Thursday, 18 November 2010

Gardening ~ vegetables for the table and other goodies

Freshly picked, home grown vegetables can't be beaten for flavour and nutrition, and what a lot of satisfaction comes from it.  When I sit down to a meal I like to count all the things that we have grown or produced ourselves: lots of vegetables and some herbs, preserves, jam and bread.  Then I count all the things that have been produced within the region.  These often work out to be quite a handsome proportion of what we eat, which is as it should be.  

I've said very little about vegetables thus far which is due to not knowing much about growing them.  Fortunately other people are knowledgeable and I'm able to learn as I go.  

In our group of houses Neil is the vegie man, and this year three of our households are sharing a garden of which he has been in charge.  We look forward to new potatoes in time for Christmas.  Rows of other vegies are coming on well. 

It's a good sized plot and easily affordable: we expect it to be sufficient for all of us, and to start it up we pooled funds to  the total of $90.  At $30 per household this exceedingly economical.  Just think of the cost of potatoes for starters!  In the winter just past we had all we needed of both potatoes and pumpkin and this year will be better again.

To keep the potato crops continuous Neil rotary-hoed a fresh patch of lawn:

Round in our own front garden the rhubarb has become rampant!  Just weeks ago it was dormant with only a handful of bumps showing above the earth.

Yes, that is a full-sized garden fork standing next to it!  This plant started off nearly three years ago from the merest rootlet on a stalk from my sister's garden: she had picked a bunch for me to cook up and that come with it.  Curious to see if it would 'do' anything I tossed it on the garden, scooped earth over its lower end and proceeded to forget all about it.  The top part of the stalk withered away but other roots formed and soon I had a thriving plant.  
     It's clearly time to make those delicious rhubarb and ginger muffins again!

Want to learn more about growing your own vegies, or looking for inspiration?  
For those looking for in-depth thinking about eco-issues as well as practical tips about developing back yard vegie gardens here is the link to The Archdruid Report written by John Michael Greer.  While articles are fairly lengthy, there is a lot of good thinking in them, and discussion by way of comments is constructive and interesting.

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