It's now the part of spring where everything is growing quickly, and unfortunately that also includes many weeds. The good thing though is that we finally have stuff to harvest in the garden.
Our rhubarb plant has shot away and has produced many leaves, so it was time to harvest the first of the stems. We mostly use our rhubarb for our rhubarb and ginger meringue pie.
I pulled a bunch of rhubarb out off the plant, cut off the leaves,
and then cut the stems up into pieces to freeze away in our chest
freezer. I find that six stems of rhubarb are enough to make one rhubarb
and ginger meringue pie, so I freeze them away in batches of those. The good thing about freezing them is that the process turns the rhubarb into mush, which makes them easier to cook with afterward.
The next thing to harvest is peppermint. I like to harvest our peppermint in early spring for making dried peppermint leaves for peppermint tea. Our peppermint patch pops up everywhere in the herb garden, and beyond, so I just find whatever is on the edges, and then harvest them. It's really easy to do, just pull out any rogue peppermint stems, rinse them, and then pull off the leaves to slowly air dry, or by putting in the dehydrator. I dehydrate ours, and it doesn't take very long at all.
The first harvest of calendula flowers was also ready, and it is one of my favorite plants. Not only do bees love it, but you can use it in all sorts of products around the home.
I just pick the flowers when they're fully open, and then rinse and pat them dry before putting them in the dehydrator along with the peppermint leaves.
The last thing to harvest was the first of our strawberries. They weren't the most prettiest strawberries in the world, but they were good enough to put in the chest freezer for making strawberry jam later on in the growing season.
Are you harvesting anything in the garden yet? Labour weekend is this weekend, and it's a pretty busy time in the vegetable garden. All the garden beds have been dug, and I can't wait to get stuck in and plant everything currently sitting in our glasshouse.
Have a wonderful day
When we moved from Wellington back to Dunedin in October 2019, our new home came with a large outdoor aviary. At first I really wasn't sure what to do with it, but after a couple of weeks I came up with a perfect idea—if birds couldn't get out of the bird cage, then that meant that birds also couldn't get in. It would make a great berry cage to protect all the precious strawberries, raspberries and blueberries I wanted to grow in the garden.
Over the next couple of months I removed all the nesting boxes and bird related stuff, and began turning it into a berry cage by making sure that light and rain could get in. When all that was completed, I then planted a raspberry bush, multiple strawberry plants, and three varieties of blueberries. All these plants have grown very well in the last three years thanks to the previous inhabitants droppings, and it has now come to the point that the blueberries have outgrown the small space that I gave them in the berry cage to live.
So this meant that I had to find somewhere else to grow them in the garden. There is a section of the garden down near the clothes line that already had a gooseberry bush, a giant blackcurrant bush, rhubarb, and a dwarf apricot tree I planted last year. I had began clearing up all the overgrown weeds in that section of the garden last autumn, but after my sinus operation that all came to a halt.
By the time I got back around to tidying that section of the garden this month, the weeds had all returned in a vengeance. Hubby has helped me tackle this area over the last couple of weeks, and last weekend he dug four holes for me, three for the blueberry bushes, and one for the tea plant I had ordered online, but hadn't arrived yet.
As you can see from the above photo, Luna, our neighbour's cat came and helped me with the transplanting. She is a very good girl, who I will miss very much, as her owners have just sold their house, and Luna will soon be living elsewhere. I think she mainly helped because I have catnip growing in the berry cage, and she wanted to partake in its benefits...
It didn't take long to transplant the blueberries, and they have bounced back quite quick, which is great. I have also transplanted some natural dye plants I had growing in the vege garden, into this garden space as well. I am growing St Johns Wort, Woad, Madder, Tormentil, and Lemon Sorrel to hopefully dye with later on in the growing season.
I know that I will now have to net my blueberries from the birds, but I will deal with that closer to the time. I hope that very soon my blueberry bushes will provide me with lots of delicious blueberries to eat and put in smoothies over the coming summer.
Have a wonderful day