"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, 21 June 2014


Very exciting things are happening at the Foothills Organic homestead today, but, as they aren't finished, I can't tell you anythng more... yet :)

What I can tell you though is that I was caught napping.

Although we had frost last year, I didn't loose anything to it.  But this year it's different.

I had sweet potatoes chitting for ages, and planted them in the repurposed tyres we have.  Last summer the tyres produced more than enough butternut squash to see us through winter, so I thought sweet potatoes would be a good crop to follow the butternut.

I filled them with lots and lots of gorgeous alpaca poo mixed in with the soil - it had to be a winner.  I thought.  I almost gloated.  And I definitely salivated at the prospect of the harvest.
Frost bitten sweet potatoes - are they
ex-sweet potaotes? Time will tell.  But, I
e in hope :)
But - as you can see, the frost got them.  The field mice had been nibbling at the leaves in one of the tyres, and what the mice didn't damage the frost did.

I'm not sure if they will sprout again?!  But, I've left them in situ with a protective straw covering - just in case.

Strange that, because I'd grown sweet potatoes on the farm before, and they didn't suffer from frostbite - maybe we just didn't have frost that winter...?
An eggplant in the protective cover of a broadbean
plant.  But, it still got the brunt of recent frost.
My mini forest garden didn't help...
Another crop which was grown out in the open for the first time were the eggplants.

They also came a cropper.

So, I'll just have to harvest what is left growing on them, share some with RSon (who is visiting this weekend) and Natasha, scoff some of them, and preserve the rest for later.

But, the lesson will be filed away securely for next winter.  Frosty isn't going to wreak havoc in this garden again - if I can help it :)

Don't forget - if you'd like to score some piquanté pepper seeds which I am giving away, please leave a comment on
http://ecofootprintsa.blogspot.com/2014/06/preserving-piquante-peppers-and-give.html before 6.00p.m. on 30 June 2014


Harry Flashman said...

We had a very severe winter here this year. I wonder if you are in the for the same thing? Today there's a light wind blowing, it's very warm and dry in the mountains. A perfect day. And yet, it's winter in your part of the world. Very strange to contemplate.

Vicki said...

Although Harry and I live on opposite sides of the US, we both experienced unusually bad winters. Mine included months of cold, ice and snow. I really hope that Mother Nature has gotten all of that out of her system and will give you a good winter.

African Bliss said...

I can sympathise with you I had just thinned my sweet potatoes out when BAM! frost hit and wiped them and my peppers out. But I hope my sweets will come back when the frost is over.

kymber said...

oh Dani - i am sorry that the frost got your sweet potatoes - that really sucks. and as Harry said, it being winter(?) where you are and summer where we are makes things a little confusing. i don't grow sweet potatoes as we don't particularly care for them. but we looooove regular potatoes and even if someone showed up with a tiller and cleared and tilled an acre of our land, and then put down the most delicious dirt in the world, i would say thank you, plant a whole pile of stuff in it but i will never grow potatoes in anything but tires!!! potatoes love tires! i hope that your sweet potatoes will come back!

much love to you and yours Dani! your friend,

1st Man said...

I am sorry for your freezing cold. It's so wild to remember that while we are here sweating in 97 degree weather it's freezing elsewhere. I bet you have the beautiful stove keeping you nice and warm though!

Dani said...

Harry - We may well have!

Yes, it always struck me during summer when I read all the overseas blogs going on about winter. But, there is a certain rhythm to the contrast - for we all know that our current situation, whatever that is, is only going to last for 6 months :)

Dani said...

Vicki - The land needs the yin and yang of the different seasons. Mother Nature has her own plan - and we all just have to go with her flow :)

Dani said...

African Bliss - So - we're both in the same boat? Yeah, I have no more potatoes to replaced the frost bitten ones with - hopefully, they'll make a comeback...!

Dani said...

kymber - The orange fleshed sweet potatoes that I like are far more "substantial" than the white fleshed variety. Very delicious :) (sorry I can't remember the name of them).

I agree - for our needs, growing potatoes in tyres meets our needs perfectly :) Who needs to dig unnecessarily to find the hiddden treasure, especially in the rock hard ground we have for soil.

Dani said...

1st Man - Yesterday, being the winter / summer solstice, means winter is slowly weaving it's way towards you again :)

Oh yes, Rosie is giving us more than enough warmth to help us through the cold weather. Pity I can't install one outside for my veggies... (giggle)

Mrs. Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Mac said...

We're basking in lovely summer weather after a cold, long winter. There is always something to thwart the garden.


Quinn said...

Aw, sorry about your frost losses, Dani! I hope the sweet potatoes make a comeback.

Dani said...

Mrs Mac - There's always a lesson the garden wants me to learn lol

Dani said...

Quinn - I hope so too... :)