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That’s parsley in the foreground shade, coriander to the left, tomatoes staked and not so staked, hiding the bed now devoid of potatoes and home to broccoli, onions and lettuce seeds. Behind all that (along the fence) are the olive trees, oregano, thyme and sage.

We’ve been tidying and reorganising inside and out. Pulling out pumpkins, digging up potatoes, tackling the enormous number of weeds that grew when we we turned our backs for a few months, and rearranging the living room. The lounge furniture has been turned clockwise, the dining table and toys have been swapped, and a book nest has been created.

We’ve sorted books, cleared shelves of crap and bought more baskets. The secret to a happy toy collection and art supplies is always more baskets. I’ve even sharpened the pencils and thrown out textas that don’t work.

We’re so freakin’ happy to be home for the whole day doing only things we fancy doing. I got excited. I ignored the list of “basic mainenance level housework” (vacuuming, for example) and did several things on the “once a year level” list. I oiled the wooden bowl collection. I even dusted.

Just.

I haven’t written about it lately because the broad beans just keep growing without intervention, and nothing else is happening.

The snow peas all got eaten by creatures, I planted some more, two or three plants have survived to the 3-4 inch mark and I’m crossing my fingers.

The carrots and daikon are still there. I’m not sure that they are still growing though. There are a lot of weeds around them, but if I try to pull them out I pull veggies as well, so I left well enough alone.

Most of the broccoli plants got to a certain point and then stopped. Some of them got eaten by creatures. None of them look like actually producing anything foodlike. The onions don’t look any bigger than they were when I planted them. The Bloke’s garlic looks ok and like it’s in with a chance.

The lemon and lime trees have got creatures on them again, and could probably do with a feed of some worm juice and a sprinkling of chilli powder on the leaves.

Guess what’s doing best. Go on.

Peas. “But Kate you didn’t plant peas” you say. No I didn’t dear reader, but peas I have in abundance.

The Bloke and son spread some pea straw about the place and it’s all sprouting brilliantly. I’m wondering if we can fit some stakes and string in and potentially get some food out of them. I have no idea what variety they are, but they seem to be doing well.

Oh, also the parsley is looking ok and it self sowed all over half the front yard so there should be parsley in abundance from here on in. The mint, on the other hand, continues to look crap.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the carrots and daikon (Japanese long white radishes) that I planted in the front yard a few weeks ago. I forgot at the time that when the weather cools, and the rain falls, our front yard sprouts with weeds. So now we’ve got lots and lots of sprouts.

And I have no idea which ones are veggies, and which ones are weeds. I can see some of them are looking like they’ve come up in rows (veggies, obviously) but there’s lots of other sprouts that may be carrots, or daikon, but might not be.

In other news, the broccoli seedlings seem to have survived the week of fence-related neglect, the garlic and onions were planted, the tomatoes have been ripped out, and there was a distribution of bunny manure and mulch over the garden this weekend.

Finally, on a non-gardening note: If you ever find yourself making a quilt in indigo fabrics, and then think “I’ll get a quilting thread that doesn’t show up so no one will see how crooked and uneven my stitching is”, stop, and reflect that you will not be able to see the stitching in progress either. Slowest quilt ever.

I got a call yesterday from my parents, who’ve been patiently minding the wine barrels I was given by their neighbour, to say that Dad had borrowed the ute and would be delivering the barrels to my house. He and the Bloke moved them into position last night. This involved opening the back gate, which the lad finds fascinating, and the Bloke also carried 5 bags of potting mix and a bale of sugar cane mulch in from the car, which is more impressive than gate opening in my opinion. The lad kept trying to escape out the back lane, but we lured him back with the promise of picking and eating his own tomatoes.

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So now we have half a dozen broccoli seedlings planted out in half a wine barrel, using some of the concrete space in our yard which makes me cheery, and I need to get another couple of bags of potting mix to finish filling the other barrel. Then we can plant out more broccoli, or the onions & garlic.

We also moved the bbq onto a corner of concrete, so that I can make a new garden bed along the back steps and grow our snow peas up the railing. I also want to stick some window boxes along the top of the rails. We’re trying to use every available milimetre of space, without getting us evicted by the lawn-loving landlord.

I picked 2kgs of tomatoes yesterday. Some will go to the man who gave us the wine barrels. Those barrels are quite expensive, and I’m very grateful.

Our brick fence, which is currently on a disturbing and ever-increasing angle, is being pushed by next door’s banana trees and various other things that are too close to the fence and never pruned. Nearly a year afer we complained about it, someone is coming to fix it tomorrow apparently. The Bloke nearly responded to that phone call with “Really? You’re kidding.” But managed to say “Tomorrow will be fine” instead.

Then there was another miracle. It rained. Real rain. It was orange on the radar. We don’t have a tank, we have a rather more rudimentary system…

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Just before the rains came, while the Bloke washed the day’s dust off the toddler, I scurried around in the front yard planting a mixture of daikon radishes, parsnips and carrots. I underestimated the amount of rain we’d get so now I’m convinced that all the seeds will have washed into a corner instead of being nicely spread out. I’ve got visions of all these root crops trying to sprout just behind our front gate.

I still haven’t gotten around to fixing the photos for the purposes of uploading. I’ve been a bit slack.

The broccoli seedlings are growing well. We look set to eat quite a lot of broccoli. I may be redistributing broccoli seedlings amongst my friends shortly. I’ve used them as the banner image. Edit: How stupid. My banner image is not broccoli seedlings, it’s a capsicum flower. That would be a pepper if you’re foreign.

The onions have started sprouting in an old egg carton, but only four or five so far. They’re slow.

Potatoes have started re-sprouting from last year. Which means they’re growing in amongst the eggplants (which haven’t produced anything but flowers so far) and the capsicums (which are tiny at the moment).

I’ve been reading up on compost, in an effort to make ours more efficiently. I’m also still looking for an airtight bucket for the Bokashi experiment. I’ve started with an icecream container in the meantime. The worms are doing well, and the lad is singing along with the Choir of Hard Knocks cd, which has nothing to do with the garden but is highly amusing for me.

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