Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Garden Of Earthly Delights...

What do we harvest here at Hope Farm? Anything we can, is the short answer. This is all an experiment, we intend to head to the country some day get ourselves at least an acre and create a more appropriately sized permaculture development. I have a good friend who specialises in indigenous species for the native garden but I want to provide the kitchen garden know how myself. I have spent as much of my time reading Royal Horticultural, Diggers Club, Monty Don, etc. texts as I have in the garden. I also read blogs and participate in various community forum-style websites. All research in preparation for a close to self sufficient lifestyle, away from our corporate slavery, in the country.
Seasonal vegetables are just that, seasonal. You appreciate the taste of your first red tomato a thousand times more when you had to wait through winter for it, and two thousand times more when you grew it yourself. Even though we cannot possibly grow enough fresh tomatoes on our small block to keep us all year we do not buy them in winter and prefer to wait, making the moment something to savour (a moment we had on the 10th). For us the experiment is to find out what grows well in our climate, what produces well, what quantity we need etc. The pics down the side are some examples of what we grow and harvest.
This year we have red, ripe tomatoes in December. If you can do that in Melbourne (outdoors) apparently you're doing quite well. Nuthin to do with us mind... This is all because we let a "volunteer" or self seeded tomato grow wild. I think it is very important to not intervene in any way with at least one plant in your crop, ie do not stake, prune axils etc. only then do you have a control by which you can know if what you do to your other plants is helping or hindering.. Allowing this volunteer to do its thing has also shown me that tomatoes can go in a lot earlier here than Melbourne cup day. This one started back in August.

Cheers Aldrum

1 comment:

  1. Good point about leaving one of everything to do it's own thing. (If it works it's also a lot less work!) In the case of tomatoes it might take more than one plant to prove the point. I have had thickets of self sown plants. Whilst the yield from individual plants may be less, with smaller fruits, overall yield may be comparable for a lot less effort. Interested to see your conclusions.