Well you know all about it. Like me your year has been challenging and strange. For me it has been quite a change. Normally every weekend we have up to four couples visiting and staying at our farm stay. They punctuate my week with chatter and new stories. I really love these visitors. I love talking and sharing with them. I love the tours I give of my garden and all the conversations about everything from love and relationships to growing radicchio.
And then the gastronomy classes I usually run. The immense joy that happens when we come together to learn more about the things we love. To learn about ways to make raw ingredients into fantastic meals. How to ferment and bake, and knead and shape pasta. All those classes have been put on hold.
Humans how I have missed you!
I have missed both your company and your help as it has been almost seven months since we have shared our home with a travelling volunteer, a willing helper, a story sharer.
It is spring and I have been collecting sheep manure by the trailer load. Gardening friends introduced me to a shearing shed. Under the floor boards a monumental supply of lucerne and manure. I collected a very large load and worked my arms beyond their limit. By the end of the week my arms were on fire, my muscles overworked.
It is spring and I have applied a very late dose of lime to all my growing areas…I should have done this years ago…my soil is naturally acidic and I have not, over the past four years applied a single dose of lime. Wood ash is what I have been using because it too is a great source of calcium and calcium is what my soil needs. However wood ash also contains nutrients that are already abundant in my soil such as magnesium and hence adding more will only create problems.
My first harvest of asparagus happened this year. I sowed asparagus seeds into trays about three years ago. I dug a trench and filled it with manure and straw and now I harvest!
And artichokes are bountiful and so I have been making artichoke broths.
Then there are the ornamental habitat plants such as Hardenbergia, fox gloves and straw flowers.
The garden is alight with life and in the absence of delicious humans, the garden is keeping me fed.