Mike and I used the drive home to Allsun Farm to go over all the ideas that had been thrown up in our talks with Kirsten and Nick. The biggest hurdle was going to be getting produce ready to pick by the workshop to be held 21,22, 23 October followed closely by a number of workshops throughout November.
It is too late for the winter crops – storage crops like pumpkins and all the root vegetables are finished, and winter cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers are starting to bolt.
It is too early for all the summer super stars. Tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants are not usually starting to ripen until the end of december.
Perennials like asparagus and artichokes need several years to establish themselves but will be on the menu in 2 or 3 years.
Milkwood has never had a good sized production garden before so there are not hundreds of jars of tomatoes, saurkraut, dill beans or even pickles and jams sitting on the shelves waiting for this lean time in the vegetable fields. This summer bounty should be ready to preserve by February.
Work out what was excess to needs at Allsun and get these seedlings up to Milkwood.
Get Kirsten to plant more broadbeans and some dwarf peas in the already established kitchen garden at Milkwood.
Buy some capsicums and eggplants from Bumper Crop Seedlings, a small summer seedling business run by Helen Mitchell at Allsun Farm.
Get started immediately sowing quick growing, frost hardy greens.
So what did we have on hand?
On the 27th April we had grown far too many spring onions so a tray of these was earmarked for Milkwood.
The heat pads are full of trays of eggplants and capsicums planted on 19th June – lots spare.
The emergence of the first of these tricky, heat lovers is always a really exciting moment but you have to be well set up to get the early start needed for a big crop.
The other vegetable which we had gone overboard with this year is onions. Organic onions are expensive and not always available. They are used in large quantities every day and most people never grow enough. We plan to grow some at Milkwood this year and by June 2012 when next years crop will be sown it will be easier to estimate the total Milkwood requirement.