This week we’ve been planting our summer crops. As spring progresses the soil warms up and the frost risk decreases. So we respond by getting our summer crops in the ground. This week we planted tomato and chilli seedlings, both in the green house and protected in the field. We also put in some zucchini and cucumber seed. In the following month we’ll be getting onto planting capsicum and basil seedlings and seeds of pumpkins and beans.

In the greenhouse we are using reusing hessian potato sacks as “weed mat”. Most farms use plastic for this job, but we have noticed how much the worms love the hessian and the bags eventually break down into the soil, adding organic matter and carbon. We’ve also swapped out the plastic string for biodegradable twine to train the tomato plants up as they grow. After the frustration of removing all the plastic from the spent tomato plants last season we decided that we wouldn’t be doing that again. Unfortunately the tomahooks that we use in our trellis system come pre-wound with horrible plastic string which we have to cut off, and I have been unable to find a stockist that sells the hooks naked.

You may have notice some coloured carrot in you bunch this week. These have been bred locally by our colleague Gregg Muller from Useful Seeds in Strathfieldsaye. We are now collaborating with Gregg to further his breeding program by giving back carrots that fit his criteria so that he can produce more seed from them. We are also providing Gregg with reports on the growing characteristics and flavour. If you have any feedback on the vegetables you are receiving please let us know. The parsnips, and coloured snow peas are also the work of Gregg and we will be growing some seed out for him of these too.

The Carrot in my hand below is the shape that we are looking for. This type of carrot suits shallow soils, the blunt end mean more volume of useful carrot for it’s length and the colour we’re aiming for is the purple skin

New vegetables this week are beetroots, back again after a winter hiatus, and Silverbeet grown from seed I was given by a friend (see below).

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