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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Garden season retrospective. Part 1 of N

The permaculture journey is bringing ones background and family tradition and adapting it to the new piece of land one took and became its steward.
One a while ago family had a larger estate back in Russia. Their skill set and their ways of the land stewardship were preserved in the future generations. I also want to pass something on the future generation, the way of the land stewards, to me it is a good bit different than owning land (one owns the title). Sustainability of the land, the way of land stewards was passed on.

The scale is not that important, one can care of a small piece of land, one care of a larger one, One cares.

On our land we put in place certain measured towards sustainability. Observing the land and what it has in it, then bringing new things that will improve the land and create sustainable eco system including humans into it. It is about the system seeking the balance, and human guiding this balance. One would listen to the land, one would listen to the wind, one would listen to the sky. The land send the messages about what one would do with it and what would be beneficial.

Land itself is a great resource. However without water land has limited life forms. Or ones we did not particularly want. Some experiments were put in place to see what works and what does not.
We have certain amount of water we can use. Once we were told no way one can irrigate what we wanted, trees  (we like that) and herbs and garden. Some of the neighbors said they had trouble irrigating garden smaller than our planed one. I came over and looked and found amended tilled soil, rather dark compared to ours. However the soil was not covered and "needed daily over top of the plants water", at least that's what the owners used. IT also required a good bit of weeding. Same kind of thing came with the rest of the landscape,. there were some bushes that were dead, there was a like of very nice roses on western side, there was a large lawn about 1/4 of an acre. It was puzzling how that not much of land needing irrigation would use so much water that according to the owner there was not enough to water the garden.
One of the possibilities some kind of a leak in the water system. Owners would know of that. The other would be that they simply loose too much water. In hot summer time it goes up in the air, so they are watering the air around the property.

We went a different route mostly because we had not much to start with, but same classic professional landscape with couple of raised beds, flower bed, lawn, some trees that looked like new landscaping effort. I'm a lazy gardener with little time to weed. So I went mulch way. Back in Russia that was garden in hot bed or on compost pile. whatever was available was chopped and dropped down. Here I found some free mulch and some manure (not free) and some horse poop with bedding (free), made cold compost pile of it and in a year we had enough soil to claim 1/2 a foot of the good stuff. It did not come without certain nutrients deficiencies as I planted such a tender loving balanced nutrition plants as tomatoes and peppers.

Next year of soil building we felt like we could use soil longer to grow plants and add some more nutrients and organic life into it. We did some succession planting
It also meant that chicken would stay out of the garden longer and some that would get a chance would be closely supervised. Why is it...because young plants and chickens do not mix even if the chickens were fed  before they were let loose. Still not sure where all the food may fit in these velasoraptors...They also did not go after bugs first, they would dig for earth worms (and we need those) instead of roli poli (we need those for composting but not in the quantities when one takes a gallon of those from garden traps, that's way many and they eat the garden when it comes to that many of them).We did sort of get an abundance promised of roli poli bugs and they did help to build soil.

Peas and tomatoes were combined, also radish and beans, cucumber and lettuce and onions, flowers were planted in between, things that we knew nothing eats (wait, we found roli poli will eat onions :) when they run out of the rest of the stuff).
Over the topwhen it was too early to get irrigation up and going (freezes) we used hose thrown directly to out water source and over top on small battery operated timer only on warm days. This is around early march

We also had visitors. Nest never made it and got abandoned
This shows the visitor and how much water we can get in desert all in one day.
No watering for 2 weeks after that is needed at all.
One day you have this
 Next day this
 Onions in snow, yep, that sounds about right.
It does not stay long, but no one here plants anything warm lowing till after mid May.
So here is succession planting in rows (faster, and it does look like rows before the vegetation takes over). cucs just coming at 2-4 leaves point, lettuce and onions are at harvest state, onions are thinned down and only some are left to be winter onons or allowed to go to seeds

 peas and tomatoes and some squash.
 radish at harvest point with some beans planted but not showing yet, also some peppers are put in, that's already after mid may.
Peas blooming and protecting younger tomatoes from harsh winds from north west west

I tried several ways to combine these time wise, one on inside one on outside, and different timing of peas planting.
So each row had it's own experiment going. I liked peas on outside way a bit better because peas can be pushed in mid rows and add to the ground cover. This year I may do something different. And I have several other experiments in mind refining this timing and involving chickens (as one want these walking eating into crops monsters only at particular times in the garden on clean up duty and on getting rid of weeds duty)..

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful pictures and interesting information :)