Spring and fertility

This is artichoke season and asparagus too.

Well you know all about it. Like me your year has been challenging and strange. For me it has been quite a change. Normally every weekend we have up to four couples visiting and staying at our farm stay. They punctuate my week with chatter and new stories. I really love these visitors. I love talking and sharing with them. I love the tours I give of my garden and all the conversations about everything from love and relationships to growing radicchio.

Hardenbergia is thriving here and has climbed just as I’d hoped, really beautifying the entrance to our property

And then the gastronomy classes I usually run. The immense joy that happens when we come together to learn more about the things we love. To learn about ways to make raw ingredients into fantastic meals. How to ferment and bake, and knead and shape pasta. All those classes have been put on hold.

Humans how I have missed you!

These are three of six plants I have running along our farm shed wall.

I have missed both your company and your help as it has been almost seven months since we have shared our home with a travelling volunteer, a willing helper, a story sharer.

Hardenbergia detail.

It is spring and I have been collecting sheep manure by the trailer load.  Gardening friends introduced me to a shearing shed. Under the floor boards a monumental supply of lucerne and manure. I collected a very large load and worked my arms beyond their limit. By the end of the week my arms were on fire, my muscles overworked.

Other details you would see if you were now here with me. Harvest baskets in the pizza room.

It is spring and I have applied a very late dose of lime to all my growing areas…I should have done this years ago…my soil is naturally acidic and I have not, over the past four years applied a single dose of lime. Wood ash is what I have been using because it too is a great source of calcium and calcium is what my soil needs.  However wood ash also contains nutrients that are already abundant in my soil such as magnesium and hence adding more will only create problems.

Our farm stay. We have reopened our farm stay. We are taking bookings directly or on Air BnB…but directly best. We are leaving gaps between guests to keep us and others safe. We are cleaning twice as much and therefore we are having to charge more too. And we are also asking for ID, something we are now obliged to do.

My first harvest of asparagus happened this year. I sowed asparagus seeds into trays about three years ago. I dug a trench and filled it with manure and straw and now I harvest!

Farmshed detail.

And artichokes are bountiful and so I have been making artichoke broths.

Piazza garden detail

Then there are the ornamental habitat plants such as Hardenbergia, fox gloves and straw flowers.

Lime tree detail. Our first lime harvest will happen this year.
Pink rosemary detail
Purple sage fried in butter is very, very delectable.
This rosemary is wow! for me it’s fragrance and colour is exquisite!
Romanesco broccoli is really stunning and a vegetable we now love.
Purple sprouting broiccoli!
Edible flowers, pansy. We always have a few different edible flowers in our kitchen garden that we use in salads or as decoration with various meals.
These straw flowers have been flowering since Summer right through to winter.

The garden is alight with life and in the absence of delicious humans, the garden is keeping me fed.