I wonder how many extra hits I'll get with the word "porn" in the title? Won't they be disappointed! Unless they just love garden and orchard photos! Which can be very sensual in their own right - just wait till the apple blossoms at the end...
|A little violet liquer, a very dainty and fleeting spring treat (for the eyes mostly) that turns gray if you leave the flowers in for too long. My advice: get the violet color out of the blossoms and then strain it and store it out of the sun!|
|A general overview of the joint garden developing steadily as we have time and as the season permits.|
|Some of my favorite garlics and shallots - Music and Inchelium garlic, Gray and Red shallots, and elephant garlic (which is really a leek) - at the very top of the garden to help deter nibbling interlopers.|
|Thrilled to see my little Texas Blue Giant fig budding out after a long and late winter!|
|Dinner after dinner, the Swiss chard and collards have fed us for weeks now. Delish.|
|Swiss chard is just one of those plants that deserves its own gratuitous photo.|
|My post on carbohydrate production with potatoes and sweet potatoes continues to be an all-time favorite at Small Batch. I didn't have time this spring to get a dedicated bed for potatoes built so I fell back on old methodologies: I laid a pair of potatoes every 16 inches in the bottom of this deep swale between garlic and raspberries and covered them with about a foot of loose wheat straw. After a week the potato sprouts are slowly moving upward through the straw toward the sun. As they grow I will add more straw around the plants, and come harvest time, I should be able to just grab the plant and pull out a string of potatoes. The decaying mulch and new black topsoil underneath are just an added bonus!|
|Well, here's a general overview of the yard/orchard area, taken from the north entrance. It's more open than the roughly-same shot I took last year, but an established ecology like this one should never be altered rapidly. You can see the open sky south of the yard where I've removed about 30 Virginia pine trees that were in the future driveway (selected for the driveway for this reason). They did their duty as nurses for the oak sere, and are dying out naturally as the oaks shade them out. As a respectful permie, I'm gently nudging this trend forward, in a way that's beneficial to as many parts of the system as possible. From photos up-post you may remember some of the ways in which they are being used to fortify the system that they birthed almost 6 decades ago. Over the next couple of years, several more strategic trees will be removed to let the sun into the orchard of our future workshop, this time probably oaks, but they will be used respectfully, as lentils, door posts, and mantels in the coming cob cottage, and as top-notch firewood in a less energy-wasting living arrangement.|
There is still plenty of Virginia pine on the property, unsightly as it might be. The goal here is not to exterminate or anihilate any member of the ecosystem, or to alter it into unrecognizable "production" land, but to observe the system and how it is coming of age, and then gently tweak it toward a food production system that behaves like the original ecology - and makes room for all the species that used it in the past - but that is ultimately geared toward human outputs. In this way we can remove a substantial chunk of our demand on the farmland we never see in far away places like Iowa and California, allowing wild nature to take over a formerly-cultivated acre here along a trout stream or there adjacent to national parkland. I'm never going to produce wheat or barley in any substantial quantity on my land, but I don't need tomatoes from Mexico or blueberries from California. I can produce them right here, a few steps from my house and workshop, and man do they taste better that way anyway!
Till next time.