Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Growing dinner.

Here's my answer to 'Yarnstorm". I may not have vivid colours on my walls and cupcakes, but by gum! the chard is doing well.

I don't know why I had children. This is the second day of no work on the novel. Jack decided that he needed the computer to write a song. He had his guitar and he'd noodle around on it, and then he'd whack it on a program he uploaded (that'll make the computer go even slower) and then tinker with it some more. After FOUR HOURS he was satisfied. I could've written 'War and Peace' by then. Still, I got more knitting done on the afghan (3 balls finished... 5 more to go. ) This rug is already covering my lap and is half-way down my shins. I'm not a particularly tall person. I'm thinking that this thing will be able to shelter a family of refugees and a ute when I'm done.

Before we went to Phuket I planted out 2 beds of potatoes that were sprouting. There were a fair few of them, so I went mental. I was jamming them in 1cm apart, saying "They'll be right." There are 2 beds of them, a small one (pictured) and one double the size. Yesterday I went to the grain store and bought 10 bags of mushroom compost to cover both sets of plants, so they'd grow lots and lots of lovely spuds. $45 worth of soil didn't even half cover the small bed. Here they are after the 'burying' has been done. Now I don't know about you, but I think that $45 can buy a fair few potatoes.... What's the point of spending buckets of money on compost when spuds aren't that expensive? So I've decided to ignore the huge bed of spuds, and go with what the little bed produces. What I really want to do is grow them in a container. No mess, no waste and easy peasy. I just have to find the right container. I want something that I can reuse every year. I hate having to redo a job.

Jordan's now hassling me about using the computer for his Science homework. I'm over having kids. Anyway, I have to go out to the garden and select a victim for the cauliflower cheese we're having. There's something deeply satisfying about growing your own food. It's a shame that it took me till I was now to discover it.


Erin! said...

Old tyres are good for spuds. Use one tyre originally and then as you wish to bury it further add another tyre. when you are ready to harvest just remove each tyre at a time (and apparently check the inside of the tyre as the spuds quite often spread sideways into them).

Another option is a hessian sack you roll it down and as you need to bury it, just unroll a few inches at a time. put this inside another sack to keep it dark enough.

Now i havent physically tried either of these, my dbf does our gardening and he did grow some spuds but didnt bother burying them just went with the handful from each plant rather than trying for more, but the above two "containers" for spuds are from my grandmother (almost 87) and she grew up on a farm and then helped run her inlaws farm and is still living at home and gardening and growing her own vegies, so i am confident she knows what she is talking about.

Scott said...

Hey Frogster,
I think you need to investigate that second computer option you were thinking about.

M said...

I'd love to have a vegie garden at my house. I've been trying to con my.brother.the.farmer to come and set one up but he's in WA and I'm in NSW. And Firegazer is horrified we'll end up like something from The Good Life. I like the idea of chooks too. The kids would love it.

Frogdancer said...

Tyres, hey?I think I might have to give that option a go. Some people are scared of chemicals leaching into the soil from them, but then you hear of people like your grandmother who live till they're 100 and they've eaten tyre-grown spuds all their lives.
The good thing about using tyres is that you'd gradually be building up the level, so a huge bill of $45 would be spread out over a few weeks. Nothing like mind games.

I like the idea of chooks too, M, but their beaks look sharp...

Anna S said...

Hi there. Thank you for dropping by my blog - it's lovely to meet you! I'm at a very different life stage, but I think we are both members of the Frugal Army, right? ;)

PS: I don't think it's odd to start by saying you are a mother of 4 boys! On the contrary, I wish more women said that.

Suse said...

I came here to say use old tyres but see that erin! got in first. You need to buy/borrow Jackie French's book 'Back yard Self Sufficiency'. Brilliant. Changed my life and all that. And it features lots of 'cut and come again' vegetables, not just leeks.

I don't know why I had children either. I contemplated selling the middle one today.

Dollfinn! said...

Frog, i would assume that tyres dont leach too much if they are allowed to shred them and make softfall for kids playgrounds with them and they cannot be any worse than the stuff! that comes out of the old coppers logs. I used to work in a plywood factory where they used the same type of CCA treatment, we had to wear gloves and face masks as all ply sheets when wet grow fungus and mold and you shift them and get mold spores in the air, and these sheets the mold spores are contaminated with copper and arsenic, oh so good for your health if breathed in, and when the sheets rubbed your wrist (between glove and shirt basically) you ended up with a nasty rash, so trust me, i think the tyres are healthier than what most people use as garden edging!

M dont wait for a farmer, experiment by yourself, there are soo many types of gardens out there, some you dont even have to do any digging. One of our local nursery has one display where they literally chucked a closed bag of potting mix ($3 for 25litre type variety) onto a bit of gravel, slit a couple lines down the top and planted some seedlings. The last i saw, it had some fine looking tomato plants covered in tomatoes and some chives and a few cos and minionette lettuces all sticking out of the same bag of potting mix. I assume they add water and maybe spray with the occasional bit of seasol to rejuvenate the nutrients in the potting mix.

Hehe i am bad, i know all this stuff and dont do any of it, but then i have a boyfriend who is a trade qual landscaper and experimental organic greenthumb, so i just let him work out his frustrations (saving up for a ute, trailer, equipment etc so he can actually use his trade quals).

Oh and btw we are North Coast NSW here, so maybe I can help you a little if you want any info on plants that grow well or not etc.

Hehe just dont ask me how to get rid of rampant kikuyu without using napalm cause we have tried everything else so far.

LOL maybe i should start putting some of this on my own blog lolol.


Frogdancer said...

So tyres it is! Just another quick question, should anyone else in the know pop back.... once I have the tyres, how many seed potatoes should I plant per tyre? I think the ones I've got now are probably too close together. Thanks!

Erin! said...

Depends on the diameter of the tyres really, i would say 3 or 4 in a 15inch tyre. The spacings if planted straight are normally about 30cms apart (vasillis garden has mentioned that spacing twice that i have seen).

Frogdancer said...

Thanks Erin! You're fantastic. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a stack of tyres that someone wants to get rid of. If there's 3 or 4 per tyre, then the ones I've planted in the garden are definitely jammed in. Ah well. It'll be survival of the fittest.