"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hither and Yon

One of the best things about having a flock of chickens is their ability to consume and produce. What I feed them is what comes out in the eggs they share with us. Here are Penelope and Baldy enjoying some broccoli starts that did not make the planting cut.

"Our peppers are planted" he says with a deep sigh of relief. We were able to get the pepper plants in the ground two weeks earlier than last year... Hot, hot, hot for a change. I thought for sure we would have a cool spring going into summer but it went from frost to 80° overnight and looks to stay that way for awhile.

We find that these worthless tomato cages work really well for pepper plants, perhaps that is what they were really intended for... there must of been some sort of mix up in the cage marketing department. Then there are the "little bit bigger" worthless tomato cages, they make a most excellent support for eggplants. Some of this year's peppers will be from seed that I saved from really nice looking organic red bell peppers at the farmers market. It will be interesting to see how they do. I have yet to save any of my own pepper or eggplant seed... but I hope to do so this year.

I was somewhat disappointed when I realized that we had forgotten to plant amaranth this year. I have been growing it for years, mostly just because I enjoy looking at it. We have yet to grow enough to use it as a food source. To my delight, last year's amaranth is coming up all over the place... this did not happen in previous years but is a most welcome surprise.

Kind of a lame post, more so than usual, but we have been going at various tasks non-stop all spring and we are beat. The garden being mostly planted, our next spare moments will be spent hunting down firewood. The good news is that I cut so much last spring that we only have to get about 5 cords this year. :)


AccidentalHW said...

Amaranth is on my list of things to try growing! I love that it volunteered for you!

Silke said...

Your amaranth is volunteering like our asian basil and epazote do every year. We planted them once three years ago and they keep spreading. You guys are so busy, I don't know when you find time to maintain such a beautiful blog! I'm super impressed!! :) Silke

Mr. H said...


You will like it, the seeds are slow to germinate for me but once it is planted in the garden it does really well.

Mr. H said...


We also have epazote volunteering in our garden. I love the plant, know that it is used in certain types of Mexican cooking, but have yet to do anything with it. Have you ever used it? It smells and tastes so... well.. like car oil to me. I need to be encouraged to use it for more than a fabulous bee attractant. Any suggestions?

Silke said...

Well, I am with you on epazote, it does smell like car oil. We do a lot of Mexican cooking and there it's traditionally used in making black bean soup as it helps with their digestion (if you know what I mean), and also some moles and meat dishes. We make a bean filling for quesadillas and have used it in that. I must say, I have grown to like the flavor of it in those dishes. I guess it also has some medicinal uses, with which I am not terribly familiar. Rick Bayless describes having to have a culinary wrestling match with this herb before learning to appreciate it. I can believe it! :)

Kalianne@theBowerbird'sNest said...

We've also found chickens to be a wonderful asset to our new way of life. Provided we net the vege plots that we don't want them in, our chickens turn over the soil, provide manure, keep down the bugs as well as providing eggs and being wonderful pets!

Stefaneener said...

I totally agree on those cages. Work a treat with peppers.

These are busy days in the garden.

Mr. H said...


Chickens can work wonders with the bugs. You are very brave to let them in the garden:), ours are only allowed access in the early spring and fall.

I may have to try the netting though, as we seem to have a lot of slug issues this year.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful garden you have in among the trees. I'm busy clearing land now with a view to doing just that! How long have you been at it under the trees? It looks like a well planned and thought out garden.


Mr. H said...


It is a work in progress to be sure, no real planning it just kind of evolved as we went along. We have been expanding our gardens for over six years and are now focused on creating a small food forest of sorts.

Thank you for your kind comments and good luck with your own Eden. We have enjoyed reading your blog, and all the challenges associated with your location.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I finally found you! I'm enjoying working my way through your archives. I'm going to learn heaps from you I can tell.

PS. Just added you to my blogroll yesterday.

Mr. H said...


Thank you for adding us to your site, I appreciate it. We will no doubt learn heaps from you as well. This is such a great way to connect with like minded people from all over the world.:)

Careful with that saw,


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