A quick visual offering of some of the vegetable gardens in mid winter. Emma has been working hard to keep the beds maintained, the seedlings happy and healthy, and the plant rotation going. I’ve been tinkering with other small projects while doing a lot of academic ‘stuff’ recently, and then keeping basic chores and maintenance going, notably staying ‘on top’ of the compost loo and compost (better than being under them, hey!).
The days are getting noticeably longer again, not by much, but we’re definitely a month past solstice. This means already thinking about planting autumn and summer crops – Em reminded me recently that a new phase of plants will be planted next month already. We’re really lucky to be able to grow all year around here.
Yesterday I spent several hours digging, loading a wheelbarrow with sand, dumping it in selected areas; then loading the barrow with manure and wood-chip and distributing these where necessary. It’s the kind of work that can’t be rushed lest one runs out of energy very quickly, so you have to pace yourself, do it slowly. It turned into something of a meditation session almost, and also definitely constituted my exercise for the day.
I mention the above because with my heavier academic focus lately, combined with a background awareness of a need to begin bigger projects like the small solar panel system, sandbag cold storage area, drying rack, etc., there has been the tendency to avoid doing the wheelbarrow work. But having turned a lot of compost recently, and then doing the aforementioned work yesterday, I am reminded that the ongoing garden ‘building’, expansion and maintenance are among the key activities in this permaculture endeavour.
Just two years ago, exactly, there were only 2 (near-flooded) tents in the area pictured below. Nothing else. Now, well, the pictures speak for themselves. The fertility is amazing. The digging and wheelbarrowing and manure-bag-dragging and compost making and aged-manure-pile-making along the way have been excellent investments of energy – even if not obvious when sweating it out initially. Having experienced the growth of this area that is the outcome of our efforts, and seeing such a process at Damian’s much larger side of the plot (he is the landowner, who happens to be my non-blood brother! He is doing some excellent garden work, which I will document on this blog sometime soon), I would recommend to anyone who wishes to create a more ‘fertile’ future that they should start with making good soil, plant heirloom seeds in it, save the seeds, and keep the process going. Once you get started, the process inevitably becomes easier because it is synergistic. Oops, I see my promised ‘visual offering’ has been delayed with words, so without further adieu…