Sustainability & Permaculture
Beauty & Vistas
These pics are from May 28th – Spring stuff to eat! The strawberries are Ozark Beauty. It’s a great variety, but with all the pouring rain we had, they were a bit watered down… Strawberries like everything *just right* to be their best..
Broccoli and Oregon Sugar Pod peas. Sugar snap peas, our favorites, are so persnickity that I went with a different kind this year – and wow are they productive. It was nice that they were only about 2 foot high at max and just draped over a tiny garden fence instead of requiring real trellis.
Nice group portrait! You know you love your garden when you photograph your food!
Pak Choi (Joy Choi is the variety) grew so fast a lot of it went to the chickens b/c we couldn’t eat it fast enough. I’ll have to work out a more gradual planting on this. It was SO much faster than traditional cabbage and delicious in stir fry.
A little tribute to the garden on my way off to work…Read More
I was blog-visitng over at My Wildlife Sanctuary and enjoyed how the writer described her daily photo walk in her garden. Thus inspired, I waited for a break in the rain (I think we’re about 16 or so inches ahead of normal so far this year with total rainfall usually averaging only 46 inches!) to go out for a photo stroll in the yarden. These are some veggie garden snapshots:
Above, the Blue Lake bush beans are just at the stage the rabbits like them. (Got to get that little rabbit fencing up for them…)
This is the Kale & Snow Peas bed. The kales are Blue Curled Scottish and Ragged Jack (Red Russian – in top right of pic). Ragged Jack is a lot sweeter and next year it’s my choice. We stir fry/saute our kale with just a bit of olive oil and garlic and it is so very delicious that way – and so wonderfully green. We’ve eaten bundles and bundles out of this bed already and it’s still full.
The peas are Oregon Sugar Pods. Very productive! Not as sweet, nor as finicky as our favorites, Sugar Snaps.
Here’s the former Pea & Spinach bed, cleared yesterday of the bolting spinach. The peas are still going strong. I’ll put bush beans in now, since I have the handy leftover stick fence for rabbits…
I love beets! I never plant enough. These are in bad need of thinning & eating the thinnings!
This bed of broccoli (underplanted with a small romaine lettuce) is nearly done. It was so lovely. There are a few red cabbages in there, but they are looking a little puny. I need to whip up a tonic for them…
And in the midst of our bounty, here’s a future bounty for butterflies, more of the Tropical Milkweed I so adored last year and wrote several posts about under the Butterfly label.
This bed has Swiss Chard (also in need of thinning — Hello, my name is Leigh and I’m an over-planter….but wait, we almost always get to eat the thinnings too…or if we don’t the chickens get to…) on the end, Chinese cabbage (Joy Choi) in the middle and some more broccoli toward the right. The Joy Choi is amazingly productive and quick to reach eating size. We had a big one last night stir fried with mushrooms and it was YUMMY. I may go chinese on my cabbage choices from now on…
My tater row. Or one of them. This one was planted late b/c the other row got hit hard by a late frost. But then the frost-hit row regrew — or about every other one anyway, so the row has big empty places. Hmm, what could I plant there?
Thanks for joining me in the garden walkabout in late May. My garden is a bit behind a lot of my neighbors b/c I’m always slow to figure out when and where I want to plant things. But wow, we are doing some good eating out of this garden. More about that next post!Read More
One thing I’ve learned from my baby-steps study of permaculture concepts is the idea of planting “guilds.” That is, grouping plants that benefit each other by being in proximity. A classic example seems to be grouping a tree with smaller plants such as nutrient accumulators/mulch producers like comfrey, then some plants that attract beneficial insects etc. So last year I planted this comfrey at the base of the Prarie Fire Crabapple, a tree I treasure for the spring blooms, but mostly for it’s bird-food value. (Permaculture is much more oriented toward people-feeding trees, but I’m getting to those this year…) It also has some Sedum (attracts beneficials) at its base.
And by golly, both the tree and the comfrey look remarkably happy! Comfrey is one of those great multi-functional plants that accumulates nutrients from deep in the soil, is self-mulching and weed suppressing and pollinators LOVE it. (And of course it’s medicinal.) Just don’t let comfrey loose in rich garden soil, or you’ll soon have a comfrey farm…
Bees are hard to photograph. They are, after all, very busy.
And very beautiful in their yellow and black velvet coats.
And he’s off to another flower!
So, after this experience, I’m putting a start of comfrey at the base of every new tree I plant. (Don’t worry, not even comfrey can become invasive in our natural clay/gravel…) I’ll let you know how it goes.Read More
For the three Springtimes we’ve spent at Larrapin, the hummers have arrived promptly on tax day, April 15th. This year was no different and as usual we were scrambling to get the feeders up as he was zooming around the spot where it usually hangs… It took me a while longer though, to get a proper welcome-back photo.Read More