autumn in my garden

autumn in my garden

It’s autumn where I live and this is the time of year when the last harvesting of the summer vegetables finishes. I’ve spent a good part of the morning pulling up the tomato plants and stripping the ripe ones off and hanging up the plants to encourage the masses of green ones to ripen. Fingers crossed. I’m also picking the last of the eggplant and capsicums and pulling out the corn. I also found one purple carrot. 🙂

Next comes the hard prep work on the beds for the winter crops. I’ll be shovelling compost and mulch to get ready for planting the peas, spinach, kale, silver beet, lettuces, broad beans, onions, garlic and carrots.

I love my fruit and veggie garden. It was once a normal, lawn and shrub backyard, but when I was recuperating for six weeks after an operation four years ago, I started making plans for a productive fruit and vegetable garden. It has 5 large and 2 small raised beds as well as an arbour for grape vines and berries and espaliered, mostly dwarf, fruit trees. In summer I eat almost exclusively from the garden.

I have three chickens in my garden. They have a large run at the back and two long narrower ones down each side under the apple, pear, cherry, quince, avocado and apricot trees,  a rampant passionfruit vine and a large peach tree. In case you’re wondering, I had the chickens before I was vegan, no I don’t eat the eggs, I give them to non-vegan neighbours and friends who would otherwise buy allegedly ‘free range’ eggs. My neighbours bring around their food scraps and other treats for them and the closest ones toss their weeds over the fence. I think the girls live pretty happy lives. I can’t imagine the garden without them, and when they pass on I know I’ll be getting some rescue hens. They’re a highlight of my small bit of the street, with kids from across the road visiting to see them, and my neighbours enjoying the sounds they make.

This time of year is probably the girls’ favourite. All that soil activity and weeding provides lots of interest and excitement for Blanche, Betty and Beryl. They’re enormously helpful. I love the excited sounds they make while they are industriously scratching the soil and calling out.

I’d better get back to it, they are waiting for me to throw more weeds and squashed tomatoes to them…

Here are some photos of the garden and the girls.

 

I have seven raised beds, espaliered fruit trees and a grape and berry arbour

garden stripped bare

 

Betty checking out the apples…

betty checking out the bugs on the apples

 

Beryl showing her best profile

beryl the chook

 

Patsy the cat looking decorative

patsy helping

 

Beryl, Betty and Blanche under the cherry tree and behind the raspberries (which they will eat if they can reach them!)

betty, beryl, blanche 

Tomatoes – last ditch ripening efforts and a sad, moth eaten kale plant that needs to be replaced

hanging tomatoes

 

Here is the garden in its summer glory…something to look forward to!

peaches

peaches on tree

 

zucchini and corn
zucchini in the garden

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