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Monday, February 6, 2012

Success and Failure

by Megan at The Byron Life

This summer was going to be the season where I put all of those dreams of growing my own food into action. I prepared the veggie beds, sowed the seeds and watched in awe as everything took off and grew, grew, grew... success! Well, so I thought.
Nature had some other plans...
We've just had the coldest start to summer in 50 years and the rain we've had, oh my, the rain...the North Coast has flooded at levels not seen for decades.
It's enough to send this fledgling gardener back to the fruit and veggie shop for supplies - we certainly can't live off my garden, the harvest has been dismal.

The top photo showed what happened to my precious little pear tomatoes after all that rain - they split their sides in protest!
And the mango tree we waited for YEARS to come good was looking spectacular, full of fruit... until the bats got to them!! Waking up and finding half the fruit lying on the ground, half-eaten, was devastating.

We salvaged what we could from the mango tree and when I cut into that first home-grown fruit it was divine. So sweet and juicy, just perfect...Worth the pain.

So, I've notched up a bit of experience now. Bring in the tomatoes and ripen them on the kitchen window sill. Bag the mangoes before the bats get to them. Sure, there's a lot you can read from books and blogs - but nothing really beats learning by doing, does it?

Watch this space to see how I fare with Autumn... I'm not giving up! Floods and flying foxes won't stop me.



Jeanette said...

Oooh, you have all my sympathy! The Norwegian summer was really bad to, I couldn't even get my herbs to grow due to lack of sunlight, and the apples were so sour that they weren't good for much. I'm hoping for a better summer next time around! :)

Soewn Earth said...

i am harvesting my cherry tomatoes as soon as I see some colour, they all go onto a big bowl on the kitchen table to finish ripening.

The Green Frugal said...

It's always a gamble. Last season was a good one for me until the drought.

Domestic Artisan said...

I have had the same experience : ) Back to the garden to learn again!

Chris said...

Our mango is still a baby, but I thoroughly expect the local bat population will get to the hoard before we do. That's why I plant native fruit trees too as they prefer the flavour.

Doesn't meant they won't go the mangoes, but they'll gorge on the native fruit first. Burdikin Plum is a good one to grow for fruit bats.

After last years floods, we just decided to give the garden a rest this year - I mean, give the gardeners a rest, LOL, the garden is still doing wonderful things on it's own. Pineapples are tough nuggets and worth the investment of putting in the ground. I've never watered or weeded around them and they give us a lovely sized fruit.

We have a harsh climate here and I gave up trying to grow tomatoes deliberately. Yet, they self propogated from the failures I fail to pull out. We always have tomatoes in the garden because I don't garden tomatoes, LOL.

Yet I know that sense of "what's it all for if we don't get to eat it" business. Like you say though, it's worth plugging away. I grow staples that will grow on neglect because our extremes are generally not favourable to sensitive veg.

Nice mango and well done waiting for it! I felt the same way about tasting our first pineapple. Never thought they could taste that good, and I'm a Queenslander. ;)

Anonymous said...

I am near Coffs Harbour and we too have had the rain, but it has been a good year for climbing beans,
carrots,wild cherry tomatoes,and beetroot. I always plant too many so I can freeze for winter, and I have plenty.
Forget about pumpkins,cucumbers and other cucubits just dont wont to produce female flowers this year.Dont mention the weeds either.

Yes I have found it a hard summer too wet or too much humidity that just drains you,but autumn is just about here and already planning broccoli,peas,kale etc.The excitement of a new season always excites me and I have been growing for 30 years.Never give up.