Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In Mitchell, Doug's vegetable garden thrives

In less than one week of arriving back home in Mitchell, Doug has prepared the soil for his vegetable garden and planted seeds and seedlings.

Lettuces, rocket, spinach, silver beet, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are his main crops -- also some carrots. There's nothing like picking fresh greens from your own garden where you know that no pesticides or herbicides have been used.

The manure to enrich the river loam soil is from local poultry and horses -- also from Doug's compost bin.

The vegetable garden is fenced to keep away dogs and cats -- and even has a roof to stop birds pecking out the young shoots and seedlings. Yesterday a Willie wagtail became trapped inside the garden and was calling out in distress. Another wagtail (perhaps his mate?) flew over and showed the way out through a hole in the netting. Their reunion was touching.

The three mounds of pumpkins planted last November have produced an amazing crop. There must be over 40 pumpkins and the vines have extended over a huge area -- up trees and over fences. A light frost last night and coming frosts will wither the vines, harden the skins and give the flesh better flavour. Even now though, they taste delicious -- especially baked dry, with skins attached.

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