That is out here at the Orchard Cottage. While it was -3dCelcius in the city. Talk about micro-climate. I am going to insanely attempt to grow avocado, and, ahem, macadamia! I took the opportunity of Thursday frost to find out where are the frost spots in the garden and rather frost free area as well. It appears that I have chosen the spots for my, ahem, marginal trees, quite well.

The shelter belt survived the first frost, and snow and slushie and haillish shower quite well. I gave them a second coat of Seasol yesterday, and another coat today. And more mulching. Believe it or not, I was mulching into nightfall when I knew its going to be a frosty morning. Lots of love, these plants get. However, they did not get the very nutritious shot of EF Nature’s Garden, Rok Solid, and Neem granules which the fruit trees get. I hope I love them all the same.

I did, spread more coal dust onto the ground today, and fish meal too. I thought its going to pour down today and wash everything in, guess not, have to wait till Monday. Organic carbon. And organic nitrogen. Not as in organic organic, just in a non-synthetic form that the soil life can take in and store. Its a long term investment. However, its not a task I would like to do everyday because I ended up dusty black and smelling like fish, and I have got coal dust and fish meal all over me!

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I spotted this in one of my pot plant. Not exactly a live plant, the pepper somehow did not like my drastic cut back to 3 buds and decided to throw in the towel, shrivel up and die. It rather die, than over-winter in the warmth of my drafty old cottage. But hey, a mushroom pop out, and if you look closely, its got a smiley face on it! In fact, I’ve got mushroom coming up all over the garden! I am not sure if they are edible though, have not got to the point of mushroom foraging yet. There’s definitely a few different variety out there.

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The latest tenant in the Orchard Cottage. A blood orange! Unfortunately, it takes a lot of heat to give it the intense bloody flesh, which I am not sure I could achieve it out here. Perhaps I could figure out an ingenius way, like wrapping individual fruit in plastic to create a  micro greenhouse effect? We shall see. After all, I bought the plant from a local nursery, and a few local nursery stock this variety. So, there must be some success in growing it locally?

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I was foraging in the tucker patch yesterday and saw these beautiful carrot hiding in there somewhere. Carrot Purple Dragon, a 1,000 year old Heirloom. While orange carrots were first recorded by Dutch paintings in the 1600s, Afghans in 900AD make mention of a purple carrot whilst Egyptian temple drawings from 2000BC are well illustrated with it. Shades can range from dark violet to reddish purple with an orange, orange yellow or bright yellow interior with a sweet and spicy taste. The carrot is medium length, wide at the shoulder and well tapered. And Nutri Red, the unique coral red colour of this 25cm variety is derived from its high level of lycopene, a well-known cancer preventing phyto-nutrient. Cooking improves colour and texture whilst retaining a strong flavour. A perfect addition to stews and vegetable dishes.

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Check out Caesar’s new kennel and run! I got it on TradeMe as a factory second after he decided to chew the made in China one up. I took the swing gate off and put a chain in so that Caesar can still go out and do what dogs do best. Dig, and bury their breakfast. The doggy art of fermentation. Now, that swing gate is a bonus, I could use it somewhere else, for the chooks fencing perhaps, yays!

 

 

 

 

 

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