Reap what you sow

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February 7, 2019

Today’s harvest pictured below.

A harvest one early December day pictured below. Note the wild woodland strawberries which I think taste more intensely of strawberry than their larger relatives and which also make a lovely trouble-free, self-spreading green ground-cover under deciduous trees.

Strawberries and other various vegetables

It hasn’t seemed right to write about gardening lately. Not while so much of the bush in Southern Tasmania is on fire, the air is full of smoke and there was no rain worth mentioning. There has been a sense of doom. One hot smoke-choked day I found that the trunk of the sycamore tree below the house was covered in hundreds and hundreds of worried lady-birds. The were huddled together, hiding as best they could in the creases in the bark.

The fires started after dry lightening swept across the state igniting a string of fires in the forests, dry from days and days of sun and reeking with flammable eucalyptus oil. They have been burning for weeks now. It’s only luck that so far we haven’t had the kind of extreme winds we often get in summer and that would have whipped the fires to a frenzies of greater destruction than has already been wrought.  What will it take I wonder, for our Federal parliament to take positive action on the climate change we humans are causing?

Last night and today it rained. This was followed by a humid, warm, afternoon when the air was soft. Once we finally got home from work I joyfully went into the damp vegetable garden and picked the basket of tomatoes, zucchini, beans, cucumbers, strawberries and sweet peas. I swear some of the driest areas of garden, where the thirsty poplar roots riddle the top-soil, are already misted with green.  I staggered up the hill to my neighbours with four of the large zucchini, large enough to be clubs for giants. One can’t seem to turn one’s back on the zucchini plant for a moment at this time of year.

Below is the vegetable garden from where the produce has sprung. Note that the pictures were actually taken in December and not posted till now. I didn’t have my camera man with me this afternoon. The peas have yellowed off and finished now and the beans are covering the woven bean frame. The sunflowers are beaming away at the sky.

Just in case this is all sounding terribly smug, I note my garlic was an unmitigated failure for reasons I am unsure of and the cucumber plants are very reluctant to climb up the beautiful diamond frame I made them. They have been positively sulky and hardly grown at all. Who cares about your bespoke frame, they say. Too hard.

Makeshift arch with apple tree growing.