Broccoli aplenty

Despite the very unsettled spring weather (or more likely because of it) we’ve had our best year ever for brassicas. It seems that a cold, long winter killed off most of the white butterflies and the last few months of weird weather has disrupted the life cycles of those that survived. We’ve seen perhaps only two or three white butterflies this spring and the result is broccoli, cabbages and cauliflower coming out our ears.


This will be tonight’s dinner (with some cheesy tomato and vege sauce, over pasta.



  1. Ben Kepes Says :
    17 January, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Does @epic know about your top shelf beer of choice?


  2. Suzanne Says :
    17 January, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Wow I’ve just caught up on all your updates, awesome! The ham looked soooo good, I’m very envious.

    Also envious of the bees – we have our hive boxes ready to go, but no bees! We’re kind of reluctant to buy any as we’re a bit tight on money, so are hoping to get a swarm eventually.

  3. John Says :
    17 January, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Cheers Ben – I can’t even claim it was an old empty bottle, but I do get to play the “local’ card on Tui :-)

  4. John Says :
    17 January, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks Suzanne – we had empty hives for over a year too, but hang in there and you’ll get your bees.

  5. Peter Says :
    18 January, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Hey John, Good to see all your recent updates. This is our 2nd summer at our place at Matarawa (between Greytown & Carterton) and as you say, this springs weather has been iinteresting (and continues to be so with the recent change to SE’s with rain). We were well into irrigating our vege and flower gardens last year by now. I haven’t bothered with brassicsa this after being bombarded with the butterflies last summer. But, yeah I haven’t seen much in the way of white butterflys either this year. Looks like I should have planted out some cabbages etc.
    We are having a great year in the vege garden/orchard though. I planted Jersey Bennies for our early spuds expecting to get nice small spuds early on for boiling up – didn’t work out that way though, they are huge. Not complaining but now we have enough spuds to feed the district. Our big project this year is trying out a whole lot of heirloom tomatoes. We bought a dozen or so different varities from High Street Plants in Masterton. Got into a bit of a dizzy early on in the spring when all the rain brought on fungal disease/blight. After a couple of baking soda sprays we are well on the way to a good crop. Will ripen a bit later this year but not by much. Although we have had the rain, we have still had plenty of 30C days.. I planted out 24 new fruit trees (NZ heirllom & old varities) along with 1/2 a dozen Olive trees and a couple of grapes this past winter so all this rain has been really great to help them establish themselves. Really enjoying the challenge of nuturing these trees. We have quite a few established fruit trees and have been having a go at reducing the codling moth that goes for the apple trees. Along with phermone traps, I have been putting up a solution of mollasses to trap the moths – this has worked really well. At the moment we are banding the trees with cardboard to try and get the moth caterpilars to place their cocoons on the cardboard. The apples have still got the codling moth damage this year but not as much as last year. Evidently it takes 4 or 5 years of control to really make a crack at getting rid of the problem.
    Anyways keep up you with postings, really interesting to see how you guys are going at Lifeboat Farm. All the best. Peter

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