Our summer crops are all in full force!

It is our busiest time of year. We have our summer crops all in full force, they need 24/7 care to get through this intense heat. And then we have the mad rush to get vegetables in the ground to see the markets through winter. It’s madness and I love it!

The chilli’s are getting hot, the capsicums are fat and juicy. And we planted a trial of mini sweet capsicums and gosh they have performed well.They are best stuffed with feta then either roasted or pickled. Yum!

You may have noticed our pumpkins are starting to appear back at the markets again. We trialled a squash this year and we had a fantastic response at the markets so we will make sure we grow more next year. You will also be seeing the french, crown and butternut pumpkins appearing over the next few weeks as well. It’s hard to believe that they are in season again!

And then we have the giant pumpkins. This is a first for us, we have been asked every year if we would grow one and finally we have done it. I can’t believe how quickly they grow! I tried two varieties, one is called ‘Show Winner’ and the other is ‘Atlantic Giant’. At this stage the Atlantic Giants are performing the best. It will be interesting how big we can grow them especially with using dad’s 30 year nutrient and mineral recipe!

Dad is amongst the tomato patch every morning and evening while it is cool. Tomatoes demand a heck of a lot of attention and he certainly knows what to do – with his 50+ years of experience and all! There are laterals to be taken out, weeds to be pulled, the dropping of the vines and clipping them back up. And gosh they grow fast, just when you think you’re on top it all, a few days later and it all needs to be done again. Dad does love his tomatoes though. It must bring back memories of his dad and brothers when they grew them in Mangere.

Dad and tomatoes

Meanwhile, mum is just across the track weeding all the beetroot (as well as everything else!) which is growing like mad at the moment. We have been seeding double lots for winter therefore there is twice the amount to do. Dad spoiled her the other day and bought her a lovely set of knee pads. So romantic! Just in time for valentines day!

As for me, aside from the general running of the business, I am constantly planning ahead trying to make sure we have plenty to sell over the months ahead. This means lots of flicking through previous years diaries, taking note of the do’s and don’ts. What to grow more or less of. When is the best time to seed the extra lots taking into account day length and temperature changes. And timing the switch to the winter seed is always a trick too! I do this individually for the thirty odd different types of vegetables we grow as well as our selection of herbs, seedlings and flowers. So my brain doesn’t get much rest! But fortunately I have had about four years of experience now and gut instinct and the knowledge I have gathered is steering us down the right track, well most of the time anyway! Sometimes I just wing it and hope for the best! Ha ha.

So that’s it for now, I hope you are enjoying the blogs. I never know what to write but once I get going it seems to all come out. I just hope it is worth the read!

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