Friday, February 04, 2011

out and about

Still very hot for Northland. Our sort of usual summer temperatures are around the 23-27 degrees C mark but this summer has been much hotter, up around 30C for days, add to this intense humidity and it feels incredibly hot. A bit too hot for gardening, but with the heavy rain of Cyclone Wilma everything is growing so fast that I have to get out there and weed otherwise I'll have a garden full of triffids! 

I am so pleased with the tomatoes this year. I reckon that weight for weight we'll have around the same as last year, only this year because of the size of them and the types I've grown it's taking about quarter of the time to pick them.

And you can't have tomatoes without basil. I grew all our basil from seed this year and they were slow to start, but wow they are gigantic plants now with lovely huge leaves and a gorgeous taste. Will definitely do this again next year.

The broad beans have grown really quickly - in their neat regimented rows! These do well over late summer into autumn, I actually grew them over winter last year and got a great crop. We love broad beans!

My one and only cucumber! Not a success at all. I've tried for the last 4 years to grow cucumbers, different varieties and everything and each year they've been absolutely rubbish. This was their last chance. Next year I'll give them a miss.

Now for a different area of the garden ~ The Freds. There are new ones! Finally. These are teeny tiny and if you look at the left bottom corner of the photo you can see an egg. I know why there haven't been many appearing, even though I've watched the butterflies lay eggs  - the paper wasps are using them to feed their young, supposedly once the feeding time is over they'll stop and the caterpillars should thrive. 
I'm still concerned for Fred the Original, though. The chrysalis is nice and solid but is  really dark and he hasn't hatched yet. I'm still thinking it's diseased and won't hatch, but the red wings are visible through it so I'm keeping fingers and toes crossed.

Oh and the ducks are so amusing right now! We have a lot of windfall apples and plums after the storm last weekend and they love them! It smells rather alcoholy in the orchard so it wouldn't surprise me if they were a wee bit drunk! Plums are their favourite, they chase eachother around if one of them has a nice bit of plum! It's hysterical as they eat the whole thing, seed and all then spit the seed out! There are plum seeds all over the place just now.

...and finally!
Baby chicks.
They were having their first ever dust bath today - well first one I've noticed them having and they were absolutely filthy! This is the wee boy one who is now gigantic! Shame they're not all this big because I would let them out into the big run if they were, but the others are still awfully little. You can really tell he's a light sussex now - see the black feathers coming in round his neck. I think/hope the other LS is a girl.

This is one of the wee araucanas. Totally looking like a dinosaur. Supposedly they're very difficult to tell what sex they are so I really haven't got much of a clue. But I think one of them might be a boy as well, not sure about the rest of them.

 Looking rather ostrich like here, I reckon.

I'm linking up with Amy at Farm Friend Friday at Verde farm. Go and check out the other's.


  1. Tomatoes apparently need at least 25 degrees to ripen...that is probably why yours are doing so well this year. Mine (and everyone I know around here) just had trouble getting them started this year due to the cool beginning to summer. I am holding out for a late glut.

  2. Thank you for sharing news from your farm. It was a treat to see and read this morning.


  3. Lori, what an awesome post --farm life at it’s best. I love all your photos always but that one of the ducks with the apples is amazing--love it. Thank you so much for linking up--this is going to be fun.
    Hugs, Amy

  4. Your garden looks so beautiful, cant wait til its garden season here! Love your ducks and just look at all them apples, yummy. I'd be makin me some chunky apple sauce for winter :)

  5. We have four feet of snow in our yard here in New Hampshire..with more coming!I am loving your photos...

  6. Ahhh, Summer. How I miss thee right about now. It's snowing here in Oklahoma, so to see your tomatoes ripening on the vine is absolutely delightful and pure pleasure to my eye. Lovely blog!
    thank you :)

  7. Enjoyed looking at your duck chomping a big feast. You have many vegetable growing healthy in your garden. Last year we did not have a good harvest of cucumber at all. But this year we tried green gem and it works well with our condition here.

  8. Fresh summer tomatoes are like gold to me. If there is one vegetable I look forward to each summer its the tomato. Gorgeous chicks and the ducks are also adorable.

  9. Loved your post...makes my green thumbs itch!! And those ducks are so cute. It will be months yet before all this snow melts here, and then there will be flooding to deal with! Enjoy your elements, as it is not so bountiful here! thanks for sharing!!

  10. Hooray for the Freds!
    I love your ducks.
    My cucumbers were dismal this year too. A really big one and the rest all small...

  11. Love all your pictures of life on your farm!! Especially the ducks :-}}

  12. Absolutely love all the pictures, but especially the ones of the ducks. They look to be having a grand ol' time and I hope for their sakes they aren't getting to much fermentation either! Looks like the farm is growing like crazy!

  13. I am SO jealous!
    I can't wait to get our garden in and seeing the beautiful pictures of yours makes it all the harder! I will be back, again and again and again :D

  14. Anonymous5:47 pm

    I am so glad to visit some place that has green! Everywhere near me is buried under snow from a blizzard last week. That little rooster is adorable!

  15. Great photos - and I love the ducks in the orchard. Lovely to read!


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Laura x