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What's New With Farmer Pete: How Fickle Is Our Garden?

I think I have picked 4 tomatoes this year... that’s right, 4!

I have about 20 plants and over 6 varieties across the various gardens. Late cropping is usually the result of extreme temperature, moisture stress and insufficient sunlight. A tomato needs 6-8hrs of full sunlight everyday.

Well for us, it’s been a perfect storm.

Southern Highlands Rainfall:

2020 - 30mm

2021 - 67mm

2022 - 180mm !!

It has been well below average temperature with lots of misty, cloudy, overcast days.

The good news is that the tomato fruit are about to take off. I am expecting that we will soon be inundated. The traditional late cropper, the cherry “sweet bite, will be harvesting at the same time as the early cropping varieties. Cucumbers are here at last and the capsicums and eggplants are all fattening nicely. The local refugee families who have access to our surplus supplies will need some big harvest baskets!

I have had help in the garden over recent weeks from Des, Nadya and Alex, friends we meet in Bali during our Greenschool days. They have migrated from Singapore and are settling here in the Highlands. They have been staying at Springfield since December. This time has enabled Des (a human sponge) to learn all about growing food and setting up gardens. It's been like a long-term Home Grown course.

An update on the “great quail massacre”:

We have had 40 chicks hatch over recent days from the eggs I managed to collect on the day that the fox got through a gate that was left open. The fox killed 140 quails in just a few hours. The new chicks will be ready for release into their enclosure and orchid later this week. The cycle of life continues at Springfield.

Ps. Misty, our baby Alpaca, is flourishing and eating from our hand!

Farmer Pete
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