I’ve been on holiday for the past week – camping in Bright in North East Victoria. We had a lovely time playing in the Ovens River, doing short walks around Mount Buffalo, swimming in Lake Catani and exploring nearby towns and villages. We went to most of the towns locally, except Harrietville that is, which was under the threat of a bushfire in the Alpine National Park for most of last week. Harrietville isn’t far from Bright but the direction of the wind meant that whilst Bright was never under threat Harrietville was (as was Hotham Heights and for a shorter period Falls Creek). The warnings have been downgraded now but the fire could flare up again depending on weather conditions. A week is a long time to be constantly monitoring the weather, checking the sprinkler system, praying for rain, or to spend evacuated living with friends of relatives constantly wondering what you’ll go back to. So to the people of Harrietville (and indeed Boho and Tallangatta East where there are Watch and Act warnings now) I am thinking of you and I hope this summer leaves you unscathed.
We arrived back from our holiday on Saturday night and in the early hours of Sunday morning we had our first rain of 2013, a paltry 1.3mm. Juxtapose this against the 300 plus mm they have experienced in parts of Southern Queensland/Northern NSW in the last day of two (with resultant flooding and destructive winds) and you kind of get an idea of the extremes of Australian summer weather.
Despite the lack of rainfall the sprinkler system held up reasonably well and the garden looked good – all except the tomatoes which looked pretty sad really – a kink in the hose meant the water didn’t reach quite as far as I thought it would and the tomatoes were very dry indeed. There has been some die back but I think they will recover to continue feeding the resident rat population grrrr…….
Naturally I came back to some oversized zucchinis and cucumbers, but also to the first of my Bonica eggplants.
I have to say I can not recommend Bonica highly enough. It grows well and produces lots of good sized eggplants. What more could you want really? I have two plants and I picked one lovely big fruit from each upon my return.
Also in the basket were the first of my Mini Mama capsicums from a plant I overwintered in the pot it was grown in.
I’m still harvesting red salad onions, which is nice;
I whinged about how slow my onions were all winter but now I’m loving them. Pretty, delicious and so far unattractive to rodents – pretty darn good really. Speaking of rodents, I’m boring myself whining about rat damage but you’ll note the lack of tomatoes in this post. Enough said but I will post seperately on my various methods for keeping them at bay later this week or next.
Fortunately the rats don’t seem interested in anything green and my mint, basil and rocket continue to provide lots of flavour to meals. Yay for herbs is what I say.
You may have noticed the basket also contains cucumbers. I need to go and make pickles but before I do I will check out what else is being harvested this week over at Daphne’s Dandelions – its always interesting.