We really were on the back foot when we moved on to the farm at the beginning of Winter. We were both very excited about finally having a great vegetable garden that we could share. Both of us have always grown our own food through our 50+ lives whenever we had the opportunity. This was a great dream ahead of us, and so the concept was thought about, and we mapped out our desired planting patch with the mower!
On the 20th of June this year 2012 we had our six beds mapped out!
Our dear friend George offered to till the patch for us, and he arrived the very next day with machine in hand, and he did a big day of ploughing that we are very grateful for!
Fantastic, the garden beds were defined and we were all excited at what lay ahead, we decided another day of plouging would make it even better, so dear George arrived again for another day of work with Mark by his side, they worked the land together.
Soon we started to plant a few things and define our vegetable beds into what we wanted, doing so with the method of companion planting for better results.
And then things went very pear shape, neither of us were expecting the frosts that were relentless for weeks. We lost much of what we planted, till a local told Mark you don’t put anything in the soil till the Long Weekend in October. We heeded his call and started a lot of seedlings instead. We carefully mulched what we had, to save it, if possible, and thankfully it seemed to work.
We spent most of our time weeding and mulching, weeding and mulching, it was an enormous amount of work and the frosts kept coming.
By October 21st exactly 4 months since the garden had first been ploughed things were starting to grow and serious planting had begun. It took us a while but we were finally getting some results, though we had no water then for our garden and it became difficult to look after and water what we had growing. We certainlylearned the struggles of working the land without the protection of neighbours and town water.
By the end of November the owner of the farm sees out plight and organises two tanks of water, just for our garden. Not having to share one small tank with a hundred head of cattle sure weighs in our favour. We start running soaker hoses as soon as we have access to some water, and really give our veges a well deserved drink, and they lap it up!
Then 3 days ago we are blessed with 2 days of over 40 degree heat and evenings of storms, and the place is suddenly like Findhorn! The vegetablkes are growing overnight and finally today I get to bring us our very first harvest. It’s been a tough journey, but we got there and here is what we have to show for it, we have never worked so hard to put food on our table and I guarantee every bite will be truly savoured.
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