It’s a couple of weeks until Spring down here. Weeds are currently doing impressions of berserkers, and citrus and fruit trees are showing signs of waking up. The mango tree is filled with flower spikes.
Spring. A time of wonder and awe. And also hunger. It’s the time of year when not many things are ready to eat. The almond, apples and pears are flowering, the plum trees about to burst out. Plums, mmmmmmm. We have red plums with red flesh, white plums with cream flesh, and yellow plums with orange flesh. Oh, yes, the guavas and sapotes. Three types of guava (such sweet little things), and a white sapote (the tree is kept down to 3m, or it’d climb to heaven and all that fruit would be for the birds).
The fig tree is gone, a victim of the earth slide, and the peach and apricot tree went at the same time. I love apricots and peaches and figs (my faves), but there are enough other fruits.
And now is the time of prep for all the spring veg. Although the asparagus is shooting up and I pick a handful each day, I also put baby spinach in the same bed. They last longer into the hot weather with that tiny bit of protection from the fluffy asparagus. There are also the leaves of the broad beans. I prefer the leaves to the beans, unless the beans are nice and young (as does MIL, so I have to share with her). The peas got too much rain and rotted out (that’s never happened before, but we’ve had so much rain this winter that it doesn’t feel like Adelaide!).
And the onions are all gone. I like to keep onions growing all year round for the fresh taste they bring to most dishes, especially the summer dishes, so I’d better get a few of the less finicky types in the ground, mixed with herbs to keep the black suckers off the new growth. Golden marjoram does a good job when mixed with green oregano. The mint is growing strongly near the parsley and celery (got a lot of good seeds last year, and these are racing upward). Now it’s time to plan the others.
The wait to ensure no frost is important, but I have a cloche setup on the side of the garage, which keeps some of the seedlings safe, but it’s not worth taking chances with some things.
And, like writing, I do a lot of pre-planning (and not much of the physical work these days). I do a garden plan, what goes where, when and why, and I write it all down to see what works and what doesn’t.
This year, I have a few dozen potato plants popped up from the compost. Lots of potatoes. Storing that many may be a problem unless I can find enough fine, dry sand and the timber boxes to story them (they have to remain dry and in a dark, cool spot or they’ll shoot like aliens).
And the purple, leafy things (what are they called? Mustards? Probably, and great for tangy salads and earthy soups), well, they’re about to shoot skyward. They bolt in the first hint of a hot day, so I’ve got a shade tripod ready to pop over them when we get that day or two in early spring that wants to cook everything.
I’m not ready, but it’s getting there.
I hope to have a full larder in six months, and a full belly from Oct to May. What I’d love to have is a few chooks, but they’re in short supply – I think everyone has the same idea!
That’s what I’m up to, apart from writing a new story that’s part of a series. I’m going to write the whole series before I publish the first one, so it may take a while.
I hope you have a great Spring, Autumn (Fall for those who call it that), and hope to join you for the Spring/Autumn equinox dance in September. Yes, some
crazy people do that. Dance around in the darkness to celebrate the turning of the seasons. No, not naked.
So, here’s a toast
To Spring, and all the bounty she brings.