Monday, November 3, 2014

A Late Spring - The Garden Share Collective

It has been a difficult spring here in North Canterbury.  Late visits by Jack Frost, and hard ones!, not much rain, and the predictable roaring Nor'wester have combined to make things very late in the garden.

A few pumpkins and corgettes were blackened off by two hard frosts three weeks ago.  The cold has conspired to make flowering late, and then any flowers which did form on apple trees and pears were frosted off, meaning we will get very little fruit in our orchard.

Thank goodness for the glasshouse
We have had so many broken panes that I have black taped the panes together in an effort to stop so much breakage.  Someone I met recently who lives nearby suggested that sealing all the joins with sealant to strengthen it.  We may yet go down that road.

However, inside things have started to grow.  These beautiful lettuces were a gift from a great-uncle as little seedlings.  I don't know what variety they are, but they are sweet and crunchy.  I made lunch for 6 of us last weekend using them, and a more divine lunch I cannot imagine.
Our own lettuce, eggs, bread and bacon all combined to make a beautiful, tasty salad.

Anna's Caesar Salad
1 Lettuce from the Glasshouse, ripped into large pieces
8 eggs soft boiled and left to cool, yolks should still be slightly un-firm
4 large slices homemade white bread, cut into 1 inch squares and fried in oil till brown on all sides
4 large rashers homekill bacon, cut into large pieces and fried till crunchy
Mix all that in a huge bowl, and pour over the following dressing:
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3c Olive Oil
4 anchovies, chopped finely
salt and pepper

 In other news, our Blueberries are totally covered in fruit, in some cases meaning there is not a leaf to be seen, just ripening berries!  It's not easy to see that in this picture, as my phone is not very good at closeup photos.  

 I tackled the water problem for them by attaching a soaker hose to the fence.  This, and the chicken netting up to knee height, seem to have finally got this bed sorted.  Now they have water, and no sheep can eat them through the fence.  A good job, and one that has been on my list for several months.

I have covered the strawberries, and we have had our first berries off them.

Harvesting this Month: Asparagus (yum), Leeks, Broad Beans (Fava Beans), Artichokes and Lettuces.

Jobs to do: Water every day!  think about how to restrain our Raspberries, plant maincrop Potatoes, and cover the Cherry Trees to protect the fruit from the birds.
Our "Mixed Berries", which are rather like Boysenberries, are spread around all the fencing of the garden, and are all coming into flower.  

All in all its been a good month.

This is my November post for the Garden Share Collective.  To read other members postings on their gardening efforts, check them out by clicking the link below.


  1. What a great month. I am going to have to make your ceasar salad. I forget about things like that. Some how the frost did not get our blossom, I was super worried as we have lost many years. But we do have some pears that survived and my apple flowered late.

  2. Your salad sounds fabulous. Everything always tastes better when it home grown I think :-) How many blueberry plants do you have in? What a shame about the glass house breakages. What is causing the panes to break? Very disappointing :-( Have a great month in the garden (with hopefully no more frost)

    1. Hi Kyrstie, thanks for the kind comments. I have 8 blueberries, which I have high hopes for! as for the glasshouse, it's our Nor'west wind. It gusts and gusts all Spring, up to 120km at times, and is quite violent. It dries out the soil and shrivels new leaves and breaks my glasshouse glass - dammit

  3. I too need to build some fences to keep my food away from prying eyes. Glad your blueberries are safe. Hope you fix up your glass house since it is so new.

    1. Hi Liz, the fence is to keep the rabbits off it! prying eyes don't seem to be much of a problem :-)