We moved back to our home state from a six year exile in sunny South Australia last year and one of the first things on my mind was to establish a vegetable garden and orchard on our one acre in beautiful country Victoria. We quickly planted a small orchard after considerable contemplation as to the variety of fruit trees I wished to grow. The orchard was closely followed up by the vegetable garden. Jonathan prepared some raised garden beds for an old site near the dilapidated chook shed. The place was a shocker in reality, totally abandoned for a couple of years. Weeds, barbed wire and neglect – a wonderful trilogy which always spells for us to roll up our sleeves and get to it.
Gardeners the world over will know that when you plant a seed or seedling, you are essentially planting hope. Gardeners are gamblers in reality. Optimistic gamblers at that but a benign species of human who nurture rather than destroy.
The same abandoned site being viewed by Jonathan and our pet sheep Bertie in the first shot is the very same site here. There is riotous autumnal abundance everywhere. This summer has been spent in periodic bouts of preserving the harvest in between house painting and trying to run my two small businesses. After giving up growing vegetables in South Australia due to a poxy thieving neighbour, we cannot get used to the generosity of the soil here. We have eaten out of this patch of earth all through summer. The only vegetables Jonathan has purchased for our meals has been capsicums. Everything else has sprouted from the good earth. Soil to plate in no time.
Even Priscilla has been stopped from a proper investigation of the vegie patch by the rampant zucchini bush that has spilled out onto the pathway with luxurious and extremely fertile abandon. Priscilla is blind you see, blinded over a four day period with SARDS; a real beast of a disease.
Not a problem though because we purchased Muffin’s Halo for our much loved Prissy and this device enables her to tap, tap, tap her way around the house and garden with a courageous and adventuresome spirit. The pumpkins have been harvested and this is the first time we have had to have a wheelbarrow on hand to take them all. 40 beauties from the pumpkin patch this year. Fresh borlotti beans I shelled and popped straight into the freezer. Tomatoes for chutney and eating and a basket full of apples from a wildly sown apple tree down the road. I don’t know what I am going to do with the apples yet. Perhaps some nice apple pulp in the Vacola to enjoy during the winter to come? I have not made up my mind yet but one thing is for sure, the abundance of autumn this year has been spectacular.