Autumn garlic planting at the Almond café…

Autumn has arrived in Australia, and here in Canberra we’ve had some lovely soaking rain and then crisp sunny days…


….the perfect combination to bring the cockatoos to our almond tree for the falling almonds, the kernels now soften by the rain.

The cockatoos are early risers, and so it is party time on our carport roof, where many of the almonds fall…

They pace about, checking on almonds, letting the rejects drop to the ground with a soft thud (just in case we are not up yet)

…..while they’re eating the almonds there is a lot of socialising, and sometimes even sharing…

Meanwhile Paul has added compost to one of our vegetable beds, ready to plant our garlic for the year.

We’ve always tried to avoid using garlic with pesticides, much of which is imported. Garlic is quite expensive to buy, and easy to grow, so we plant the garlic in early autumn … a time when we can leave it in the ground for 7-8 months.

Garlic likes good drainage, and some water and fertilizer occasionally, and it is the perfect low maintenance crop to have during winter and spring.

…this is our garlic harvested and drying in November last year. It is our best crop yet, and should be enough garlic to last us until the end of this year.

We have been growing garlic for three years, and every year we try out some new, organic garlic from local farmers. Last year we had a some cloves from Windellama Organics which we bought at the Farmer’s Markets in Canberra.


This year we are adding some garlic we bought from a farm near Lake Crackenback called Paddock Perfect

…we stopped off to buy some eggs on our way home from a weekend in the Snowy mountains..

This cute little stall was by the side of the highway… can pick your own herbs, or buy jam, eggs and garlic….

The sign says ”Please leave your payment in the honesty box provided below”

…and we did.

In a paddock nearby we could see the happy chooks.

They’ve got everything they need; shade, water, food and most importantly, space to move about. Needless to say, the eggs were delicious!

In the background there are some goats, perhaps used for goats milk or cheese.

Here is a flashback to our summer vegetable garden….this  young Crimson Rosella (changing colour from green to crimson) is caught red-handed sampling our tomatoes!

And all this time we thought a passing possum was the culprit!

By late summer…these lovely Crimson Rosellas have grown into their brilliant red and blue feathers….

…and I hope you have noticed that I’m doing my best to give equal opportunity to all local birds on this blog…

Autumn is a lovely season in Canberra, and I hope you are enjoying your season, wherever you may be in the world.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

















16 Replies to “Autumn garlic planting at the Almond café…”

  1. What a wonderful post. Your birds are captivating, I could read about them forever. We had a rosella come into the rescue a couple of months ago, it’s red and blue and not a happy bird, how I wish I could send it back to you!
    Marvelous seeing your garlic crop, I’d love to see more of your garden! I love growing garlic but they don’t grow very large here.
    The happy hens and honesty box had me smiling. Sounds like you had a lovely weekend. Maybe post a few pics next time? I always love seeing new

    1. The poor rosella in your rescue, terrible that wild birds are taken out of their environment. Glad you liked the happy hens, they have a charmed life. Yes I will do a post on our walk in the mountains soon. Glad you liked the post

  2. The Cockatoos seem to have a lot of personality, even if they can be irritating. Good for you growing your own garlic. I’ve heard home grown garlic can have a much better flavor.

    1. Yes the home grown garlic is tasty…We are trying garlic cloves from different regions to find out if there is a difference in flavour. Yes cockatoos are amazing .. They almost talk!

  3. “Autumn garlic planting at the Almond cafe” ….. has such an exotic ring to it. My own birds are much less innovative. Loud squawks from the Rainbow Lorikeets disturbing the equilibrium of the peace lovers of the garden is about it.

    1. Yes, your Rainbow Lorikeets are so bossy, they chase everything away! Actually, considering the cockatoos are so big, they are not aggressive to other birds (generally speaking of course)

  4. P.S. Your garlic harvest is enviable. I have bought some to try, but the best I am hoping for is the clip the greens from the top. I may just be a wee bit too tropical up here in the far north – though there are locals living on the Tablelands who grow it successfully.

    1. There must be some types of garlic that can be grown in the Tablelands, because you do get cool nights, which they like.

  5. We get autumn colors in the trees and you get it in birds. My goodness, they are amazing. I love the name “Lake Crackenback,” it produces such an image! I would be hesitant to name any place Paddock Perfect, fearing a sort of jinx, I guess–once it’s perfect, it’s all downhill … But, in this case, the farm appears to be quite idyllic.

  6. You have a huge crop of garlic we grow a small amount each year and enjoy using it in cooking.One of our local farmers has discovered an ancient way of preserving it and now has black garlic for sale! I always enjoy seeing your native birds. How long will be until the almonds are all eaten? Sarah x

    1. I’m not sure about the almonds but the cockatoos were back today. A farmer here grows black garlic we will give it a try next year.

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