What’s your favourite time of the year? For me it’s Autumn as we’ve moved away from the heat of summer and there’s still enough warmth in the soil for seeds to germinate and mature plants to reach their full potential.
Most of the summer crops have now finished, and just the last few of the pumpkins are yet to be harvested. In the Kitchen Garden there’s still an opportunity to have a photo taken holding what I’ve named Photopumpkin which I also refer to as the Pumpkin of Happiness. This is in reference to all of the smiling faces of the people who have been photographed holding the pumpkin.
Some of the mainstay crops that we have growing throughout the year for Yellow Billy Restaurant are carrots, beetroot and radishes. Apart from all being root crops as long as the soil preparation is adequate prior to sowing the seeds the other common factor with these plants is they all have very few problems.
About 10 years ago when I was working as a private landscape garden contractor a customer gave me a rhubarb plant to take home. Since that time the one plant has been divided and replanted multiple times to the point where I had too many growing at home so I brought a mass of them to Piggs Peake Winery. We have a whole garden bed now dedicated to growing rhubarb throughout the year and coming into winter the flavour is at its peak. You can enjoy our organically grown rhubarb this season at Yellow Billy Restaurant. The gift of the one rhubarb plant just keeps on giving.
In the Piggs Peake Winery the vintage season has nearly finished. One of the benefits for the kitchen garden is we can access masses of grape waste that we add to our compost bays and also to the worm farm. The grape skins in particular are certainly welcomed by the worms as evident by how fast the worms multiply when the skins are added to the worm farm. Shredded paper from the Winery office is also another favourite of the worms.
On a larger scale the bulk waste from vintage is being composted onsite to be reused for developing the gardens at Piggs Peake. Sawdust from old hardwood timber and bulk green waste from the property is also added to the compost. When the mix is staying to break down we also add compost worms to help value add the product.
When you drive into Piggs Peake you can notice that the entrance gardens are undergoing a transformation. The garden on the southern side of the entrance has now been completed with new edging and the planting of new plants. The feature river stone also enhances the appearance of the new garden.
During the month of May we have guided tours of the Kitchen Gardens here at Piggs Peake on Friday mornings leading into lunch which will include a tour of vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and bushfood areas. You never know, there might be a few surprises during the tour.
So, revisit our website again soon to check our blog piggs in the garden and we’ll be back with further updates on the progress of our gardens during the Autumn season. We also might see you at one of our Kitchen Garden tours.