Happy Harvest Monday! It’s taken a while, but we’re back in the game in the Southern Hemisphere – an unusually cold and wet Spring saw us only getting the occasional hot day, and I think it’s thrown off the whole garden’s timeframe for everything.

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Yep, this is it so far – about 700g of cucumbers, 200g of peas, and a tiny handful of tomatoes. The eggs are a year round gift from my ladies, who have been joined by a new face – a lovely little red chicken we named Felicia Lay. All names henceforth are to be character/famous lady puns, and since she has stunning red plumage, our newest flock member was named for Felicia Day. Pete commented that he wanted to eat the cucumbers whole, crunchy and fresh from the garden, but I might slice them up for pickle chips if we don’t have salad in the next couple of days. The peas will probably be going straight to Olivia – if I give her them intact she hands them back with some teeth marks after a few moments, but if I hand her the sweet little peas straight from the pod they disappear pretty quickly.

Interestingly, the cucumbers are the only items from the harvest that were from plants placed by me – the peas are from the incredible multitude of pea seedlings that sprang up after I mulched with pea straw (from my normal place, but they must not have threshed the straw properly before baling – it was astonishing! I was pulling out pea shoots by the armful for the girls, and I’ve still got pea tendrils everywhere!) and the tomatoes were from yet another volunteer plant that sprang up, this time in the old wine barrel that my apple tree lives in. That seems to be a handy arrangement, as the tomato is a vining type and I’ve been winding it around the apple’s little limbs.

Speaking of volunteers…

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What are you? I think that this may be a jalapeno, because of the leaves it’s set. As you can see, it’s likely from fruit that dropped from an overhanging limb onto the path between the garden beds. I’m glad I wasn’t being too gung-ho with my weeding or I might have fed this little one to the chickens!

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This is one of the lovely little flowers on a mustard green plant that has a main stalk as tall as I am. I had to gently creep around it earlier today, as the neighbourhood bees were visiting and I had Olivia on my back to get the gardening done. I didn’t manage to catch a decent photo of the little visitors, but they’re from a hive that my neighbours down the street have in their front garden. Hopefully we’ll be able to have bees soon too!

And that gardening I had to do?

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It was mostly trying to give my tomato plants some space. This bed isn’t as pea-infested as my others because I didn’t top-dress the bed with the pea straw, but it did have my over wintered spinach. That’s the whippy looking stuff in the midground of the picture – throwing up seed heads all over the place. I was also glad I put gloves on for once – not one but two large Huntsmen spiders were living in the spinach forest, one of them a female with an egg sac. Ordinarily, I’m the spider saver in this household, telling Pete not to over react when he sees a harmless Huntsman or little garden Orb Weaver, but this time, they gave me the proper heebie jeebies. The largest one galloped off to the side of the garden bed, and I popped the expectant mother on the back fence – as creeped out as they made me today, they have a part to play in my backyard as non-web weaving, pest controllers.

And if they act up, I’ll send for Felicia.

Check out Dave’s link up of Harvest Mondays over at Our Happy Acres!

 

 

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4 Comments on Harvest Monday

  1. You’ve got to show us a photo of your Felicia! Last year I grew a cover crop in one of my beds and included a bunch of pea seeds for a variety that I’m not growing anymore because they get powdery mildew just before the peas mature. But the young shoots were great! I got 3 or 4 great harvests before I had to cut the whole lot down and dig it in.

    • I’ve been trying to get some decent shots of the new girls but they’re all so quick, and the bigger, older girls chase them so much!
      I might have to try that, I’m only just getting to the point where I don’t feel bad pulling plants out before they wither back and die altogether, I might be able to do a cover crop when my beds need a rest this year. The peas did start to get powdery mildew towards the end, I think that had a bit to do with the weird weather we’ve had in Adelaide lately..

  2. It’s funny, I planted pea seed indoors to get pea shoots, but you have them popping up all over the garden as volunteers! I’ve never used pea straw, but the wheat straw I use for mulch does make wheat sprouts occasionally. And after I spread compost on the garden I get tomatoes coming up all the time. It’s good you can eat the peas, and the ladies can get a treat from the extra shoots!

    • I wish I could share them with you, I was pulling out huge handfuls and it felt like I wasn’t making much of a dent – I think the girls were a bit over it towards the end. The baby peas were mostly stolen by a certain tiny person, but I made sure to let the coop girls get at least a few pods.
      I might have to look into wheat straw instead, the ladies would appreciate the variety and I might be able to use it for their bedding too!

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