Yay! All the tomatoes are finally in the ground! I did not actually follow the planting plan that has been changed over and over again.

I planted 16 in the tucker patch. And then 8 in the cloche, which Caesar promised he will help to chase the birds away. This is my first season growing tomatoes, so I need to find out the best spot for them, and see if they get more heat if planted just by the house.

I’ve also got some tomatoes from the garden center. Tomaccio got my attention with all its advertising, and its like the only tomato I know with its own website! Its the type of variety bred for the making of sun dried tomatoes. I bought 2, one in the greenhouse and another one in the tucker patch to see the different in performance.

I also bought 2 grafted tomatoes. I wasn’t interested in the tomatoes that they are going to bear, but I am interested in the seeds off the root stock! There’s 2 type of grafted tomatoes, one which is a top graft (Megatom), and another one is very interesting, the original seedling still half connected to its own roots, and the stem of a root stock plant grafted into the side of it (Supertom). I have to browse through the displayed plants to find the ones that have new shoots growing out of the root stock.

My little apple and pear orchard is doing well. The white alyssum has started to flower around the edge of the pots and the apple tree has little apples on them. I can’t wait to take a bite out of these 200 years old cultivar, that is if I have any apple growing skills.

Behold the tucker patch. This is the part sheltered from the cold Southerlies by the house.

I think the whole thing looks like a weedy mess to most people. If I indeed achieved that perspective, then I have indeed created diversity! I allowed the ground covers to smother the fruit trees that are not bearing this year, and for those that are bearing, I keep the ground cover down. There’s lots of veges growing among them too!

I have also achieved abundance! That’s from one row of broad beans. I have 5 rows, 3 remaining. There’s so many of them, I can’t harvest them all at once, so they are occupying the ground, and the tomatoes can’t go into their place, and thus the tomatoes are planted all over the place. Lesson, Summer crop follows Winter crop, Summer crop can’t follow Spring crop, etc etc. I am going to make soup with all those broad beans.

This is the other setup of the strawberry patch. I have took away the frost cloth and put in bird netting which was attached to a lid frame. The next stage is to attach the frost cloth to the frame on top of the bird netting.

The view from Orchard Cottage. The wildflowers are now showing off the low growing blend. Just filled with lots and lots of poppies!

We love out roses. This is Emanuel from 1985. It is a David Austin rose.

Glamis Castle from 1992, David Austin rose.

Lydia from 1973, a climbing rose.

To think that all of them got stripped by possums last Autumn. I am glad I have Caesar around to keep them away.

At the orchard, we hired some backpackers for a couple of weeks. It is a very interesting experience this time. One of them kept asking for a pay rise, which is very annoying. So I sat him down and explained to him, due to the fact that him and most people are buying the cheapest groceries that they can get their hands on, Pack&Slave, he would have known that he can buy fruits and vegies at dirt cheap price. He nods. There, I put 1 and 1 together, growers are barely breaking even because the eaters are not willing to pay more, how can I afford a pay rise?

One day, we sent them into the orchard to remove suckers at the base of the cherry trees. At the end of the day, they complained it is hard work. I rolled my eyes mentally, and tell them I hope they finally understand that food growing is not easy, that fresh produce don’t just miraculously show up in the supermarket. Is is very sad to see modern society in general so disconnected from the real food process.

Caesar does planking too!