Autumn Harvest And Wild Weather

We’ve just enjoyed a good picking of autumn crops from the garden

On Friday I planted out the mangelwurzel seedlings in their final positions. We ate the tender, leafy thinnings which taste like silverbeet in a stir fry.

Damo provided sugar syrup for the honeybees, which aren’t foraging in this wild weather. The native honeybee hive is being sheltered from rain with a roof extension. The dill are coming along strongly, and our pigeon peas and first winter tomatoes are swelling nicely.

The first East Coast Low weather system of the cool seasons arrives, bringing destructive winds.
This is the first significant rain since February…

The past three days have delivered 61mm of rain and our 21,000 litre tank is now two thirds full.

The windfall with our systems is that when we get useful rain like this, I don’t need to water the vegetable garden. That means I can redirect our daily supply of 350 litres of excess waste water from the sewage system to soak plants that don’t normally get watered, like our yams, lemongrass, pineapple border and spice border. Today the cocoyams will get a deep drink. This really helps return moisture deep down in the soil. In the cool seasons the benefit lasts for a month or more. It’s a win-win situation.

The forecast is for more rain today and tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

This Picking: 

  • Rough, aka Queen pineapple;
  • Dragonfruit (Hylocereus undatus) – the pinkish red fruit. Lovely with ice cream;
  • Pawpaw;
  • Lime;
  • Lemon;
  • Natal plum, Carissa macrocarpa, edible raw, stewed or used in jams;
  • Sweet potato ‘Marguerite’;
  • Choko. Delicious served with mushroom, onion and breadcrumb stuffing;
  • Eggplant;
  • Radish – ‘Long Red’ and ‘Icicle’. A great addition to soups and stir fries;
  • Chilli;
  • Cocoyam – the stocky root to the back, right-hand side of basket. Makes a hearty soup;
  • Aerial potato (a climbing yam);
  • Silverbeet ‘Rainbow mixed’;
  • Rocket;
  • Huauzontle (Chenopodium berlandieri), a spinach substitute;
  • Swinecress (Coronopus didymus), a watercress substitute;
  • Nasturtium;
  • Garlic chives;
  • Coriander;
  • Chinese celery;

Jerry Coleby-Williams
1st June 2008