We have reached a new year full of possibilities and projects. Yesterday we were delighted to harvest a large crop of Oca, Oxalis Tuberosa, also called New Zeeland yams, a tuber we tried growing for the first time. It was planted in our garden last spring after being pre sprouted in pots in late March. We tried red, yellow and orange tubers but the yellow ones rotted in their pots early on so only the others got planted out. In the summer the plants produced lots of green leaves with a lemony taste. We are very happy with our trial and will save a few, to plant again this spring. In their native South America they are second only to potatoes in popularity.
Planting in March.
Growing in August.
Harvest in January.
On these short wintery days the sun is always welcome and we try to spend some time in the garden every day, clearing out old foliage and weeds from the beds. We are planning to cover the whole vegetable garden in cardboard boxes and barley straw to stop weeds taking hold in the spring. Hopefully this will rot down just enough in time for planting vegetables later in the year. Our witch hazel tree is looking beautiful at the moment, with spidery fragrant flowers on bare branches. It is always a welcome sight along with the hellebore, Christmas rose.
Still braving the elements.
It is time to sum up last month in the garden, the words very wet comes to mind. It was difficult to find the motivation to get out there and work when the ground was soggy and the sky was grey. We kept busy inside and also took some time for rest and reflection. Sometime that is what is needed in order to gather strength and renewed motivation. We are feeling very optimistic now about the garden in the coming year. Some plants will be moved about or planted for the first time and there is much work to be done on clearing weeds like creeping buttercup. We actually like many plants normally considered weeds, like nettles for their phenomenal nutritional and wildlife value. But some have to be controlled in order not to take over ground from weaker plants.
These are pictures of our circle at the end of December in the four directions of the compass. It is very green for this time of year, with the grass still growing. We are full of anticipation to see what the circle will look like later in the spring and summer as all our trees, shrubs and perennials will have another years worth of growth in them. If you wish to see how the circle develops over time you can take a look at the Elemental circle category on the blog, where all the monthly garden entries are collected.
We wish all our readers a happy and healthy new year, full of pleasant surprises and time to be spent outside in our beautiful nature. There is always so much to look at and to be delighted by. We are going to roast some newly harvested Oca tubers with fresh garlic and olive oil now, to celebrate the beauty of January and give thanks to our garden where beautiful things happen all throughout the year.