While I wasn’t able to join my gardening friends at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) on Thursday as usual, seven of our team turned up plus a newbie and everyone worked in the Food Garden with their usual commitment and verve.
The sky was a mix of wide blue heavens and soft puffy white clouds – visually it was another glorious Thursday. However the temperature was icy with a southerly wind breezing air from the Southern Ocean and Antarctica in the far distance. Robyn remarked ‘The weather – it was a ‘coat on, coat off’ kinda day, at one point a few drops of rain, but mostly beautiful, as per usual.’ I am particularly grateful for her photos of the Food Garden and willingness to share on this blog.
In the first photo below, across from the Food Garden, notice the trees in the distance are showing their new green buds; before long those large shade trees will be covered in leaves. The second photo shows a healthy artichoke plant.
Robyn wrote: ‘ Jobs today:
– Tony harvested cumquats, silverbeet, mustard greens, kale with the help of Neil and Adam
– after weeding, Andrew added compost and rocket fuel to one of the central beds (post brussel sprouts). Adam is considering growing tomatoes in all of those central beds, like an avenue of toms. Andrew also turned the compost to make space for greens, weeds etc.
– we all weeded in the orchard, a massive job that is just always there!
– Adam asked Janet and I to harvest the tea and suggested rather than the backbreaking, tedious work of pinching out from the plants themselves, that we lightly prune the plants down to a growth node, then take the prunings back to the bench to pinch out the tips there. It was more comfortable – not bending down and on our knees in the tea patch – and I think it was more efficient. It will also encourage new growth on the plants. There will be more to do next week. Adam will ‘process’ today’s harvest and next week, we’ll have fresh green tea (we had the last of the previous harvest for morning tea today).’
Long term blog followers may recall that Robyn and I picked tea leaves last year; for those stories refer here and here. From Robyn’s report above, clearly the harvesting process is different this year. First the pruning, then the pinching, with the discards taken to the compost bin.
Robyn’s photos included a plant that attracted her attention, and one which I haven’t noticed before, so thanks – next week I will be on the lookout for the native watercress.
The sustained activity by everyone (by phone Robyn told me many arrived early and left late) and the generous spirit of cooperation pervades Robyn’s account of the day. Many thanks.