Friday, July 30, 2010

The Sweet Potato Experiment and more

As an experiment we're trying to grow a sweet potato. Bought a Red Garnet at our grocers. Cut it in half, laid it in a pie plate with some "muck", in a couple of weeks lovely sprouts appeared. Time passed and we carefully broke the sprouts from the sweet potato and planted them in our back raised bed. It appears to be flourishing. Later this fall we will know if it worked.

Growing sweet potatoes for profit (Circular)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's in bloom? First Basil harvest - 10 feet from the door.

July is going by like a rocket. The weather is the usual-changeable. Monday a chilly feeling 62 degrees F today might be 86 F.

The garden is responding to the sun and rain.

Here are photos of what we have in bloom. From right to left: Calendula, Cherry Tomato, Chives, Clary Sage, Coriander, Cucumber, Mystery Plant, Nasturtiums

Tuesday evening we stayed home to watch baseball-the All Star Game-and harvested our first bunch of Italian Large Leaf Basil. We made fresh pesto, hung some to dry and today will process some for the freezer.

The harvest was much more abundant than anticipated! One of the best things I can imagine is having wonderful, fresh, natural food less than 10 feet from your door.

The books in the last photo are the "gardening bibles" from Rodale Press. Much loved and used for years.

We have around 70 square feet under cultivation. Today we're adding another raised bed - 6 'x 3' I think - behind the house for more basil, sweet potatoes, onions and whatever sounds good. Going to start carrots in a couple of big nursery pots. We have very rocky soil (ancient riverbed) so pots and raised beds work the best. We have a seed packet of a lovely multicoloured  variety of carrots. Planted a fun sounding pumpkin which is supposed to be orange, white or striped! Can't wait to see that!

Gardening is an adventure, a process, relaxing and not incredibly hard work if you go for raised beds, containers and intensive planting. Taking control of at least part of your food supply is something that can be done in a window box, on the porch or patio, yard, or however much land you can use. If this isn't possible find out about community gardens in your area and take a little bit of freedom into your hands with every growing plant. You can have good food less than 10 feet from your door.

Rodale`s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs