Monday, January 28, 2013

Kia ora!

As a big part of my life is the growing and harvesting of vegetables and fruit from my garden, cooking or preparation of the bounty and eating and/sharing of the results, I thought I'd use this blog to record what's happening at my place.

About five years ago I dug up part of the back lawn and planted a vegetable garden.  A few months later I won seven fruit trees in a competition, and it seemed a confirmation of my plan to more or less feed myself from what grew here.

It was a wonderful decision!
Here in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, we have some of the best soil and climate for growing food in the world.  Our by-line has at various times been 'The Fruit Bowl of New Zealand' and 'Wine Country'  as a mark of the importance to the country of the agricultural/horticultural industries here.  Watties has had its base here since 1934.

And my back garden lived up to my expectations.  Last year I replanted grass on about half of it, as I just couldn't keep up with it, and at the moment I have the following fruit trees, bushes and vines -

Morning tea in the shade of the lemon tree
Meyer lemon - old and gnarled, and most years, a great producer!

Feijoa (2) - 1 Kaiteri, and 1 Gemini.  Had a good crop last year.
My first Satsuma plums!
Mandarin - Silverhill (which probably won't be too prolific this year due to my seriously sweet 3 yr old grand-daughter presenting me with handfuls of little green balls - couldn't work out what they were, but she showed me where she'd got them from - the mandarin tree.  Yes, the beginnings of the fruit....)
Lime - Tahitian (which is yet to fruit)
Plum - Satsuma (fruiting for the first time this year!)
Blueberry - various varieties (I've lost count of the number of bushes, but I think there about five bushes in the cage I made for them from chicken wire.  It sags, but it keeps the birds off.  This is one of my most successful crops)
Red Cherry Guava (fruiting for the first time this year, also in the blueberry cage)
Chilean Guava (Myrtus Ugni) (several of these, also in the blueberry cage) 
The Ballerina Bolero apple tree, 2008
The Waltz apple tree,
with berry cage to the left
and grapes to the right, Jan 2013
Apple trees - I have three columnar trees, developed for small spaces or pot growing.  The Ballerina Bolero was included in the prize pack, but I have since bought a Ballerina Polka and a Ballerina Waltz
Grapes - Kyoho, looking fantastic, full of fruit at the moment
Cherry - Lapins - yes well, it's a lovely tree but the birds get the fruit.  Hasn't produced a lot so far. 
Thornless Blackberry - fantastic fruiter!  
Cape Gooseberries all over the place, they come up in a different garden every year.  Love them!

So there is some sort of fruit at most times of the year.  Currently picking apples, blueberries and plums.  And lemons which fruit all the year.  Cranberries will be next, and grapes!