Friday, April 20, 2007

Eating broad beans and picking rocks

My father-in-law loves planting things and is a really great gardener/small-holder. However, for some unknown reason he decided to plant about 60 broad bean plants at our place (see previous post with pix) and now we are faced with more broad beans than we can poke proverbial stick at. No point trying to sell them because round here everybody has a patch of land and their own 60 plants to cope with. Hmmm. I have been uprooting half a row at a time and stripping even the babiest beans, shelling them and sweating them in a tiny amount of olive oil. They really are delish - so incredibly different from the revolting frozen things that I had to chew for hours on as a kid and once, nearly fifteen years ago, served to some surprise vegetarians in a fit of desperation (I'm not sure who was more traumatised by the experience but I have always wanted to apologise so SORRY Robbie and Jane, please come and share real broad beans with me some now...) - but we've had them six days running and I still have three rows to go. Broad beans anybody?

Lesson learnt, I have planted 6 small courgette plants and once the beans have gone will be putting in tomatoes, capsicums, green beans and whatever else I can lay my hands on IN SMALL QUANTITIES. The apricot tree has a load of green apricots - third year running now and numbers are up from last year's 20 or so and against all odds the cherry tree behind the bathroom (whose roots are no doubt happily soaking up water from our tyre black water disposal thing) has signs of producing actual cherries! Fingers crossed.

Our planter plans have changed slightly and we are going to do one big cell for the bathroom grey water and one unconnected smaller cell for the kitchen sink. This smaller area will be our herb garden and is strategically placed right next to the sink and in front of the bench (both as yet non-existant). There are so many rocks - the other day Oscar hired a pneumatic drill to pound some out but the ones here in the photo were done by hand and hurt.
Ummm...that's all for now, the rain has stopped and it seems like summer is on its way. Our water tanks are full and soon to be connected to our bathroom, hopefully they will last throughout what promises to be a dry one.

More soon

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Digging the planters

After much humming and ha-ing on my part, Oscar has gone and started digging out the interior planter beds for the grey water recycling. We don't really have much idea what we're doing but from various drawings and Mike Reynold's Water From the Sky book, we should be able to work it out as we go. I haven't taken any photos because the above mentioned Sky has been very loaded with said Water and I have no flash on my old Canon non-digital-but-I-still-love-it camera. So, picture this...all along the inner face of the glass front there is a strip about 80 cm wide and (for now) about 20 cm deep of lovely dark damp earth. There is too, a pile of the drier stuff that's been shovelled out right next to the trench. We...oops, I mean Oscar picks and digs and then we...oh! there I go again...HE sloshes a heap of water in to soften the rock hard soil and make it easier for the next lot to come out. Hard work. I supervise.

Anyway. The whole thing will eventually be about ten metres long, one metre-ish deep on average and filled with rocks and gravel and sand and dirt and peat moss at one point and of course, plants. Please see drawing below for better idea - and stand by for photos.