The last of the luffas have been stored for use next year.
Here is Mary on the nest being visited by her sister Molly.
Mary is still sitting on her eggs and while she is quite focused on it, a couple of times yesterday she was wandering around with her sisters. !! We encouraged her to sit on the nest again but I'm not confident about the eggs now. Yesterday afternoon they weren't warm at all. I candled them again and found dark shadows and air sacs in all except one. I cracked that one open and suffered the smell of that for quite some time. LOL I won't do that again in a hurry. Anyhow, tomorrow is THE day and if chicks hatch, I'll be on the spot, with my trusty camera.
They're quite timid birds and often fly in groups of three of four, but this little fellow was alone. As soon as I moved closer, he flew to the bean trellis to eat his tomato.
These are some of the tomatoes he didn't get to. This is one of the larger tomatoes being grown near the chook house. I've forgotten what type they are but they are heirlooms and possibly a beefsteak variety by the look of these.
Of course nothing stops the eggplants once the hot weather starts. These are purple heirlooms that I like to pick quite small to cook with tomatoes, onions and garlic. Next to them are some green capsicums (peppers). They've been a good crop this year and I'll be saving their seeds to continue them on. That's the beauty of growing heirloom vegetables. As well as helping maintain the genetic diversity of backyard crops, growing vegetables from the seeds you harvest from your own crops, builds up resistance and produces better vegetables than those from seeds purchased new each year. Hybrid seeds do not grow true to type.
Further along in the garden is this Washington Navel orange tree. It's still small but we got four juicy, sweet oranges from it last year. This is the third year of growth so I've let all the flowers develop naturally, instead of taking most off to help the tree establish. There are about 30 oranges of this size on the tree.
I get a lot of satisfaction knowing we can grow a lot of our own food. I'm still learning after being a backyard gardener for about 30 years. But that's the beauty of gardening in that it constantly teaches as well as offering its sweet rewards. I think my simple life is pieced together through my garden. It gives us vegetables and herbs for our evening meals and for preserving, fruit for juice and jam, eggs for general consumption, cakes and lemon butter, luffas for cleaning and a place where we can slow down, reconnect with the earth and experience our place in the natural world.
Hello to Douglas and Sarah who sent me a lovely email this morning. I'll reply soon. : )
Please be patient while I change the look of the blog. I'm trying to make the page wider and then I'll move things around to help you access older helpful posts. Thanks to you all.