Autumn Around the Community Garden

One of our garden Pixies, Joy, picking a basket of produce.

 The weather this May has been most forgiving.  Barely a frost (yet!) and beautiful sunny days to be out preparing our beds for winter and spring crops. Here is one of our garden pixies, Joy, collecting a basket of autumn abundance.

Around six weeks ago we created our wicking bed and our wall gardens and many of the veges we planted are ready for harvest.  See for yourself!

Six week old lettuces, brassicas and herbs in our new wicking bed.
Six week old lettuces, brassicas and herbs in our new wicking bed.
Our wall gardens looking pretty and productive.
Our wall gardens looking pretty and productive.

Our bell lantern chillies have ripened splendidly so once again we have dug up the plants, re-potted them and placed them back into the hothouse for winter.  We are experimenting to see how “perennial” we can make our chillies here in the cold temperate climes.

Our young heritage apple trees which have been espaliered along the fencelines have been producing their first crop of organic apples.  We have deliberately planted early, mid and late season varieties to extend our cropping period.  Check out the Lady Williams (parent of Pink Lady apples).Kilos of fruit on our dwarf Lady Williams apple tree.

Kilos of fruit on our dwarf Lady Williams apple tree.

Autumn is generally the most abundant season, with everything from pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and cabbages filling our baskets.

A savoy cabbage.
A savoy cabbage.

Peanuts!!  In Moss Vale??

Peanuts!! In Moss Vale??

 

 

 

It follows that it is a good time for preserving the harvest, and this year our  members have bottled tomatoes, pickled an assortment of veges, dried fruits like apples, quince and figs and made jams and jellies from berries, figs and quinces.  They seem to be very popular on our stall at Moss Vale Markets.

Klever Kathi created a Five Senses Bouquet consisting mainly of edible leaves and fruit from the Community Garden.  What an imaginative and personalised gift it was!

Kathi's Five Senses Bouquet made predominantly with edible leaves and fruit.
Kathi’s Five Senses Bouquet made predominantly with edible leaves and fruit.

The Garden is now morphing into its winter entity.  Although it seems that there wouldn’t be much to do this time of year, it is actually quite busy – preparing the soil for Spring with green  manure crops, pruning the fruit trees, planting winter veges like onions and garlic, broad beans and peas, mulching the kikuyu and grasses into oblivion.

Think it must be time for a celebration of the bounty of last season and the promise of hearty foods from the winter garden!!

Watch this space for our Winter solstice open day celebration…….