We had a busy day yesterday with Hanno harvesting lawn clippings for the compost (mowing) and me working on the book. The grass has grown fast with all the rain and the heat but it's all nitrogen or organic matter that will be returned to the soil and will help us grow more vegetables in the coming season. In the afternoon I took a break from writing to make a half apron from an old dress of mine.
Since I gave up work at the neighbourhood centre in November, I've been out four times. Some people might be shocked by that but I am by nature a solitary creature and it feels right to me. My fourth trip out was on Sunday to our next door neighbours' for a BBQ and little rock concert. Hanno and I were invited, along with other neighbours in our street, to one of the first public appearances of a band. Lincoln, our 15 year old neighbour, formed a band with a group of boys who have been practising next door for about a year. The BBQ was a thank you from the boys and their parents to the neighbourhood for "listening". I quite liked listening to them progress from a few self conscious plucked strings in the beginning to the full on concert they did on Sunday. There were about 50 of us there, sitting in the shade around the pool, with the boys up on the back veranda which they used as their stage.
While we were at the concert, I noticed Hanno had a red eye. It looks like he might have had a bleed into his eye so we're off to see his specialist today. He's on Warfarin so the likelihood of a bleed is ever-present. I'll go with him to the doctor and while we're out we'll look at baby things. We hope to buy a cot for one of the babies on my fifth trip out. After this, I'll lay low for a while. :- )
There is no doubt that after the south east Queensland floods fruit and vegetable prices will go up. The Lockyer Valley, one of the main areas hit by flood waters, is the fruit and veg growing area for Brisbane and the south east. Walking around the garden yesterday I was really happy to see our lemon, orange and mandarin trees full of fruit that will feed us well this winter. Hanno just planted some loofahs too and I'm hoping they aren't too late in the season to give us a good crop. The flood and the increasing food prices has made us rethink our vegetable planting for the new season too. Many of the long term readers will remember that we plant our main vegetable crop in March but this year we might bring that forward a bit. Our only problem will be the weather because more heavy rain has been forecast for our region and while most crops cope well with continuous light rain, not much survives torrential downpours. But we'll take our chances with the rain because the alternative is to buy fruit and vegetables at inflated prices from far away places and we'd like to avoid that if possible.
So now that vegetable crops are on our minds again, we've got the chooks working in the garden for us. They're in there every day now, eating weeds and bugs and scratching in the soil for insect eggs. They're also turning over the compost. What good little chickens they are.
How have your vegetables coped with the weather this year? It seems it's not just this area that is getting weird weather so I'd be interested in reading your experiences. We're going to grow some vegetables in containers this year so we can move them around if it does rain a lot. If you have any other tips for growing vegetables in uncertain weather, I love to hear them.
Thanks for your visits and comments. When we discuss the joys and problems we face living as we do, it shows me that we're not alone in our quest for a more simple life. I am amazed at the number of new readers who have joined us here lately and it makes my day when someone new says hello.