I am determined to grow as much as I can of our own food - but it is a learning experience. Some grow well one year - but not another - and only sometimes can I work out why.
Onions has been my nemesis this year. I sowed heaps in punnets but some were just too late. Hence I have some great onions...
and some not very good at all...
Next year I'll plant them all earlier as I have since learnt that onions need to have well grown leaves before the longest day - after that they concentrate on bulking up the bulb. They are day-length sensitive plants.
Over the last few years I have been experimenting with beans for drying - kidney and pinto - and this year looks good!
I planted them originally as ordinary eating dried beans from 'Piko Wholefoods' in Christchurch and this is the third year of replanting. I planted these last October (after the risk of frosts) and they have grown well since then. They are podding up now and I anticipate picking dried beans before April. Both Red Kidney beans and Pinto beans are bush beans. We live in Canterbury, NZ, and are about 43 degrees south and probably have a climate similar to central France.
Update in April: Started harvesting beans in mid February. All the red kidney and pinto harvested within the month. The black beans were slightly later - but had been planted a little later as well. Great yields - am very pleased.
I have also tried growing Black Beans (left) and Chickpeas (right). The beans look promising, while I am a bit short on pods on the chickpeas - but there are still many flowers on them.
April Update: Harvested a bit late but got a good amount of chickpeas - if I had been more prompt I would have saved many more from small animals.
Here is a view of my beans alternating between rows of 'Agria' Potatoes - the very best!
We are lucky enough to have access to extra potatoes direct from the paddock of a local grower. So I think we'll have plenty this year!