Winter at Frog Pond Farm

It may be July, nearly mid winter and birthday month for some (namely me) – but it is also time for another monthly update for the Garden Share Collective. A fab group of like minded global garden bloggers – sharing their verge patches with all those interested.

I must say, I not only enjoy sharing our gardening endeavours, but I love reading how others are faring.

So, this past month other than poke some garlic into the soil, it has been fairly quiet here in terms of planting. That’s not to say though, that I haven’t been thinking about my summer plantings and the garden plan for the warmer months.




Within a week, my cauliflowers have nearly doubled in size, and are shouldering their greenery aside. This gorgeous specimen needed removal as we are having roast chook this evening, and how good is cauli with a tasty cheese sauce?

di cicco-broccoli

Our broccoli which is an heirloom variety Di Cicco is tasting as good as ever. This is a particularly clever broccoli as once you have removed the main head, it sends out smaller offshoot florets. Then there is the kale, which I’m loving juicing.  Mentioning juices – they are back on the daily menu again and feature anything from carrot, celery, parsley, ginger, beetroot, kale, brassica leaves, spinach, lemon juice and wait for it .. pineapple! Pardon? Blame the hubby for that one, mind you it tastes great!


I’m still harvesting beetroot, which is such a versatile vege – great juiced, roasted, in salads and pickled. Yum!

And it just so happens that the garage still has a plentiful supply of garlic, Egyptian walking onions and bananas, the latter which is ripening nicely.

Plus, I’ve hopped on the end of the spade and starting digging up our yacon tubers which can be eaten sweet or savoury and go very nicely in that morning juice. Sweetish without any calories! Perfect.

Those pea pods are really starting to ‘fatten’ up, so I guess it won’t be long before we will be munching on those. Good!

Things to do

Ah, now we’re talking! There seems to be a list as long as my arm of things to do. But if you live on a lifestyle block, this will often be the case.

We need to finish pruning the olive trees, which after attending a meeting held by Oliveti NZ over the weekend, I am more convinced than ever that we need to be more ruthless with our pruning.

As olive trees fruit on 2nd year wood, a good prune can often mean a reduced crop the following year. But in saying this, harvesting a tree that is huge, has low and crossed branches, and is dense with branches and foliage in the centre is a nightmare.

My hubby was concerned also about the lichen growth on our olives and also some of the trees in the orchard. I did a Google as you do when you are unsure and found some really interesting info.

Apparently lichen doesn’t harm plants on which it grows. However, it can may be more common on plants lacking vigour (not the olives trust me). Seems that it likes damp places, can be found where branches have become overcrowded, enjoys humid conditions and will grow facing the prevailing wind as it enjoys moisture. Ah, plenty of wind on that hillside!


The garden ‘to do’ list

  • prune the olives – HARD
  • feed the olives, not much happens in winter, but they haven’t received a foliar spray in ages and I’m trying to make myself feel better
  • pop the sprayer in the back of the ATV and spray the vege garden with seaweed brew
  • trim back some plants that are being bolshie in the vege garden – namely Cape gooseberry (pictured above)
  • prune back the roses which just happen to be the bane of my life
  • trim back the lemon grass which is out of control
  • ditto with the rosemary which I hate disturbing as the bees adore it
  • talk to the garden – easy to do, good idea to make sure other people aren’t about though
  • weed
  • dream about the summer planting plan


And to finish .. we have finally bottled our olive oil. It is just the best stuff – I even drizzled it on a sandwich today, how decadent is that!


Happy gardening

39 thoughts

  1. Your olive oil looks very flash! I really love the labelling. Everything looking good in the garden there. I love to indulge in a spot of summer day dreaming too 🙂

  2. oh frogpond, i am as green as your kale with envy! you have so much still for harvesting, how wonderful.
    i thought i recalled our local gardening guru Peter Cundall say that lichen is nothing to worry about, it is a sign of a healthy chemical free environment. but i may have that wrong, apparently as i did about chopping worms in half 🙁

    • Ha ha .. you’re funny! Love the comment about worms, I used to think that too – well that’s what I was told when I was young 🙂 Yes, I think Peter is right, seems they don’t like pollution and prefer ‘rural’ living. Ah, don’t we all. Thanks so much for dropping by! 🙂

  3. Everything looks so green and healthy, unlike our winter when there’s a lot of brown soil and some dull looking root crops. How fabulous to have your own olive oil. Getting pruning right seems a real test, but makes so much difference to how things crop that it pays to get it right. My husband tends to prune with a chainsaw, which is not always the advised method.

    • Hey Anne, it is green but it is also damp and windy. LOL .. the poor garden is copping it today. Yes loving having our own oil such a treat. Seemed to take forever for them to produce. Yes getting pruning right is a big test. The chainsaw method sounds interesting 🙂 My hubby isn’t big on pruning. Shame about that!

  4. Hi Julie. As you appear to be about an hour or so north from us here down the coast, I am amazed at how many things you still have alive in the garden. My cape gooseberries were wiped out in the great May frost! All the best with your list, I hope you get it all done quickly and easily and you have time to sit there and admire it all while enjoying your lovely olive oil! Cheers Sarah : o )

    • Hi Sarah … Funny isn’t it, I think our garden is looking pretty ordinary. But in saying that, it is still producing yummy stuff. Very lucky with our cape gooseberries – although they are self seeded (as they do prolifically) and shouldn’t be in this garden. LOL Yes woking my way through the list – just waiting for some decent weather. Yes, enjoying that oil! 🙂

  5. I love the look of the olive oil label. I label my homemade jams, but nothing as ritzy as your olive oil.

  6. Its my birthday this month too! All your brassica’s are looking amazing and your garden is so green. I bet your olive oil is super delicious.

  7. It’s a common misconception that lichen is harmfull or a bad sign, when in fact it’s a sign for pure and clean air. I also doubt that they settle on less vigorous trees. I’m envious of your kale, stunning! How wonderful to have your own olive oil, Julie. Such a pity that we didn’t know about you before we visited NZ.

  8. Wow! Bottling your own olive oil. That’s impressive. It might just, maybe, almost, kinda-sorta make up for not having cold weather and snow to enjoy in the winter. 🙂

  9. Lovely photos. It must be wonderful to grow into the winter season. I had a feeling your broccoli and cauliflowers were going to be monsters! And the kale – wow! We have been eating our kale. Lisa makes kale chips and they are delicious. Everything looks good in our garden. We have been eating; rhubarb, lettuce, onions, beets and the above mentioned kale. The beans, zucchini, raspberries and spuds are about a week away. It was +35°c today. Four months ago it was -35°c. I’m not sure what I found more uncomfortable! All the best.

  10. Hey Bob, so good to hear from you. I really miss your posts! Yes, our brassicas are splendid specimens and so they should be after all the TLC they get. Must try those kale chips, I hear they are very good! Sounds like you are having nice weather … wish I could say the same. Can’t wait till you start writing again. How is Bishop going? 🙂 🙂

  11. As always great photos! Question 4 U ~

    I’ve heard and read that kale does a body good. I’ve only ever had it in soups (Zuppa Toscana at Red Lobster and a Lemon Chicken Orzo soup at Panera). I just cannot bring myself to eat it — it has such a slimy texture and it just grosses me out. Are there other tasty, non-slimy (!!) methods of preparing kale that you can share?

    • Hi, I’m probably the worst person to ask! I juice my kale and that’s about it. I ate it ages back, but didn’t much like it either. Apparently it makes good chips! 🙂 Best of luck – worth consuming somehow as it is so good for you.

  12. Hi Julie! Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, liking several posts and taking time to comment! I truly appreciate all and invite you to follow and welcome your comments when you visit! Enjoy the day…and I can’t wait to see more from your farm/garden! Robyn

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