Week 1: Urban Farming
Spring comes late to Canberra, from a planting point of view at least. We've had frosty mornings these past few days and more frost predicted in the week to come. This is a trial. After all, 'be patient' is not an instruction that fits well with our fast paced lifestyle (perhaps that perspective re-frame is one of the benefits of gardening). But the upside is that it provides an opportunity for winter hibernators to get cracking in the garden on a warm, sunny day without missing planting opportunities.
A lot's happened in our garden this past week, much of which I can't take any credit for. Steve's begun some serious re-structuring work. He's been digging holes and putting in upright posts for a U-shaped fence that will a) allow us to extend our vegetable garden quite significantly b) keep our energetic, marauding dogs out of mischief and c) create a safe enclosure for chickens, which we plan to add to our urban farm in the coming months. Thanks for pitching in with the hole digging, Henry!
Hannah and I have been propagating some more seeds. We planted out our sugar snap peas during the week. The blurb on the seed packet says they're better direct sown, but I get better results if I start them in seed trays and nurture them for the first few weeks of their remarkably productive lives. The kale and silver beet (Swiss chard) that we propagated a couple of weeks ago will need to be planted out in a couple of days. And today we set some more sugar snaps, along with some beets and radishes, to germinate.
To kick start our harvest, I've started some microgreens as a kitchen table crop. I grew these last year and they were a huge success, aside from the fact that we developed a pronounced reluctance to eat them after Hannah named them - collectively - Barry. You get attached to things you care for each day. Anyway, I'm trying some new greens this year, and in a couple of weeks we should have some lovely, vitamin-filled shoots to add to our salads.
You may remember that one of my goals is to be able to pick fresh flowers in my garden every week. Well, we're spoilt with the proceeds of past labours this week. Hannah has arranged a little daisy bouquet for her room. I've picked some daffodils for Georgia's room - a surprise for when she gets home from Sydney this evening. And I also arranged some gorgeous white flowering quince sprays, just for the joy of it. Early spring in our modest urban farm is resplendent with blooms. Long may that last.