September for the 2 folk, the dog and the tractor had everybody playing out in the paddocks. We had rain, snow, and sunshine so everything is popping a vibrant joyous green. All sorts of weather = all sorts of fun, farming fun anyway.
It is early morning and we are sitting with a big pot of tea between us around the kitchen table, silently pondering the day’s plan. As if by mutual agreement, the first cup of tea is drunk quietly, with an odd gentle musing that trails off into silence. The trick it seems is to ensure the plan is clear BEFORE the pot of tea runs out – otherwise, we need another pot of tea and the morning is half gone…
Fencing. There is a powerful sense of determination and focus in this one word. It seems to hang in the air over the pot of tea. We ponder the hours already spent preparing the run and the hours ahead of us in putting the line up. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is gently warming, and the air seems to be sparkling (probably from the snow we had 2 days previously). We work quickly, grateful all the hard work has already been done by the tractor. Many times we walk up and down the hill along the line. Out of breath at the top, it is so tempting to lie down on the freshly cut grass, inhale deeply and count clouds with the dog. We are learning to appreciate good picnic weather is actually good fencing weather. Next time we will bring the food too and have it all.
In the garlic paddock the early season garlic (Turban group) is just starting bulbing. It’s another 6 weeks before harvest. This hardneck (weakly bolting) garlic will not produce scapes announcing the start of bulbing, so it’s been a test of the patience to wait and pull at the right time, although nothing goes to waste really. With the start of bulbing the fertigation regime changes and we hope for no more extreme weather events to confuse the plant that may lead to unusual growths (garlic or disease). It is also time to mark up the best performers. The plants seem to stand that bit taller as the ranks are reviewed, vying for the coveted gaudy orange ribbon reward. These plants form the backbone of the seed crop for the following season. All the attention is paying off, the plants look strong and vibrant, and it is always a good sign when you have more ‘best’ plants than ribbons to tie on.
The kitchen garden is starting to produce asparagus, rhubarb, chives, spring onions, parsley and rosemary. The brussel sprouts, kale and calvero nero are done and going to flower. The celery cutting from a supermarket bunch has found its feet in the garden – this is an experiment. After years of wastage perhaps now we can cut some when we need it. The broad beans are in flower, flowers mean pods so this is good, as are the teeny tiny heads starting to appear on the purple sprouting broccoli (PSB). Standing there pondering next steps (read what to rip out to make room for spring plantings), I can hear the bees smothering the mass of flowers on the broccolini, kale and calvero nero. It makes me feel less guilty about the lack of rosemary flowers. Just wait, I whisper, the borage and apple are about to burst into bloom, until then, go play in the pear blossom.
Jobs to do include getting started on herb seed planting, beans, carrots, peas, cucumber, sweet corn and pumpkins, oh and new vegetable beds to carry all this. And then fencing.
Book List – September
List is stretching it, as there was really only one book this month, an airport purchase for a long flight, you know how travel makes you think bigger, more worldly. And then you come home and it doesn’t seem as relevant…leave it with me.
When The Never Ending To Do List just will not loosen it’s grip on your stomach/brain/heart this is one of those positive cut throughs that just seem to help you regain focus. And, just in case you missed it the first time…oh and should you feel inclined, google Arthur Ashe, what a story.