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We Had A Late Frost

Hello friends,

The very worst thing that could possibly happen in the vege garden at this time of the year, happened on Friday the 10th of November when we had a super late frost. The day before had been blue skies and sunny, with a cool breeze. Our local weather forecast mentioned nothing about a frost occurring, so I stupidly trusted their judgement.

We woke up on Friday morning, and it was cold. I quickly checked our weather station, and the temperature in our backyard had dropped to -1.1˚C at around 6 am in the morning. I quickly donned my ugg boots and dressing gown, and raced outside.

So much damage had been done. The ground was white and crunchy with frost, and so was the vegetables in my vege garden.

I was so upset. Thank goodness that everything in my glasshouse was well protected, and most of my dahlias were unharmed thanks to me being way behind in weeding those areas of the back garden.

My pumpkins were dead.

And so were my beans.

My potatoes were damaged, but they will bounce back over time.

My corn plants were frost burnt, but are putting on new growth already.

After allowing myself to be grumpy for half a day, I pulled out the now dead pumpkin plants and resowed seeds directly into the ground. I'm about to do the same with the bean seeds. I'm not overly hopeful, but it's better than just giving up I guess.

Have a wonderful day.


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The Vegetable Garden is Planted

Hello friends,

Over Labour Weekend in October hubby and I planted our vegetable garden for the summer.

My first task was to weed the garlic growing in the smallest vegetable garden bed, and then also sow onions, carrots, beetroot, radish, sugarbeet and carrot seeds as well.

Hubby then dug over the two remaining large garden beds, and I added sheep pallet fertilizer for the soon to be growing plants.

For the next bed, which was already growing peas and potato plants by now, I added lettuce, rocket, black turtle beans, summer sprouting broccoli, and cabbage, that I had been growing in the glasshouse.

With the last large garden bed I planted maize, corn, and pumpkin plants in the top half. In the bottom half of the garden bed I sowed wheat and linen flax seeds, while hubby acted as a scarecrow to keep the birds off them, and then we double bird netted the seeds to protect them from the birds.

With most of the glasshouse now empty of plants, we emptied out the space, and hubby dug over the garden bed. After that there was just the task of fertilising the soil, and then planting cucumbers, basil, chillies, capsicum and many tomato plants. There was also the big task of setting up all the climbing frames for the growing plants.

It's been a few weeks now, and everything is growing nicely in the garden, despite low snow falling the week after we planted everything. I can't wait to feast on all our vegetables over the coming summer.

Have a wonderful day


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This Year's Pumpkin Harvest

Hello friends,

Every year I make an effort to grow as many pumpkins as I can—not only for ourselves, but also for family and friends too. We're typically not big pumpkin eaters, well except for pumpkin soup. We make it up in bulk when all the ingredients for the recipe have been harvested, and include our own homegrown potatoes, onions, and garlic. Once made, we freeze our pumpkin soup away in meal-sized portions, and eat it all through autumn and winter for lunches since hubby and I both work from home.

Back in September 2022, I decided to sow baby bear and also grey crown varieties of pumpkin seeds for the upcoming growing season. The first sowing didn't germinate thanks to some dodgy seed raising mix, so I had to resow the pumpkin seeds in early October. This time all the seedlings germinated and grew up into healthy plants. In Labour weekend in October they were planted into one of our large garden beds along with corn and wheat.

This past growing season had the hottest and driest weather for us in Dunedin in many years. The pumpkin plants grew very quickly, and before Christmas had even come, the plants had already started producing fruit.

The summer months of January and February were hot and dry, and it wasn't long before the pumpkins began changing colour. I was watering the plants as often I could, but by this time our neighbourhood was under strict water restrictions.

In early March the pumpkin plants started dying back, and finally we had some decent rain again. It was now time for the pumpkin harvest. It was our biggest pumpkin harvest ever. Our 6 grey crown pumpkins weighed a combined total of 18 kg, and our 11 Baby Bear pumpkins came in at a combined total of 7 kg.

After setting aside pumpkins for our own use, and also for family and friends, we had 6 pumpkins left over. Luckily our neighbourhood has a very active fruit and vege produce swap group. I posted my pumpkins up on their Facebook page, and within minutes all my spare pumpkins were taken by people wanting to swap produce.

I was very soon inundated with lots of wonderful fruit we don't grow in our own fruit and vegetable garden, and in return I made new friends who left quite happily with a pumpkin or two.

One of our big gray pumpkins got given to an online friend in return for a box of quinces, and you can find the story in one of my previous blog posts, here.

I hope to share with you soon, my other adventures in processing and eating my autumnal fruit bounty.

Have a wonderful day


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A Secondhand Treasure

Hello friends,

I've wanted a Le Creuset pumpkin casserole dish for a couple of years.

They are completely adorable, and are totally in line with my Cottagecore aesthetic, but I could never justify paying that much one for one, let alone the many I dreamed of having, just so I could decorate our dining room in autumn. So for the longest time my wish to own one has been in vain...

Until yesterday...when I was out shopping for my mother's birthday present, and I spotted something in a nearby secondhand hospice shop. Sitting all alone on the bottom shelf of the kitchen section, was a ceramic ware pumpkin.

I picked it up straight away, terrified that someone else would spot this treasure, and take it away from me. It was love at first sight. And before you could even blink, I was up at the counter paying a grand total of NZ$6 for the joy of taking my pumpkin home.

It didn't matter that there was a slight crack in the bottom, it was perfect just the way it was. When I arrived home and proudly showed hubby my prize, he just shook his head, probably very happy I no longer have a Le Creuset pumpkin casserole dish in my sights.

For now it sits pride of place on our dining table, and it makes me smile every time I walk past it.

Have a wonderful day.


Want to discuss my post? Feel free to chat with me on Instagram or Mastodon.

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