Sunday, 27 September 2009

My First Veggie Garden

I have grown herbs and some veggies before, but nothing quite on this scale. The last finca we were staying in, I planted a few rows of veggies and salad leaves but not a lot. Plus there were a lot of plants already there. God I miss the mora…. They all got wiped out in a freak hailstorm the day before we left the place.

So when we rented this place, we made sure we could dig up a little bit of land and plant a few things. We were even given permission to have some chickens. This we haven’t taken up yet.

After some backbreaking digging, we now have two small plots to which we have planted a random mixture of veggies and salad leaves.

The 1st plot we dug is downhill from the house. It’s situated quite close to a pine tree, which gives it some needed shade from the intense midday sun.

Originally it contained broccoli, poblano chilli’s, some picante chilli’s, celery, parsley, beetroot, parsley, runner beans and peas. Most of these we brought one day in a garden centre in la zona. Each plant cost 60 centavos. Quite easy to go mad in there. Lina did.

We had to extend that plot, so we could plant all the little plants that we started off in the seed trays.

These included more peas and runner beans, cayenne peppers, borlotti beans, radishes, caverlo nero, rocket, carrots, spring onions, spinach……

I also ordered a lot more seeds from a Franchini supplier in the USA, but none have turned up. I’m going to try and see if I can get more sent to Orlando and have someone bring them for me. Shame as I really wanted those buggers.

My two sisters and my mum, sending packets of seeds from Blighty, supplied the salad garden. Gracias.

These we started in seed trays and have now more or less transplanted all of them to a small patch next to the house.

After a night having a little hissy fit, they all seemed to have settled in nicely. We even brought some black netting to ward off the midday sun. Remember we are very close to the Equator here.

Also next to the house, we planted a few herbs to keep us going along. Rosemary, thyme, mint, fennel seeds, coriander and cidron, which produces the most aromatic lemony leaves. Great in teas and iced drinks. My bay tree, which I brought at least two years ago, is nestled in our piece of land. It doesn’t seem happy there, so we may have to go and dig it up and bring it here.

I’ve thought about fruit trees and the like, but we may not be here past February, so no point really.

I dug a small hole and have been filling it nearly on a daily basis with organic waste from my kitchen. It is now quite a site. Not ready to spread on my plots, but getting there.

The owner of the farm we are staying in pays a guy to come once an week and cut the grass and do odd jobs on the land. He continually dumps the grass cuttings and the leafs he sweeps up in one big pile. After digging this over last week, I discovered that the bottom has more or less rotted down to become perfect compost. Excellent.

So, now is a waiting game. I hope I have the patience for this. I am looking forward to picking the veg a lot.

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