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June at Home Farm gardens

It's been a dry year, but it looks like the rains are coming, not everyday, but more often it's overcast with showers. The 'Home Farm' has been a bit slow in places. The Malabar Spinach, planted out two months ago is now bearing seed, and I harvested some today. The Cape Gooseberries are laden with fruit, but all still green and quite small. Yep, it's been a bit of a funny year. The pineapples we usually expect in April are just now big enough to harvest. Yes, rain is important. In the rainforest.

The new orchard we opened up in April is doing much better. It's technically Home Farm, as it's in a natural bowl just to the south of the other planting area. Here the ground is fresh, the scrub trees that were dropped are breaking down and releasing their nutrients and carbon and lovely dark velvety richness back into the soil and it stays a little more damp with its naturally concave shape.

The long beans and tomatoes are doing really well, giving us daily pickings. The gandul is strong and full of new growth. The maracuya looks great, though it will be a while before it's ready to fruit. Our blue heirloom corn looks spindly, but there are ears and all we are looking for this harvest is enough seed to plant. The macuna is stubbornly not flowering, but it is a terrific and aggressive ground cover and will be a good nitrogen feed for the soil. The Jamaican Sorosi is fruiting and it's impressive how big the fruits are.

And we have more to plant. Tulsi basil, Hoop Vine, Cranberry Hibiscus and Bele are all coming along in the nursery and soon will be ready to plant out. Yes, it's looking good for home veg this year!

We've been enjoying green jackfruit as a vegetable. The texture is terrific, somewhere between mushroom and meat, and it takes on whichever flavour it's cooked with. A winner! I've also been using tender pumpkin as a veggie, grating it fresh into salads and sautéing it. Adds a nice texture, freshness and colour to the meals. I'm really enjoying this new push into veggies. What started as a desire to add greens to the chickens' diet has brought a few new favourites to our plates too!

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