I have had a successful year with the vegetable-growing adventures. My family gave me the boxes as a birthday/ retirement gift in June 2016 and it’s been the wonderful gift that just keeps on giving. There is always something to eat in our garden.
We have had lots of tomatoes even though it is the end of winter. Most of the tomato plants have been self-seeded from the Summer crop and now we are reaping the benefit. We also have chilis and shallots so I have been able to make a spicy Mexican Tomato soup. So delicious!
A new venture was to try strawberries in a smaller box in a very warm spot in the front garden. This has been successful and we’re now enjoying those fruits too.
It gives me such pleasure to harvest our own produce.
Of course, what would a vegetable garden be without feeding? The composting corner gets all our organic kitchen waste – in the green bin. To that, we add grass clippings and leaves. We eat a lot of eggs and I grind the shells in my food processor and add that to the green bin too along with coffee grounds. Our worm farm is still producing worm tea – although at a slower rate during the cold months. The garden really loves this liquid manure diluted 1:10. We have friends who keep horses and occasionally I beg some horse manure off them. I add this to my compost pile in the corner and that also helps build up the soil. We are going to need every bit of it to top up the boxes soon as the soil has settled over the past 15 months.
On the advice of my teacher friend in New Brighton, I planted some Borage. The leaves are very good for adding to the compost and the pretty blue flowers attract bees. Another bonus.
So, as we enter our second season we are blessed by our food garden. Spinach, tomatoes, carrots, celery, lettuce, beans, red cabbage, chilis, peppers, squash, shallots, and lots of herbs. Our water tanks are full after the recent coastal rains and everything is looking healthy. Pests have not been such a problem over the winter. Now I just have to deal with those weeds!