Sunday, November 14, 2010

Could You Feed Yourself In A Year?

Just over a year the community garden was opened.

Members were given a bare patch with organic soil and sugar cane mulch.

It was a struggle at first to develop the soil but now members have a regular supply of fresh, chemical free food from their patches.

I love the lavender hedge which brings bees in my patch and which is also providing a great slug inhibiting mulch for the fat, juicy strawberries I pick almost daily.

The white eggplant was a surprise but provided many eggplants last year. I spent a lot of time pruning it  when it seemed to have some fungi but now it is producing again.

It is difficult to make out all the foods in these photos but included amongst the current vegetables in my patch are yellow and red cherry tomatoes, several varieties of beans, kale both curly and Chinese, rainbow chard, sweet basil, apple basil and lemon basil, garlic chives, yellow squash, red, white and orange carrots, turnips, cauliflowers, peppers, ceylon spinach and several varieties of lettuce.

Having vertical structure for plants to climb has increased the yield capacity of my plot and allows summer shade for the more vulnerable plants. I also allow new plants to develop strong roots beneath the taller established plants.

Chrysanthemums and marigolds are part of the companion plants that distract pests and also encourage bees for necessary fertilization.

The knowledge being a community garden member has taught about renewing the soil with compost, manure, lime, mulch and rock dust has been a powerful journey that has inspired an urge to discover new ways to live sustainably.