"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, 20 September 2014

In spite of the drought...

... my garden is slowly springing to life :)

This photo was taken two - three weeks ago - the
water level is even lower now.
As you can see from the exposed white paint on the
jetty supports, the dam level is very low.
Thank goodness we coated the dam with bentonite -
I am convinced that if we hadn't, it would not still be
holding water.
 Guess you can't keep Mother Nature at bay LOL
A tiny strawberry - the
first of the season
This is the first tiny strawberry that I harvested this week.  But, I am not discouraged...
This one (of about 70) plant is covered with
flowers / minute strawberries - it looks like it
is going to be a good strawberry season this year.
It would appear that the load of alpaca poo
 and straw that the strawberry beds were dosed
with at the beginning of winter has worked
a treat :)
... as the strawberry plants are well covered with flowers / tiny strawberries in the making :)
Having googled how to prune a berry bush, even
our youngberry bushes are full of emerging flowers.
Last year we had a very disappointing youngbery harvest - addmittedly the bushes were still young, and incorrectly pruned by moi.  This year I got clever and googled pruning fruit bushes.  The apparent results speak for themselves :) But, it is a thankless chore- the tiny thorns are hectic!!  I even had one work it's way deep into my finger and go septic.  Ah, the pleasures of gardening LOL

My pumpkins / butternut and tomatoes are all slow - but I think the ducks have been digging up the pumpkin / butternut seeds - it was a nice, wet, straw-filled hollow and just perfect for ducks to forage in...  So, (for the third time) I've started them off in seedling trays - well away from the ducks.
What a sight for sore eyes
Although, at the moment, I am madly harvesting broad beans, I'm not able to get into the garden as much as I want to - we have been so busy with work.  (As a side note, there is nothing nicer than cooked, (inner) peeled broad beans with a dab of butter and a splash of lemon juice - I'm salivating just writing it LOL)

But, I think I am keeping on top of the planting.  I have restricted the produce I am going to grow this year to what we enjoy eating the most - peas, beans, swiss chard, tomatoes, peppers - sweet, chilli and piquanté peppers (all three types of capsicum have, amazingly, survived the winter and, after a pruning, are already producing flowers), potatoes, carrots, garlic, onions and aubergines (once the seedlings are available in my local nursery) and, hopefully, pumpkins and butternut.

That should give us a good variety - and a good mix of the necessary orange and dark green vegetables recommended for healthy bodies :)  And all are preservable so we can continue to enjoy them next winter.
The grape vines have barely any leaves,
but they are already producing grapes :)
Fruit - well we have that covered with strawberries, youngberries, plums, apricots, apples, pears, granadilla's, pomegranates and grapes.  Lots of fresh picking / eating, and jams / preserves in that lot, plus, once I've googled "how to make cordials", and souced the necessary bottles, they'll provide for that too ;) 
I also pruned the pomegranate trees correctly
this year (thank you Google) and they are
producing flowers too :)
For me, it's completely pointless using precious water to grow masses of food we don't eat / enjoy, and which would therefore be a waste - of time, water and effort.

Early tomorrow morning - it's weeding time...!


  1. As our plant life here is winding down before winter sets in, it is fun to watch your garden springing to life. I really hope your drought breaks soon. In the meantime, we will just have to continue to pray for rain.

    1. Vicki - I realize that signs of Spring are still fresh in your minds, but after the little rain that we've had this winter I was't certain we would get this good a foretaste of what is, hopefully, ahead of us...

  2. Glad to see your garden springing (pun INTENDED) to life. Mine is "ripped out" for our winter, so it's fun to see the progress around the world of other's.
    Hope you get some good rains. Seems it's all or none anymore. We've had at least twice as much rain as normal this summer. Ah, we live in interesting times!

    1. Sue - Ripped out is good LOL Means your garden is now able to enjoy the rest that mine has just had.

      Yeah - rain...p-l-e-a-s-e...!!!!

  3. I remember following the process of you folks creating your pond...so glad the modification did the trick, and it's lasting!

    1. Quinn - Yeah, bentonite is brilliant and certainly has helped with holding water in the dam! :)


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