Friday, June 3, 2011
Chokos, Pigeon Peas, Dandelion, Drumstick Tree and Sweet Potatoes.
When I started my journey in sustainable living I had little idea where it would lead.
Learning windows have opened through membership of the local community garden and the many exciting local permaculture initatives.
Today my garden is very different from its original conception and still has so far to go.
The emphasize on developing and maintaining healthy soil was the first learning curve and is an ongoing focus of my new gardening practice with all vegetable scraps and healthy prunings recycled either into the soil or made into mulch.
Being introduced to the importance of rock dust was an important aspect of my garden journey.
Rock dust and its essential minerals provide the starting point for the process of soil building by both microbes and worms. Healthy soil needs those worms.
The original garden concept was about short terms plantings. Now I am focusing on plants that will provide food longer term.
The new chokos on the white choko vine are an example of this. Once established this vine should be an ongoing producer in my garden.
The pigeon peas are still small as am growing from seed, but they will become bushes several meters high and give peas for both cooking and dahl.
The drumstick trees are also still small but healthy. These can grow into large trees. I will keep them pruned however so can harvest their pods for eating, flowers for cooking and their leaves for protein rich greens.
Red dandelion also keeps growing over the seasons. These are a wonderful food for liver cleansing and something I eat daily added to salads, sandwiches or chopped on top of my steamed vegetables.
Even the sweet potatoes I now approach differently. A garden member from New Guinea showed me how she plants. A bunch of runners is folded into loops and one end of the loops placed into raised soil. I look forward to seeing how these grow.
A further part of this garden journey is seed raising and propagation. Have a garden corner where there is summer shade and winter wind protection and this is becoming a special nursery area where I experiment with raising plants from cuttings and seeds.
Have had the joy of sharing some results with friends but this is still new and have yet much to learn and achieve.