Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Garden Update: Permaculture, Food Growing, Herbs and Tomatoes Aplenty

Been documenting my garden progress on Instagram. Next time I'll document my process in detail!

I've been quiet on the gardening front these days, it's just been to fun to immerse myself in growing, harvesting and devouring the goods without slowing down to capture the process with my SLR. I pedantically photograph most of my processes (even house cleaning, organizing sometimes!) so it was nice to have a space where I could just work without stopping. This year has given me my largest crop of my favorite feast, the tomato, and more herbs than I can eat.

Our raised beds when they first started. They're overflowing with goodness to eat now.

First, let's look at my growing space. I'm an apartment dweller but boyfriend's offered me his large back yard for full growing goodness. There's a tall staircase on his deck that used to connect to an above-ground pool. When I climb it and survey the land offered to me I always flash to the famous scene from The Lion King. It's so much more land to work with than is pictured, I could grow enough to completely feed myself and then some if I had set aside time and planning for it.

I volunteer at a community permaculture garden to learn the ropes on this style of growing. First photo, we're planting out first tree. Second photo, delicious food in raised beds.

All that land confronts me, daunts me. With everything else going on in my life I'm taking it slow out there, maintaining one raised bed, but planning to transform the space into a thriving  herb, fruit, and vegetable garden. I've been volunteering with Our Fertile Earth, a group that's working to transform unused land into food gardens across the city, and learning permaculture techniques along the way. Permaculture is both a thriftier and more environmentally friendly way to grow, where you mimic the natural environment rather than adding store bought soil and fertilizer  I can't wait to put it to work in my own garden and share the progress where!

So expect many more updates on the gardening and foraging front on Thrift Core. I may put growing on the back burner from time to time but documenting my garden was one of the big initial reasons why I started blogging! I can't wait to share more progress.

Been growing anything lately? Got any garden tips to share OR would you like me to write any gardening tips in particular? I think I want to try an indoor herb garden DIY...
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  1. I've got some basil and lemon balm that's out of control.I've cut down the basil twice for pesto(yummy),but haven't picked alot of the lemon balm because I'm not sure what to do with it(or the stevia plant my husband picked out). This is the first year that anything has grown in spite of my black thumb.I am encouraged.
    As for harvesting,I'll be headed to my parent's house this weekend to pick figs.I already picked two buckets full last week and I'll probably pick that much this time.The muscadines and persimmons will be ripe next month, that is if my dad's sheep don't eat them first.

    1. My thai basil and pineapple sage THRIVES in my hot/humid climate, so huge I need to invent more recipes for them. I loooove pesto, one of my favorite foods ever. Lemon balm makes a delicious tea, especially paired with mint. You can dry the stevia to steep with your lemon balm tea for a delicious naturally sweet tea or dry the leaves and grind them into a powder you'll add to your smoothies for natural sweetness.

      So jealous of your fig picking, I may have to hit up a friend for that if she's having trouble. I've been eating them like crazy while they're in season, so delicious!

  2. I love the photos, can't wait to read more about your garden adventures.

    1. Thanks! There will be MUCH more documented on the subject. Can't wait to get digging!

  3. We've never planted much due to too much shade, but have (at great expense) lost a couple trees, along with the next door neighbor so will try some veggies next year. Always have flowers which from my experience are quite hit or miss due to the weather. Continued luck with your gardens!

    1. Thanks Diane, good luck with your garden adventures too. Sorry for your tree loss. I want to experiment with trees next, would love fruit trees that produce prolifically for each season!

    2. A word of caution-- my dad has had many fruit trees. He rarely gets fruit worth eating so it ends up on the ground, full of bees, to be picked up. Maybe FL is better!

    3. It's definitely tricky. My mom planted some fruit trees when she first moved in and they've rarely produced for her.

  4. Would love a post on growing herbs!

  5. Now you'll have to start canning! I've been busy putting up tomatoes, green beans and grape jelly this week. Next week, I hope our peaches will be ready!

    1. I know, that'll be the next thing to learn :D

  6. wow amazing looking heirloom tomatoes! gardening is said to be a human instinct. we have a tiny balcony and still gardening! :) can't wait to see more of your gardening endeavours!

    1. I loooove heirlooms, going to plant more heirloom seeds ASAP. I nerdily had a dream about cutting and eating Zapotec pink pleated tomatoes from the garden. It inevitably involved zombie apocalypses too. Dream of that way too often because we play "last of us" before bed!

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