I think we are up to Week 8 with The Growing Challenge and I know that this will really be a challenge I have in my life for a very long time….maybe for life!

Last Friday my seeds arrived from Green Harvest in Queensland -it was such an exciting package and I have to admit that I have been running out to the letter box like a little girls every day since I paid for them.

La Bella Casa Letterbox

The package itself contained 15 packets of seeds, a catalogue, a seed raising pamphlet and a newsletter. So, these are my seeds: Leek ‘Giant Carentan’, Onion ‘Red Stem Welsh’, Mustard ‘Red Giant’, Cabbage ‘Bok Choy’, Rocket, Tatsoi, Cabbage ‘Red Drumhead’, Lettuce ‘Buttercrunch’, Cabbage Chinese ‘Wong Bok’, Chicory ‘Red Dandelion’, Lettuce ‘Gwenda White’, Cress ‘Garden’, Celery ‘Tendercrisp’, Kohlrabi ‘Purple Vienna’ & Carrot ‘Little Finger’.

I couldn’t resist planting them that same day so I took Sophie and Sam down to the local Mitre 10 and obtained some seed trays, seed raising mix, tags and a new copper tap fitting (as part of my bid to “use less” I am trying to replace broken things with long term alternatives). I ended up planting seeds of all but the cress, carrots, kohlrabi and celery. The trays looked great all “potted up” and I hope they stay that way…. Sophie loves to garden and at the moment that usually involves emptying pot plants one handful at a time…

Many of the seeds I bought are supposed to be planed direct for best results so I thought I would try raising some in pots and transplanting them (because I have seen them for sale in punnets at nurseries) and I would also plant some direct and see how they compare at the end of their growing season….

The other thing is there are a number of seeds/plants that I have never successfully grown and some I have never even attempted. These include kohlrabi (I tried this once many years ago but it was sadly neglected), celery, cress (which only takes 15 days from planting to maturity), tatsoi, mustard and the wong bok (although it’s grown like a cabbage and I have done that).

My “Helpers” in the garden

The other great thing is that on Saturday I harvested my first lettuce leaves! I am going to pick them leaf by leaf and keep up the “worm water” to keep them producing. I can’t believe I hadn’t picked them earlier but it really hadn’t occurred to me even though I have only ever grown loose leaf lettuce in the past. It was really nice in homemade bread salad sandwiches with home grown tomatoes and cucumber and store bought cheese and beetroot.

My next thing is the ‘House Cow’ – even Pete is considering it but we’ll have to work out fencing and feed and that sort of thing – so we can make loads of yummy yoghurt and homemade cheese…..hmmm my days of so beautifully full!

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