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In Season in November

This picture is from an “In Season” post from four years ago.  Oddly, considering how neglected my garden is at the moment, I’m harvesting pretty well the same lot.  This time of year is a season of the first of things and the last of things in my garden, as the winter plantings finally end and the first of the spring plantings start to bear. Today I stripped out all the remaining broad beans and the last of the peas for shelling, so I can feel some broad bean, pea, mint and lemon puree coming on.  There is lots of celery but it is starting to flower so not for much longer now.  The later rounds of broccoli are bearing main heads and the earlier rounds side shoots, but I’m expecting cabbage and web moths to arrive soonish.  They’ll finish off the chinese cabbages too.  The cavallo nero kale has been prolific all winter but it’s starting to get aphids now.

I still have bulk silver beet but all the earlier plantings are now running to seed.  All my parsley has run to seed, and I am now harvesting seed from coriander and dill too.  Rocket has run to seed, but the nasturtiums are rocketing along and providing that peppery-ness in salads.  Though I still have lots of lettuce, the number of varieties is going down.

I’ll have some Eureka lemons most of the year, but the bush lemons are finished and I’m picking the very last of the late season mandarins and grapefruits. The grape vines are laden and though the grapes will be a month or so yet, I’m using the leaves regularly.

I’ve stopped cutting asparagus for the year but just as the asparagus finish, I start cutting artichokes.  The new zucchini are getting to a good size to pick young fruit as well as flowers.  I picked the very first of the Corno de Toro capsicum today, a bit green still but there are lots more coming on.  The first of the season’s new potatoes – such a treat – along with baby cucumbers and the first of the squash.

I am also picking the first of the season’s fresh garlic – early, but then I planted early too.  Fresh, juicy garlic is a totally different thing to the dried up imports from China.  If you don’t grow your own, look out for fresh local garlic at Farmers Markets from now on.  It’s an experience!

With fruit, this is berry season – strawberries, blueberries, white and purple mulberries.  It doesn’t last long so I’m making the most of it.  Paw paws are still in bulk, and the white mulberries are laden this year.

So that’s what I’ll be basing my cooking around this month.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial November 12, 2010, 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the update, Linda, it’s wonderful to read about what’s growing in your garden! Our tomatoes bushes are laden, but all still green, and we’re at the end of the kale and cabbages, but the eggplants and endamame are growing well. Eating lots of beans at the moment, and the odd baby cucumber! Oh, and basil has gone completely ballistic! 🙂

  • Jane November 10, 2014, 11:06 am

    Thank you for the update. I love your garden posts and photos and I keep them in mind as an ideal to aim for, keeping in mind the difference in climate. I tasted artichokes for the first time yesterday. Didn’t really like them, but will try your recipes as I am growing them from some seed I was given. Anyway I guess they will be pretty flowers if not eaten.

  • Linda November 10, 2014, 11:11 am

    Hi Jane, artichokes can be really bitter if they are old. Cut them young, and reconcile yourself to the idea that you don’t get very much out of each one. But they are hardy and reliable and done right are really nice, specially dipped in lemony butter – but then, what’s not nice dipped in lemony butter?

  • Helen November 14, 2014, 11:24 am

    Welcome back Linda. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has missed your posts. Hope this means your personal circumstances have improved.

  • cityhippyfarmgirl November 19, 2014, 2:11 pm

    Yes, I’ve missed your posts too Linda.
    White mulberries I’m curious about, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen them. Are they a more subtle mulberry flavour?

  • Linda November 19, 2014, 2:59 pm

    I haven’t run away entirely. Just had two big changes in the lives of people close to me, and have been grateful that I have the ability to reorganise my life so as to be able to support them through the changes. I actually have quite a backlog of drafts and pics and notes that I’ve shoved in here for when I have time to play again. Soon…

    Meanwhile, white mulberries are sweet. Too sweet for me. I much prefer the black ones, but we have a white mulberry tree that fruits incredibly prolifically, and this time of year is full of birds so gorged they can barely fly!

  • Nic December 20, 2014, 2:34 am

    I’m so glad to find your blog! My copy of your book has been read so many times I’ve had to tape it together 🙂 We have just bought 25 acres of beautiful bush on the coast in Central Queensland and I’ve just set up a two mandala system from your design in our quest for self sufficiency. I was wondering if you ever incorporate sweet potato in your guilds, or include mushrooms and microgreens as part of your harvest as these are the only ‘essentials’ missing from our family’s shopping list?

  • Linda December 20, 2014, 12:44 pm

    Hi Nic, so glad you like the book! I have trouble with sweet potatoes. The wallabies love the vine so much that every time they get in, they make a beeline for it, and the bush turkeys love the potatoes. Every couple of years I replant it and if I’m lucky I get a year or so of harvest before the turkeys find it or a wallaby gets in and overnight the whole patch disappears. It’s a pity because it is ideally suited to my climate. I usually use it as a verge plant, to ramble down a slope and provide ground cover – which it does really well. I have some now that rambled inside a fenced bed and found some fertile, watered soil and took off. Normally I would move the chooks onto the bed soon but I’m considering making it a sweet potato bed for a couple of years. I don’t do mushrooms but it’s one of those things on the list. Milkwood has lots of very inspiring systems for home mushroom growing without using the kits. I do do microgreens but I tend to only bother with things that are really easy and that make use of seeds that would otherwise be difficult to harvest. Sunflower seed sprouts are one of my favourites – a really good way to get a harvest out of sunflowers. Mustard sprouts are another that are really easy and worth growing.

  • Nic December 21, 2014, 1:07 am

    Thanks Linda, I think I might give the sweet potato a try! Could I also ask if you found you needed to permanently mark out your circular beds or whether they became clear once the beds became established? Mine are currently marked out with rocks which is becoming a bit of a nuisance with moving my chook dome. No more questions I promise 😉 though it would be awesome if there was a Linda’s permaculture support group…

  • Linda December 21, 2014, 7:33 am

    Nowadays my beds are very marked out – with 8 ft high fences and netting over the top! But back when I used movable chook tractors, they became marked out by use. The paths got dug and sawdust filled and the beds higher. My garden for the last 15 years has been on a slope so the lower edge needed some retaining – old fence posts with a stake to hold them in place.

  • Nic December 25, 2014, 7:53 pm

    Thanks Linda. I LOVE my mobile chicken dome! When we moved onto our little farm, I handed my husband your book and said “make me one of these please” and its been just fabulous. Could I quickly ask: if you lived near the beach (as we do!), could you use seaweed instead of waterweed if it is more readily available? Or does the seaweed need to be kept for my brew and I should seek out a source of waterweed? Also, do you use a watering system or water by hand? As relaxing as it is, it is quite time consuming, so I’m wondering if I should be ‘delegating’ it to a sprinkler during these hot summer months when I’m trying to establish plants.

  • Linda December 26, 2014, 8:15 am

    Hi Nic,
    I use all my seaweed in brew form, but I remember years ago visiting a garden in Brisbane where seaweed was just used as the bottom layer in sheet mulch – spread over the bed, then high carbon mulch spread on top to stop it just drying out to a crisp. I’ve used it in compost before too, but I’ve never had easy access to enough bulk to find out just how much I can use before overdoing it. Anyone else know?

    With watering, I am on tank and dam water so I’m frugal with it. I have each bed rigged up now with its own tap and hose so I don’t have to drag hoses around. I mulch deep, water seedlings in by hand and water them again a couple of times in the first couple of weeks. After that, I put a sprinkler on in a bed only if it has been dry for long enough that plants look thirsty. One bed at a time and the sprinkler is on for at least half an hour to give the bed a deep watering.

  • Amanda January 3, 2015, 7:04 pm

    I’m just having my first go at harvesting sunflower seeds this year. Do you have any tips for making it easier? And do you eat them only as sprouts, or are they okay as a microgreen too?

  • Linda January 3, 2015, 7:25 pm

    Hi Amanda, I’ve never found a way to hull sunflower seeds at home that was worth the effort. So I just feed the seeds to the chooks, or plant them and harvest them at the two leaf stage as microgreens. They rub off the flower base easily when mature, and I plant them in a box of seed germinating mix, very densely, then just chop them off at the base with scissors to harvest.

  • Nic January 24, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Hi again Linda, I have a quick question from your The Permaculture Home Garden book. I’m roughly following your guild planting guide for my first mandala, but there is no real guidance for the second mandala which would be 3 months behind. I’m a newbie to all of this so I really need the structure! Could I use the same guide do you think or would it just make it to out of sync with the seasons? Any thoughts appreciated! Thanks, Nic

  • Janet Hall-Frith March 9, 2015, 7:59 pm

    Hello Linda
    I have lost my last comment and cannot remember under which month I posted it, so at the risk of repeating myself …

    I did have a chook dome and chooks as per your book, which I love, but due to work commitments I had to sell both my chooks and my dome. Now as I am semi-retired I have more time on my hands and want to reboot my vegie garden, but as I live just outside Kyogle, in the opposite direction to yourself (going toward Murwillumbah) I also have problems with bandicoots, possums, wallabies and the like and am now considering fencing individual plots. I will only have two or three chooks this time as there is only my husband Michael and myself. My one question is: Have you got big round posts at the corner of each plot? Michael has reluctantly agree to do the fencing with the occasional help from an Italian friend from Sydney who cannot wait to do jobs on our place. I am thinking that maybe Mike is over engineering the fence, but then, perhaps I am being too picky.

    Next time I see you around town, I shall wave. Cheers. Janet.

  • Linda March 10, 2015, 8:24 am

    Hi Janet, please wave, and say hi! I have small posts, cemented in, to hang the gate. For the last one I built I used some recycled hardwood 4 x 4s. Then three long star pickets to support two 6 metre sheets of rio. That’s the structural elements. Then heavy wire round the bottom to stop bandicoots, chicken wire round the rest, and bird net over the top, and an old screen door for the door. That’s my design at present. I have 8 beds and I rotate the chooks, and their roost, round the beds.

  • Janet Hall-Frith March 10, 2015, 9:52 am

    Thank you so much Linda. Have a lovely day.

  • Janet Hall-Frith March 20, 2015, 10:26 pm

    Hi Linda

    I just tried to buy some black sugar cane on eBay but was outbid, and I’m wondering if you sell any of your black sugar cane or can direct me to where you bought it.

    Thanking you, Janet.

  • Linda March 21, 2015, 8:18 am

    Hi Janet, I shall try to get some to you.

  • Meg November 11, 2015, 10:53 am

    Hi Linda, wanted to say hi and send good thoughts your way. I’ve missed your blog and its inspiration. All the best, Meg

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