Wednesday, November 30, 2011

fennel and cukes

Fennel foliage is a very dark grey green colour, and yet next to nothing is happening with the fennel bulb down below. Maybe its one of those vegetables which aims to improve the grower's patience. We seem to select lots of those types of veggies ;)

The 6 cucumber vines needed a little bit of encouragement but are now winding their way skywards up their trellis. All have teeny cukes tipped with small yellow flowers. 

This guy grew from 5 to 15 cm in just 48 hours. I'm not lying! Is this common? Crazy, right? 

Climbing. Climbing. Climbing.

zucchini and sweetcorn

With the mix of sunny warm days and overcast rain which November has brought us Adeladians, veggies in our garden are growing longer and fattening up right before our eyes! 

A new flower and tiny veggie appears daily on our two zucchini plants. We compare zucchini growth to the act of blowing up a long skinny party balloon!

The corn is h.u.g.e (almost 6 foot) and keeping us entertained - as we sweetcorn growing newbies assumed ears of corn would magically appear then grow with all the little kernels tucked safely inside. But no! Here's my version of the process...

First the beginnings of the tiny ears (female part) form along the side of the main stalk just above one long flaggy leaf. Each ear is soon riddled with long spindly white silks spilling from the tip. Every individual silk thread is internally attached to a single immature kernel....

At the top of the plant grows the tassels (male part). These tassels produce pollen, which in the wind must drop down onto the silks for the silk to drag the goodness down inside the ear and produce a kernel. If a silk isn't pollinated that kernel won't develop, leaving you with a gappy/kernel-less ear, and we just won't settle for such happenings. So as soon as the pollen forms we're going to play with mother nature and hand pollenate to ensure as much kernelly goodness as possible. Woo!

See?  It's all quite complicated but fabulous don't you think?!

Monday, November 14, 2011

meet the girls

They're the sweetest, most curious, grub fossickin', clueless little Isa Brown hens we ever did meet.

Names: Penn and Teller. Moving right on from the fact that those are 'male' names... they shouldn't get much of a complex. Penn escaped the coop today and hence their names were selected to reflect our favourite magician duo.

They never stray more than a meter away from each other. If one begins to preen its feathers, so too does the other. If one starts scratching for bugs, the other is there soon after doing the same. Clearly besties!

I adore their fluffy baby chick bum feathers!

Hmmm.. there must be a way I can get into this coop....?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

coop and veggies

Our broad bean plants grew to almost 6 foot tall!  My Oma gave me a great tip - Broad bean roots have little nitrogen storing nodules attached to them. So it's best to cut the plants off at the base with loppers and leave the roots in the ground. We will be topping the bean beds up with new loam in the next few weeks  ready for basil, more capsicum and peppers, which should respond well to the extra nitrogen. All the little beans are waiting to be blanched, submerged in cold water and frozen.

Despite feeling exhausted on these warm nights we have been busy beavers and put up the chicken run fence, gate and wooden coop. Just the roof to sort out (we have brutal beastly cats in our neighbourhood and possums who I have read are partial to eggs!), a ramp, nesting boxes then with any luck next weekend the girls will arrive!! =)

Oh and the corn is growing F A S T!!!