Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Promise of things to come

For the last 8 days we have been blessed to have Superman's Dad with us while my mom in law is overseas. He is a gentle loving kind Oupa and he fitted into our lives so nicely. He quietly got on and did his day time thing, listening in on our Bible study in the morning, the school time reading and watching the busy in and out of the afternoons.

Asparagus today
He was also so full of praise for our vegetables that were fresh from the garden most nights. He hasn't eaten broad beans since he was a kid and he entertained us over dinner times with his stories of growing up around South Africa in different little towns as his father was a station master on the SA railways.

He related fond memories of his lambs he raised, the huge peaches that grew in their orchards and how the local boys always tried to steal them. It was so lovely to hear him say that we have done a good job in the garden. It didn't puff us up it just gave us some well needed encouragement at this time in our journey.

I have thought about his comments over the last few days about the vegetables that make it to our table within an hour of harvest and wondered whether I was taking it for granted. I look at all the work we have put in, the hard times (there have been many of them), the hours planning, sourcing seeds, compost making, weeping over lost crops and failures, excitement as the promise of the next season comes...I have come up with a resounding "no", I do not take it for granted.

Berry blossom
We have worked hard to get to this stage where I more or less know what I am doing. The hardwork of the first years establishing beds, feeding the soil, learning the ropes are all paying off. I know there is still so much more to learn but the pace almost seems slower now that we have laid out all the areas that we can and now we need to learn how to better our production levels.

 Most evenings we have some offering from the garden on the table. This is amazing for me when I think back to our first year when at this time of the year we had only salads and some peas.
This early spring season we are eating spinach, broad beans, peas and asparagus. We have a small crop of about 10 broccoli plants growing around the fig tree and these will be ready in the next few week. This really surprised me as I had some plants needing a place to grow from seedlings and the only spot I had was a pretty undernourished bed near the pool where a tree once stood. We moved the fig in there in winter and added the broccoli. This area has enjoyed full sun all winter and the reward is in the soon to eat brassica!
Strawberry setting fruit
The promise of strawberries is showing in the baskets around the home. We have found this to be the best way to grow strawberries and the most contained way for growing new plants from runners. Last year was not a good strawberry season...funny season its glut and another want.

I grew peas wherever I could this the tubs where we had planted asparagus which dies back in winter, around the long awaited garlic, in between the beds where we have more asparagus.

Most of the peas are eaten raw as we go about the garden, but we will pick the remainder in the next weeks to blanch and freeze for later eating.

And my favourite flower is in full bloom...I know they are edible and gorgeous in salads, but I enjoy then trailing up the fence and sprawling around the pond. They are a bright face amongst the green.

What's growing in your garden?


Lois Evensen said...

Your garden is just wonderful! I've followed your blog for a couple of years now and know all of the work you have put into it. What are we growing? We have been away all summer up here so our garden is now yielding only some late summer flowers. They are quite nice, though, and I am glad to have them.

africanaussie said...

Your garden is always so inspiring - I am glad you got that positive feedback.