In the thrushes of intense August heat, the garden is producing at a rapid pace, in fact it it hard to not miss things coming into ripe perfection. The cucumbers are calling to be pickled yet the very thought of firing up the burners right now is insane!… this will call for some midnight canning I suspect, but at least I have a stove this year, and don’t have to fire up the wood stove and do another round of “panty canning”!
As we over planted lots of early greens we have a lot of seed saving going on, which is good for the seed bank and the chooks! Today I harvested nearly 1 cup of (teeny tiny) mustard green seeds and that is just a drop in the bucket. I have kale pods nearly ready for harvest along with pok choy, radish oh and lots of dukabor crest seeding nicely as well. There are a few other seeds I am really excited about and those are the 2 year seeds which are almost ready; parsnip, leek, onion, and carrot… all left in the ground from last year in hopes of stocking the seed supply this year!
Keeping seeds is a truly full cycle way of gardening, and if you can get over the flowering bursts often associated with an un kept garden and if you stay on top of collection and timing you can avoid a trip to the garden center next year for some of your favorite seeds, plus it’s great to trade seeds you have saved yourself, and it’s even more exciting to watch those seeds sprout next year and begin the cycle of food and soil life all over again. It’s really important that the seed stock you use is viable by choosing only heritage & organic seeds if you want to keep your own seeds, as many many many common seed companies produce plants that are not able to produce viable seeds, thanks to the likes of giant GMO seed and fertilizer companies (you know who I am talking about).
We planted a small plot of barley this year which is looking really nice, with full heads. Not enough to eat but certainly enough to allow me to plant a MUCH LARGER plot next year, now that I know how easy it is to grow… and well see about the harvesting. This particular variety of barley is native to Canada and is husk-less and purple!
I included a picture of the hugelkulture bed in this slide show… just to show you HOW insanely nutrient it is! We have the world largest squash plant threatening to take over the whole homestead, along with volunteer tomatoes and potatoes and a mountain of yet more mustard greens along with chick pea plants… it’s a literal food jungle up there. Funny thing is it is heavily one sided on the booming growth scale. As we were building the bed, one side got an extra gooey gross dump of the scrapings of the winters old compost site, which was bursting with chook shit and lots of slimy large unbroken down chunks of greens. Well clearly the plants loved this late addition because if you look at the very opposite end of the hugel bed, you’ll find no such jungle… just steady growing garbanzo bean plants and some meager looking squash. Good lesson in huggeling! Over all we are thrilled with hugelkulture technique and plan to build most future beds this way.
Anyway we are all swamped with work right now, so must dash.