I have been gardening. Honestly. I haven't been writing about it, but I have been gardening. I haven't been taking many pictures - not sure why. What I have done though is picked the bean seeds and hulled them, and now I'll put them in a paper bag, label it "Beans Blue Lake, 2006 crop" and save them for late Spring planting (probably October). One early morning, instead of visiting the community garden, I sat at the kitchen table and shelled the dried beans. You may remember back in April that I wondered when I'd get around to doing it?
Here's the final product.
I still have more beans on the vine down the garden. I'll need to pull the trellis down that the beans grew on, so I may as well pick and hull the remaining dried beans. Again, when will I get to that though?
One of the community gardeners actually cooks with his end of season dried green beans. I have never bothered trying but I do like saving them for next season's food crop. I haven't bought bean seeds since 2004. I just save some from last year's crop and they've always grown really well. I also save the peas, snow peas, sweet peas, lettuce and onions. But am fairly sure I can't save the melons and pumpkins and brassicas because I interplant too many varieties and as they cross-pollinate I can never be sure I'll get "true" plants. Or so the books say. I do just let them grow up in my vegie patch when they self-seed and so far, despite the book's warnings about cross pollination, all the self seeded varieties (zucchinis and pumpkins) have grown true - or at least they grew completely healthy plants with lots of pumpkins and zucchinis on them. That's true enough for me. It seems so wasteful to not save the pumpkin and melon seeds but I sort of can't be bothered risking it because our season between frosts is so short that there isn't time to experiment with sowing my seeds indoors during the winter, hardening them off, then planting them in my beds only to find they don't fruit properly. So, instead I buy pumpkin and melon and brassica seeds as I need to. Often they last for a few years.
Having been so virtuous with the beans, now when will I get to this?
Way back in February, the onions were living on my outdoor table. I did manage to move them off - but only into some old laundry baskets. I really must sort them, and store them downstairs in my "root cellar" aka garage. If you look closely you'll notice some have started sprouting. As I plant the onion crop in June, I'll just pop those babies right back into the soil.
There are lots of chores to do in the garden this month. Move the chook house, sow the green manure for the winter (3 beds of the 8), prepare the onion bed, finish weeding, order the BD500 for June (seeing how I missed April and May - most unfortunately because May was actually wet enough to put out he 500 - let's hope June is wet), prune and mulch the strawberries....all good work. I just have to get to it.
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