container for added protection
You recall I did a posting on using empty egg shells as seedling containers. That worked really well last year, so I have to continue with this method agin this year.  I was also lucky enough to find eggs in my local Spar which were packaged in a plastic egg carton.  Why is bringing more plastic home lucky? Well, I figured that I could use the carton as a mini greenhouse :)
Sunset view of the spring blossoms :)
It seems to be working a treat :)
The beauty of nature - sunrise at 6.53 this morning
Here is a pic from Tuesday mornings' sunrise - a typical sight here prior to an approaching storm...


Sue said...

What a great idea putting a bowl in your apron pocket-it keeps it open and readily accessible.
Shelling peas is the worst. You need to invite friends for coffe at that point--and hand them a bowl to shell. LOL-might not win you any popularity contest, but talking and laughing makes any chore go faster.

Harry Flashman said...

Strange to think it is just turning to spring there and we are going into fall.

I liked that picture of the sunset. The land around your place is really beautiful.

Dani said...

Sue - Exactly :)

Yeah, I don't know if anyone in the area has the time to help me shell peas LOL Even RMan is busy with his blooming tractor every time I need his help... (clever man).

Dani said...

Harry - apologies for the delay - we had a family emergency over the weekend.

Yeah - it is strange to me too when I read blogs from the northern hemisphere enthusing about their imminent Spring at the end of our summer...

Bee Girl said...

9 peas per pod, ha? Interesting observation! I do love your apron and bowl idea as well...sometimes it's the simplest of things that make the biggest differences in the ease of harvesting ;-)

Dani said...

Bee Girl - It certainly does help me gather more at a time... :)

Amy Lou said...

I'm so happy to have found your blog. We're off-grid in the southwestern desert in the US. Next year's project is a greenhouse and gardening. I can tell you'll be a super valuable resource. Thank you in advance!

Dani said...

Amy Lou - Welcome - and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Wonderful - so glad to hear your news - the more off-gridders, the better LOL I'm certainly no expert re: solar power, but whatever I know I'm happy to help :)