After years of trying different combinations of growing food in our parking space/ on our fence, we’ve finally had a decent yield. Today as the sort-of last harvest (it’s very late to be pulling food and some of the ‘crop’ shows the sign of colder nights:
Dana and I took some vacation time over the last few weeks – it was nice to get back home yesterday and awesome to see the progress of the fence gardens. There’s a list of chores as long as my arm left to do but there’s no point to rushing when we can enjoy how the gardens coming along.
When people ask how we’ve learned the amount we learn we generally reply that while we still have lots left to learn, we learn what we do one step at a time. There’s no secret deeper than that.
But sometimes I get worried that we look like know-it-all-experts (or, even worse, people that think they are and aren’t). I worry that in a myriad of posts that the journey of how we learn – and how easy it is to learn – really is. We’re just very curious and willing to flop our way through our learning and ask lots of questions to people who know far more than we do…
I know there’s a lot of far more-experienced gardeners that read this blog than the ones who write it so I apologize for a post that will be redundant for you but it excites me to sometimes share the ‘basics.’ Like how quickly beans can grow.
It’s a little early in the season to declare that I’ve learned all that I can from our garden this year, but there have been some valuable insights so far. Some of them are philosophical while others are more pragmatic – just today I learned to check the soil underneath a ground cherry plan because the fruit drops from the branches when ripe (I have never seen them grow before) – we had a micro-harvest of 4 tiny fruit that were awesome
We have worms. Lots of worms.
They live in our kitchen. They hide in a castle of storage containers that no one notices. They don’t make a sound. They don’t smell. They don’t escape and we’ve only see them a few times.
They do eat our food ‘waste’ though. They don’t like onions, meat, garlic, heavy citrus or booze. But they love peelings and tops of things and cores and things like that.
And they’re really good at making this:
We are very much in the process of learning to grow food; it’s year 4 or 5 and for the first time in a long time we feel like we’re making some major progress.
Dana took a short course on container gardening lately and learned about the use of coconut coir (pronounce “COYER”) or cedar mulch in your growing vessels. Ours now look like this:
Dana has had a crush for a while. It’s gotten rather serious. She loves bees.
We’ve also had a problem for a while. Our backyard is joined to a desolate alley. It’s nice because it allows us to have our awesome fence garden. It’s not so nice because it attracts unwelcome visitors. And those visitors use it as a place to conduct business. Business that probably doesn’t pose a risk to us but leaves discarded ‘protection’ in our alley. I suppose that’s nothing beyond gross but we’re tired of running into people ‘in the act.’
Do you see where this is going?
When Dana and I said we were done buying plants for the year, we meant it. After all, we’ve only bought 10 plants since. Including one of the most elusive plants we’ve ever seen: