I decided to pull up the garlic before we went away. I was reading the NZ Gardener which had an article saying that it was rec ommended to pull them up when they still had 6 green leaves on them. The reason behind this was that they arent going to get much bigger than they are at this stage and if it rains, they can reabsorb moisture and not store so well. A couple of days later it did rain quite heavily so I rest easy with my decision. We got some really good sized heads that are pretty much the size in the supermarket as well as medium sized ones.There were afew small heads from the later plantings I tried to get away with, these we are eating now, nice and mellow and still make nice garlic butter. The field peas got shelled out. We found they seemed to hold their shape and size better if they were left in their pods to dry- not so wrinkly and alot fatter. They dont look appetizing so we'll use them for seed for a green manure crop. The lupins took alittle longer to dry out but have for the most part been sheeled out too. I found that they split and threw their seed around if left too long in their pods. So, we've got their roots left in the ground, top parts and pod shells(?) for the compost and seed for the next green manure. I think we'll sow some on the roadside garden specifically for seed next time and dig the veg garden ones in like we were supposed to. Got a good haul. The second compost bin has been filled up and has its cover of old carpet(I know but its there and its old) as well as the brush wood cover to keep everything from drying out. The third bin looks quite full with stems and stalks of things that have seeded and been pulled to dry like silverbeet, perpetual spinach and beetroot. This is still quite loose and I supposed I should step on it tio squash it but I figure that will come when the next load of grass clippings goes on. After a slow start the garden is looking much better. Tomatoes are tomatoing, zuchinni's are producing the most loveliest fruit. This Italian type definitely has a nicer flavour and texture and to top it off the flower is still in a decent condition by the time its ready for plucking. We had the zuchinni and its flowers in a Ratatouli type dish the other day and I'm going to dig out that recipe I've got for zuchinni flower soup now that we've got some good sized ones to use for this. The flowers are the size of pumpkin flowers. One of our hens was not looking to well yesterday with her comb quite dark, she wouldnt eat or drink so I took her out and put her by herself in amongst the sweetcorn where it was alittle cooler, gave her abit of rescue remedy but this morning she had died. The others look all right, we couldnt see anything wrong with her apart from the fact that she was dead so she has been buried somewhere out of the way where she wont be disturbed. All the Runner Lima beas have reached thetop of the trellis and are starting to sprout little flowerbuds. I love Lima beans and was told our season is too cold for them but these ones are supposed to be good here if they get in earlier enough, so far they are doing better than the Purple King which are lagging behind. Finally got a sowing of Cannellini beans up and flowering. We cut out one of the branches of the Nectarine tree that was blocking the path so we had to duck to get past it. This still has two large branches to keep going with and will still give the Avocadoes frost protection. I got in and started clearing along the back fenceline. All the Bears Breeches got stood down and the wandering jew weed and convovulos got pulled off the fence- the convovulos got hung up in the tree to dry out so it cant resprout. This will be an on going saga for quite awhile but I was assured by a friend who has got rid of all of theirs that it can be done, so we'll just keep at it. It looks like the neighbour on this side has started at another point on the fenceline doing the same thing so things are looking up. The only other thing we've been doing is tidying up along the side of the house which was looking rather ratty,havent really finalized any decisions as to what to put in along here yet so its been let go. The Evening primrose has almost finished flowering and I want to make sure of my facts before I start harvesting the seeds. We got a camara and have taken picts of the 'floor plan' and the garden. I am not very good at putting them on the computer or posting them, but hubby has got them onto the computer for me. I'll set up a photoblog where Sunburn has hers and start posting them there.