I am ready with my yearly seed list. I can tell the sun is coming back already, higher in the sky, morning comes a little earlier, afternoons last a little longer. It’s time to start getting ready to get a good start. My plan this year is better organized, I’ve learned preparation is important, especially for self taught gardeners. I failed way more than I succeeded and still haven’t got it right. But even little successes are like miracles. To be hungry go outside in my yard and just wander around picking up my supper for the night.
I think the cold frame is going to really make a huge difference getting a better variety of food started earlier, more efficiently, and in volume. Last spring a June snow just wiped out 74 of the 80 kale I raised. There was high winds that took the frost blanket off the plants but luckily it got stuck and wrapped around 6 of the plants and saved them.
I started another flat but they never reached the size or flavor of the earlier kale. This year I sketched out the entire property. I decided to open up a couple new beds and grow 3 sister gardens, I cut down a large birch tree and that will let in a lot of light in that entire section of yard. I will use the north side of the property line to expand the 4 stage botany project that was started 5 or 6 years ago. I put the canopy trees closest to the north property line and planted the shorter understory trees toward the south, dwarf trees all the way to the front.
Several years ago I bought some botany text books from the university. Since then every year I try to find and add plants that will go with the botanist theory of food forests. There are 4 levels of a food forest. There are the tall canopy trees, the smaller understory tress, the brush (or bush) level and ground covers. I want to get at least 2 brush level plants this year to add to the forest. I can’t afford to do it all at once so I buy one or two trees and a couple bushes a year.
Now here’s where the permaculture theory comes in with the botany science. With permaculture, it says to plant each and every planting with at least an accompanying of three. For instance under a fruit tree you should plant a berry bush, wild strawberries beneath the bush and maybe grape and kiwi vines planted along the southern/western side. The trees would have to be strong enough to support a vine that can produce 100 pounds of fruit in a season.
As time goes on, the plants will produce more and more fruit, all bearing at different times so every time you go outside from June to December you can harvest something different as well as put food up for winter during the summer months.
Finding the most beneficial plantings is an ongoing challenge. But more and more information is being shared all the time. I just want more food and less work every year so I can enjoy my golden years and leave my work as a gift to the future.
I am looking forward to spring again as usual. With a better plan in place I hope to have not just functioning gardens, but good looking, super functional ones too. I can do it. I am not going to let the cancer or the CMT or my leg braces not working again this year stop me. I want to keep going. I need to learn how to ask for help everybody says. But, I don’t want to take advantage of their generosity,
I got ripped off pretty bad the last two years from the guy who was supposed to be helping me. My chemo-brain was so bad, I let him talk me into giving him 3 50ft steel saw blades from the giant saw lumber yard. That was like a $1,000.00 tip he wanted (and got) for a $50. day.
I guess it was my own fault. I told him the first day I was brain compromised and I spent days just wandering around talking to myself. I was so sick. I am disappointed to have lost all my best stuff. He even took my stereo.What does that say about the guys character?
I wanted him to be the straw boss for my next building project. But, that’s not going to happen. I am coming back mentally. I have to really try and find somebody who is honest and wouldn’t even think of taking advantage of a person who has been in Cancer treatment and now recovery for over 3 YEARS.
Plus since he took my best stuff I don’t have as much to lose. The problem with thieves, they don’t understand that some people, especially a nerve disease patient with the added burden of breast cancer, there is no way I will ever be able to replace any of my stuff. I saved it for years to use and now, I’m at the point I am actually ready to install it and start of the long term project and some jerk decided he deserved my stuff more than I do. I’m the one who worked for it, saved for it and planned it, I just don’t understand people. But no matter down and out I am, I am glad not to be like that guy.