March, last quarter moon

I really enjoyed the workshop last Friday! We went through a lot of content, even though we couldn’t be as much outside as I had hoped for because of the wind. And then we got our first autumn storm on the weekend, followed by blue skies and total calm Sunday. Luckily, I had tied up the sweetcorn, but a branch on the peachtree got damaged. Monday, I discovered most of the older plants covered in mildew, which often happens when air humidity is greater than soil humidity and the plants can’t keep themselves protected from the spores.

I still get to pick plenty of tomatos, while I’ve decided it’s time for the mildew-plagued zuccini plants to go. Likewise for the chickpeas which I grew for the first time this year – more of an experiment than an important crop. In any case, they yield well and I’m looking forwards to having some home-grown hummus! The green chickpeas in the pod are also delicious and have made a great snack while gardening.

Saturday 14th the moon goes into its last quarter. For me, this is a time of readjustment and rest, when I finish what needs to be finished and then look back on the month that just went past. In the garden, this is mirrored by pricking out and transplanting the last seedlings before winter, harvesting and processing. And I know my partner will make a nice harissa with all the cayenne peppers I’ve grown in the hot house!

To do this week in my edible oasis:

  • Prick out the lettuce I sow during the workshop last friday

  • Plant some more leeks, lettuce and other salad greens

  • Weed paths and pour boiling water in cracks to get rid of the ones that have roots underneath the paving

  • Put bags around the seed heads of the amaranth (another experiment with only three plants) so the birds don’t get all the seeds  –  maybe harvest one plant to let it dry inside and see which I get the most seed off

  • Harvest the first cobs of sweetcorn, more tomatos, capsicums and the last zucchinis, and then prepare it and eat most of it!

  • Harvest runner beans for storage

  • Manure my citrus trees and foliar feed with seaweed spray

  • Water my fruit trees well so the fruit swells properly (and hopefully eat my first peach off my young peach tree, yay!) and pick up any fallen fruit to avoid disease spreading.

  • Prune the gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants

  • Cut off the old canes from the raspberries and tie up the new ones

  • Take note of what worked and didn’t work this last month and with the garden in general the last 3 months (summer).

This will take about 4 or 5 hours all in all. I don’t spend a lot of time doing maintenance or tidying up in the oasis, but I do love to just be there, observe, enjoy the company of the plants and insects (and our young cats playing around!). There is a sense of pride in the diverse ecosystem we have created from a sterile lawn and also responsibility towards all that lives here now. Yes, I do rip the plants out and eat them. But I feed the soil, I make this place healthier and more alive than wat it was. I hope you get to peceive this too in your own edible oasis.

Next workshop: Double Digging – soil preparation and soil knowledge Thursday 19th, 5pm-6.30pm

Discover what’s going on underground, and how that knowledge changes our way of interacting with the soil. The bio-intensive method is great for clay subsoil, which is what most of Wellington has (apart from where it is old sand dunes). When treated badly, it becomes hard and compacted, but with understanding and gentle provision for its needs, it collaborates beautifully to grow amazingly healthy plants!

Let me know what you’d like to learn!.

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One thought on “March, last quarter moon

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  1. Thanks for the great workshop last Thursday. It was great to have something to take home after learning what I should be planting. The food snacks were delicious too, scrumptious unusual treats from the garden. I learnt a lot and had a lot of fun.

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