Permaculture garden update

Despite my appreciation for the work of Masanobu Fukuoka, I did in fact intend to weed this permaculture garden bed before showing it to you.

This was supposed to be the “before” picture, but I got sidetracked turning a new patch and twisted my ankle jumping on the shovel.  Ouch!

In a permaculture bed, retaining soil moisture is a key goal (as it should be in any garden bed), so when the crab grass you see here gets pulled, it’ll be tossed in the compost, some mature compost will be sprinkled in the gaps, and then some well dried lawn cuttings will be laid as mulch.

What are you looking at?  Four different edibles in this one little patch.  Upper left: peas!  A member of the legume family, pea roots are helpful at increasing the level of available nitrogen in the soil.

Lower left: Lamb’s quarters, also known as goosefoot.  It’s a relative of quinoa and exceedingly healthy and tasty at this age.  (Gets more bitter as the summer progresses.)  This lamb’s quarters was not planted, it’s a weed, but it won’t be pulled, at least not for a while longer.

On the right: the two merging circles include a nice lettuce up top coming along well and a very small collard plant to the lower right.   All told, this photo encompasses a maximum of 1.5 x 1 foot square (50 cm x 30 cm).  That’s a lot of healthy food coming in in a very small space.

As the lettuces mature, they’ll be cut and replaced with radishes and other lettuces- leaf for summer harvest and then romaine (aka cos) lettuces for the fall and winter.   Think of permaculture (permanent agriculture) as permanent on two fronts: plant and eat from perennials as much as possible, and when eating annuals, keep the ground healthy by keeping it covered and engaged with diverse crops.

 

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