Merry Christmas! This is my 4th Christmas in New Zealand, how time flies. And how things remained the same, we stuffed ourselves full, and fall asleep on the couch. Christmas for Kiwis would be like Chinese New Year for the Chinese, there’s always good food to go around. On another note, Chinese in the Southern Hemisphere have been celebrating the Winter Solstice recently, in line with the tradition of the Northern Hemisphere. I have been most unkind to remind them that it is Summer Solstice down South, and there’s no point stuffing ourselves full with glutinous rice balls at night meant to carry us through the longest night, on the shortest night, we should be doing that in June. Or should I say, unsentimental.

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This week we accumulated 9.5mm of rain. A high of 29.3dC and a low of 8.7dC. It is a pretty warm week. And quite a windy week too.

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The raised beds are coming along nicely. This is my backup plan with the sweetcorn breeding and pumpkin/squash/watermelon growing initiative. The sweetcorn are much ahead compared to those sown in compost bags. The compost bags growing thing wasn’t working out very well. I probably sown too early. I have already came up with a better plan for next season. There’s always next year.

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This would be the best looking raised beds among the others. Well, the others, had 2 Brassica in each, and they sort of spread their leaves big brother style and push everyone else out of the way. I should have gave them a trimmed up earlier on. Anyway, I’ve got plenty of Brassica leaves to mulch the Subtropical garden. The cauliflower from last week has gone humongous now. And there’s a lot of huge broccoli side shoots. And the cabbages are about ready. Will I be able to eat them all in time? Caesar might be on vegetarian delight for the next few days.

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Ripe Tomaccio for Christmas! I had not been in the greenhouse for a bit, and they started to send out new steroid fueled laterals!

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Capsicums! Woohoo! I wonder what color would these ripened into.

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More strawberries trying to escape.

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The Paw Paws are starting to grow taller. The double bagging is helping. Noticed some new comers? The one at the back, that’s got double bagging, is a Red Tamarillo dubbed Hardy Harry which I got from Oderings, supposedly selected for its extra hardiness. There’s also a yellow passionfruit, and a purple passionfruit, which I bought from Oderings, planted beneath the Tree Lucerne, with the intention for them to use the small tree as a growing structure. That said, I’ll need to give those Tree Lucerne a thinning to let more light through.

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Beautiful form of the yellow calendula.

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I did not get to take a shot of the Orchard Cottage this week. Caesar thus makes the backup appearance. I’ve been looking high and low for super firm mattress which incorporates coconut fiber in Christchurch, no luck online. My Boxing Day, thus shall be spent going from furniture shop to furniture shop to hunt it down.

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