"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, July 7, 2011

In the Garden & Woods

Strawberries are coming on like gangbusters, we picked upwards of 5 gallons yesterday. Our Fort Laramie everbearing plants come on strong in the spring with smaller berries that gradually increase in size as the season progresses....and they are sooo sweet. The benefit of selling strawberry plants is that there are always a lot of strawberries left for us.

Finally some peas, it took a little longer than usual but our Tacoma Afila peas are looking nice - quick, reliable, and they taste pretty darn good too.

Cabbage and fava beans aren't looking too shabby either.

All our storage onion varieties seem to be on track and the best news is that with a cool spring we are still eating off last season's onion and garlic harvest...still nice and cool in the root cellar.

Foxglove (Digitalis) growing around our fruit trees. It is said of foxglove that it helps to stimulate neighboring plants by making them more disease resistant and improving the storage quality of fruits and vegetables due to gaseous secretions and minute hormones that the plants supposedly emit. (?)

Every morning of late we have been going for an early run, just before sunrise, in the mountains, stopping to pick various herbs as we go along. This week we have been focusing on gathering Prunella (self-heal/heal-all), yellow clover, and elderberry flowers. We also have a patch of Prunella growing in the garden this year from seeds saved from the wild. Fascinating plant.

Soon the native St. John's Wort, now starting to flower, will be abundant enough to harvest.

The sage is flowering, purple.

And the Rowdy dog...just being rowdy. He is not allowed to dig in the yard so he takes every advantage while we are out in the woods.

37 comments:

Robin said...

Everything looks absolutely perfect! You definitely have some happy and healthy plants! I just love the header photo.

FYI, the video wouldn't play

Annie's Granny said...

Your garden is beautiful. You (and Rowdy) lead such a fascinating and busy life, it makes me tired just thinking about it!

Did Rowdy ever catch whatever it was he was digging for?

Buttons said...

Mr. H I love your new header it is beautiful clover.
You have a fabulous garden and have so many useful medicinal wild plants. You are very knowledgeable and lucky to have and know how to use them.
My garden is so stunted compared to yours.
Love this post. B

Kimberly @ We Call Her Momma said...

Did Rowdy eventually find something?

Beautiful garden.

kelli said...

ha, rowdy is so cute. i wonder what he was after.

beautiful photos. i just love your garden!

Jane said...

I am bringing my pillow and just going to live in that strawberry patch. Oh the delights that will come from there.

randi said...

hey ho! Wow, everything looks great and I have serious strawberry envy as my whole harvest this year amounted to a couple colanderfulls. I'm hoping to create a huge new bed for next year, you have again inspired me..But I've been meaning to tell you the afila peas you sent are fantastic. I grew 4 or 5 types this year and those might be my favorite. Great post Mike, good to get an update on what's being harvested as we seem to be on par timing in our climates.

.09 Acres said...

As always, your garden looks incredible. Your greens and strawberries make me drool. We are well past the lettuce and strawberry season here in southeast Virginia. Looking forward to reading your next post. And next, and next, and next... Happy growing.

Mavis said...

Holy Cow Man... The commune is looking My T Fine! Are you accepting new followers yet? Get a look at all those strawberries... Wowza! 5 Gallons? I hope you have room in the freezer... I'm thinking berry smoothies all winter long!

Faith said...

As usual the veggies look great. Those wild pickings look interesting too.

Dani said...

Mr H - your garden looks fabulous. Reckon you need to come visit in August and help me with mine...

Mark Willis said...

The early morning runs sound good for the soul as well as the body! And I too love your new header photo.

contadina said...

That's one serious strawberry patch and everything looks so lush. It's making feel cool and calm just feasting my eyes on it all.

Mr. H. said...

Robin - Things are coming along nicely now that the weather has warmed...it was around 90°yesterday.

Annie's Granny - The only thing Rowdy caught was a mouthful of dirt.:)

Buttons - I am convinced that many of our medicinal needs can be met through those plants that nature so readily provides for us.

Kimberly - Rowdy didn't have time to catch anything as we had stopped for only a moment to pick some Prunella and then we were off again.

Kelli - I'm not sure Rowdy always knows what he is digging for so much as he loves to dig holes.

Jane - There are a lot of mosquitos in the garden this year so make sure to bring some netting as well.:)

Randi - I think they are my favorite pea as well...all those little tenticles.:) I highly recomend the Fort Laromie berries as they do tend to come on early even if the weather is cold and wet. They are extremely cold hardy too.

.09 Acres - Thanks, we are very blessed always have ample strawberries and greens coming on during the summer in our shady garden. Happy growing to you too.:)

Mavis - With the addition of our little helper Nikita Katerina, the cat, we are all full up this season. Things are coming on a bit later than last year but I think we will be having a berry good year.:)

Faith - I love our garden and all that is grown there but my heart lies in natures forest gardens.

Dani - Wish I could, I hear Africa is quite beautiful in the spring.

Mark - It is a great way to start ones day. My wife uses the clover in the header picture to make her teas...they are not too bad.

Contandina - The strawberry plants are doing good this year, a lot of transplanting took place and our cold wet spring really helped the plants to re-root.

Heiko said...

I didn't know this about foxglove. Just make sure you don't eat any! And if Rowdy goes on like that he'll be in Australia soon!

Daphne said...

Foxgloves are one of my favorite flowers. I haven't grown them in years though. You have such an amazing garden.

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Yep, I need a bigger place! my "Almost and Acre" is not enough to grow just about anything I could beg borrow, or steal from your spacious and lusious spread. If I borrowed anything I would eat it up and you wouldn't want it back, If I stole it you would lock me up and I couldn't enjoy it and begging aint my style :o) ..So I better be happy and content and count my blessings :o)

villager said...

Interesting that those Fort Laramie strawberries get bigger with time. Most varieties are just the opposite. What is your secret to keeping them weeded?

kitsapFG said...

I already ahve the Afilia peas on my list of varieties to try and now I definitely need to give the Fort Laramie strawberries a go. They sound ideally suited for my climate. I just harvested ONE single lone ripe strawberry last night and savored it. Ours is a new patch planting this year and it got gnawed on by a rabbit earlier in the season so it definitely is NOT producing for us this year. The older plants in our pots have lots of fruit on them, but they just have not ripened up yet (different variety).

I love how Rowdy bites the clumps of grass to remove them....with proper training he could do some serious weeding and cultivating!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

It must have taken you a long time to harvest strawberries on your amazing strawberry patch. Our peas are not doing well, sowed them too early. Hopefully the new batches will do well.Rows and rows of beautiful stuff.

Mr. H. said...

Heiko - I wouldn't be surprised if Rowdy pushes up through the pavement in Italy...he is quite the digger dog.:)

Daphne - Foxgloves are a beautiful flower aren't they...and one of our favorites as well.

Ginny - There is just never enough room is there. "I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden." -Abraham Cowley

Villager - No easy solution...we weed by hand and try to keep on top of it. The biggest weed problem in our strawberry patches are clovers that would love nothing better than to take over the beds.

Laura - They really are a nice variety of berry, if you let me know in the early spring and I will happily send some starts your way.:)

Malay - Kadazan girl - Too bad about your peas, hope your new planting does better for you. Yes indeed, we have been spending lots of time in the strawberry patch of late.:)

Stefaneener said...

Everything looks fantastic. Rowdy appears to be weeding -- are you certain you don't want to encourage that?

I'm glad, looking at your peas, that we have enough saved for next year.

Mr. H. said...

Stefaneener - It wouldn't be so bad if he could just tell the difference between vegetables and weeds.:)

kitsapFG said...

Mr. H - I may take you up on your offer of starts next spring, but I will try and find them through my normal channels first before prevailing upon you to share. :D

foodgardenkitchen said...

Five gallons of strawberries! What are you doing with all of the berries? Your garden is looking extremely healthy!

Veggie PAK said...

Great pics, but the dog video was great! It reminded me of my grandmother's dog when I was a kid. Boy, when they want it, they really want it!
Your garden is beautifully kept!

Mr. H. said...

Laura - Sounds good, I think you will really like this variety.

Foodgardenkitchen - We freeze most of them and have given some away, looks to be a good year for strawberries in our gardens this year...they must have liked our rainy spring weather.

Veggie Pak - He is indeed a very intense little dog when he sets his mind to something.:)

Wendy said...

gosh, just gorgeous as always! That's such a huge harvest to take care of!!

Granola Girl said...

This was a good strawberry year for us as well. My son just asked what Prunella was and I couldn't tell him. How convenient! We will add this to our list of foragables. You all have been quite inspiring for our foraging!

Thomas said...

I'm constantly in awe and at the size and scope of your vegetable garden. It must be so reward to see your hard work pay off so handsomely. If I had it my way, I'd plant my enter half acre with veggies (of course my spouse wouldn't be too happy about that).

Question - Is your growing area fenced in? And do you an issue with hungry wildlife with a garden that size?

Mr. H. said...

Wendy - Thanks, its a joy and privilage to be able to work such a large garden area.:)

Granola Girl - Prunella is a wonderful edible that not only tastes fairly good compared to other wild edible leafy greens but has the added advantage of "healing it all"...or so they say.:)

Thomas - We do have all of our garden area fenced in as deer and rabbits can be a huge issue for us. It is indeed both rewarding and quite empowering to grow ones own food isn't it.:)

Mistyhollows said...

I am in constant awe of your gardens Mr H. I have serious garden envy. How I would love a strawberry patch that big YUMMO!

Mr. H. said...

Mistyhollows - Thanks, I just saw that you started a new blog and am looking forward to hearing about your own fruits, berries, and veggies.:)

meemsnyc said...

Your garden is amazing! Especially all of the strawberry plants! I am so amazed!

Silke said...

So much to catch up on... Your garden looks fantastic!! I hope the weather is cooperating so that you'll have a fantastic harvest! And - I keep forgetting to say - I love your new header!! For some reason looking at clover makes me happy... :) Silke

Mr. H. said...

Meemsnyc - Thanks, the strawberries certainly are doing well this year.:)

Silke - Glad you like the header, Google ate my other one so I just threw this one up until I could find something else...maybe I will leave it for a while.:)

Granola Girl said...

Yep, we are back. We made it 5 INCREDIBLE days, but in the end found ourselves relying solely on our GPS. This wouldn't be as disconcerting if we didn't know the GPS was wrong more than once. It is only as good as its line of sight and that gets sketchy in thick forest cover, and narrow valleys. The rangers applauded us for going out, and then applauded us for coming back. No one as of yet has completed the trail this year. We are heading back out in about 2 weeks for another go at it.

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