In the beginning
We arrived in New Zealand from South Africa on the morning of 5 Feb 2013. After a first few weeks in the central city of Auckland where an impulse buy saw me three teeny tiny ferns richer, we moved to a great new location out in North Shore City. Although I now have a full native forest on my doorstep – literally, the need to grow something of my own finally boiled over into the decision to start growing veges again.
This is going to be a record of our trials, triumphs and tribulations and we hope you have fun joining us with our experiments in growing and using our own produce. It is a small start, but one which I ultimately hope will result in me being old and grey and looking out onto my rural homestead with my grandchildren chasing chickens through the orchard….
We decided we’ll do as much as we can from scratch, so we’re going to be raising a lot of seedlings.
We bought two bags of seed raising mix at The Warehouse for NZ$6 and some seed packets, each about NZ$3 and we’ve been using whatever household trash we could recycle to create seedling trays – old juice and milk cartons work fabulously, as do baby tomato punnets, empty small yoghurt jars, empty spread dishes and even tins.
These are the late autumn/winter seeds we got for now:
We’re putting the seedlings in a modified tomato planter that we got on special for NZ$10 – Rick got some strong rods to re-infore the poles and some mesh and zip ties and made a few extra “racks”.
This is what we got right so far:
Sowed on 11 April
Sowed 18 April
Sowed 21 April
We’re still in a “holiday house” set-up at the moment, so we can’t go dig up a vegetable patch and seeing as our first batch of silverbeets are nearly ready for a larger home, we had to think of a temporary plan…
So today, we got two bags of Garden Mix on special at The Warehouse for NZ$7 each and a selection of pots – one red square one for Rick’s tomatoes for NZ$7, big green one for my Rosemary and Thymes NZ$7 and four small planters for our silverbeets (just for now) NZ$4 each.
I got a Rosemary plant for NZ$6, thinking that propagating from stem cuttings is a good idea and will make the purchase worth while. Also, I can use some fresh Rosemary immediately 😀
The mint got added to our weekly grocery shopping yesterday as the potted herb cost the same a small packet of harvested mint o.O
Today, while we were getting pots and soil from The Warhehouse, I had a good look around their plant section (of course!) and spotted these two beautiful thymes that were marked down to NZ$3.50 each! Now, who could resist that?
Growing from the greengrocer
I’ve got this thing with raising avocado plants, I confess, it is a problem 😉 When I left SA, I must’ve given my sister about 20 little avocado plants… but I reckon it is a genetic predisposition, because mine only added to her already huge stash! We eat a lot of avo – one of the superfoods, and subsequently I am starting a little avocado farm ….
And we’re going to try garlic too, but for now its just tins with soil…