I realized how I enslaved I was to my smartphone last Friday. I dropped it, chest high, onto concrete floor, at work while I was having a conversation with my colleagues. Pretty much, for a moment, all of us had mouth round as goldfish. Something was obviously wrong with the display, but it worked for a moment, and later gave up the ghost. At that moment, I became a lost soul, disconnected from the world, dramatically speaking. I purchased a new smartphone that very same day after work.

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I did more work on the raised beds. The very mature compost from the old raised beds were transferred into the new beds. This gave me an opportunity to redo the old beds, layering the base with cardboard and newspapers, then a bale of pea straw goes into each bed and compacted down. Now, just a few good dose of used coffee grounds, fresh compost, and crusher dust, and Bed 1 to 3 is ready to go.

I did some sowing at the same time. Bed 4.

Pak Choi Flowering Kale Squire Mesclun Italian
Mesclun Kale Mesclun Lettuce Mesclun Oriental
Mesclun Red Alyssum Mesclun French
Carrot Mini Sweet Alyssum Carroy Paris Market
Chicory Palla Rosa Early Spinach Santana Chicory Sugarloaf
Baby Beets Onion Red Bunching | Onion White Welsh Spring Onion Ishikura | Leeks Lungo Della Riviera

Bed 5.

Flower Sprouts Kaleidoscope Flower Sprouts Kaleidoscope Flower Sprouts Kaleidoscope
Brussels Sprouts Red Ribs Brussels Sprouts Fillbasket Broccoli Sprouting Winter Rudolph
Flower Sprouts Kaleidoscope Alyssum Broccoli Sprouting Winter Rudolph
Flower Sprouts Kaleidoscope Alyssum Broccoli Sprouting Winter Rudolph
Brussels Sprouts Red Ribs Brussels Sprouts Fillbasket Broccoli Sprouting Winter Rudolph
Brussels Sprouts Red Ribs Brussels Sprouts Fillbasket Broccoli Sprouting Winter Rudolph

I was wondering, is irrigation really necessary for these raised beds?

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Harvested the corns today. From left, Early Gem, Painted Mountain, Rainbow Inca, Silver Platinum. Taste test, Silver Platinum is the best, however, its not the strongest grower. Early Gem is the strongest grower, but lacking in sweetness. Rainbow Inca is a bit starchy, seems to struggle a bit in the local climate. Painted Mountain is an awesome grower, only to realized its a flour corn.

I am most impressed with Painted Mountain, unfortunately. Its unfortunate that I have no intention of incorporating it into my diet, or perhaps, I have not explored that path yet. What do you do with flour corn? However, if I do plan to grow this on, it will be for the chooks.

My cross breeding project failed miserably this season due to poor site selection. Let’s try again next season, just 3 varieties, Early Gem, Rainbow Inca, and Silver Platinum. I have saved most of the cobs for seeds, hanging under the garage to dry out.

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The garlic that I left in the ground has started to sprout again. And they will keep multiplying, and that’s my garlic bank securing my food (garlic) security.

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At this time of the year, there’s really not much to do in the garden except observing, and what little projects I have that I need to work on. Of course, there’s the spraying and grubbing that needs to be done whenever I feel like it. Perhaps, I should get on to transplanting the old world roses into the forest garden, move those lavenders. Probably time to start saving seeds on the tomatoes. I am on the fence about giving the plants a few seaweed foliar sprays. The whole place is just about spray free now, except for some pre-emergent and grass killer that I spray occasionally. The only input is when I was fertigating from a fermenting drum of comfrey and other weeds. Even that has stopped since Summer ended.

I think I would do the seaweed spray next week, if the weather is good, just for insurance. Something about making swales in the entire forest garden has been playing in my mind for a while now. However, its quite a flat land, so I plan to do it differently. Its going to be used to just keep more rainfall on the land and slowly soak into the soil. Still thinking. Because it will be hard work.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. I am getting ready for an influx of plants next season. Grant from Thunder Mountain Nursery was kind enough to supply me with an Apple Foxwhelp scionwood for grafting as he was unable to supply it as a grafted tree. Among other things, more pre-1800 apple trees, and connoisseur rated apple trees, crabapples, prune plums heading this way. Oh yeah, 50 mm106 rootstock coming this way, a lot of grafting happening! And I am very keen to get the Red Leaf Black Boy Peach grafted successfully next season. All my stonefruit grafting failed because the scionwood has degenerated by the time I took them out of the fridge. I’m going to graft earlier this time round.

There’s the easy way, and there’s the right way. Unfortunately, they don’t rhyme all the time, but when they do, it’s called the smart way. Otherwise, its just hard work.