Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pigeon Peas, Food Security and No Dig Garden

Pigeon peas have been something I wanted in my garden since I heard you can use them for  dahl.

They are also a drought resistant perennial that fixes nitrogen to the soil.

Eventually I was given some pigeon pea seeds and decided to have my first attempt at seed raising.

I carefully made myself twelve paper pots and put them in an old muffin
tin. A pigeon pea was placed in each wet paper pot and I waited.

Eventually one small sprout appeared.

I was up to two pigeon pea sprouts when I read you needed to break through the outer coat of some of the harder seeds to let water to penetrate for germination.

I took out some of the errant seeds, carefully broke their outer surface then soaked them on tissues in a lid.

When they had sprouts showing I put them back in their pots.

To cut a long story short eventually I succeeded in producing five plantable seedlings.

These were planted a meter apart in a newly mulched garden bed.

The seedlings went into the ground in their paper pots and I added compost around and gave them a good drink of seaweed mixture to begin their journey.

I hope these small seedlings will be staple producers in my food security garden.

With a protein content of up to twenty eight per cent you can eat both the young pods and the dried mature seeds.

Their vitamin A content five times higher than ordinary peas and their vitamin C content three times higher.

They are a great food for vegetarians.

My second task this week has been continuing to develop my no dig gardens using the mulch from the tree that was felled.

I am working at this steadily but the pile seems to never get much smaller.

It is tedious work and now only do short spurts as was becoming too tired.

Wear a facemask as often a heavy bacterial cloud is given off when the pile is dug into and also shower and wash my work gear as soon as finished.

Wish I was someone with more stamina and a stronger immune system as the task would be finished by now but doing it slowly is giving me a sense of accomplishment.

Will be great when it is finished and can fully plant.

So far  three drumstick trees, and a transplanted mandarin tree are the new plantings in the main area.

Have added two malabar chestnuts and eight broccoli plants to the smaller second area which is now finished.

With the big tree gone there is now sunshine in the best growing area of my garden..

All the rainfall flows down to this area and the soil is the deep.

It will be so exciting watching all the trees grow and am carefully considering my next plantings.


The Sage Butterfly said...

I had never heard of Pigeon Peas before reading your post. However, I suspect I have eaten them in India. They are probably called something else there. Nice work!

momstheword said...

I have never heard of them before, but I sure enjoyed seeing all your pictures! Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday.

siteseer said...

Interesting. I was even more interested in your wearing breathing protection when spreading the mulch. Wish I'd done that a few years back when I had 5 yards delivered. I was sick for about 2 weeks after. Must have been the mold spores or something.... I'll be more careful next time.

Sandy said...

I remember my mom planting Pigeon Peas...Having that big tree taken down was smart.. I have two huge hickory trees that totally umbrella my house and back yard and nothing will grow back there.. between the trees and the critters.. well,, shade loving plants only!
Nice post

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

Great post! We've been developing a vegetable garden for a couple of years now - but I hadn't heard of these.

Thanks for participating in the Tuesday Train ~ hope to see you back again soon!