ça pousse !
All veggies have grown very well in April; I have planted carrots, beets, swiss chard, mizuna, spinach, radish, onion, arugula and salads and last week I transplanted my cherry tomatoes.
The same can be said about the 'weeds'. If I do not control them, the garden becomes a fern forest in a matter of days; fern rhizomes are quite challenging to get rid of because they contain a lot of stored energy. The only way to do it (besides digging up all rhizomes which is impossible because we're talking about an estimated 3000 rhizomes...) is to continuously cut the ferns. So every week I do this and the big question is: how long do I have to do this? Several months or several years? To be continued...
Tomorrow I will for the first time try to sell veggies on the 'market' (I am the market) in Campile. Very excited to see if and how many people are passing by! I hope a lot because if not I will drown in the salad greens I'm afraid ;).
The picture above shows a bed with onion and (just-planted) tomatoes. Today I also sowed radish next to it so it becomes a diverse polyculture. As the tomatoes grow and shade out the onions and radishes (which will take at least 1 mont) I will have harvested them so this is an example of an agroecological technique called temporal diversity.
This picture shows the 'Stan and Kos terrace' (as they built it). From right to left: mizuna (kind of mustard used for salad mixes), spinach, carrots, spring onion (front) + salad (back).
The Nero di Toscane (type of kale) grows very quickly! I'll harvest leaves every week but allow the plant to keep growing till the end of the growing season so that I can harvest throughout the winter)
The big terrace with from left to right: radish, salads, arugula, carrots Those will be harvested this week for the first market.
Besides the vegetables, the food forest has come to life as well. The apple trees I had planted have all but a few flowered in their first year which is quite remarkable. The question is: should I remove the young apples or not? Some people say that it might take a lot of energy to make the apples grow. Energy the apple trees could better use to grow vegetatively. Not decided yet.
The raspberries start to grow but are rather slow while the definite winners are the black and red currant plants. They have grown impressively in the last weeks.
I still have a whole bunch of paulownia trees waiting to be planted. I planted their rhizomes about a month ago and they are rooting in their pots in the greenhouse but have not yet made leaves. Besides the paulownia trees that will serve as auxiliary trees, I have sown about 70 acacia dealbata (also called mimosa) in the greenhouse but it will take at least 1.5 month until they will be ready to be planted out in the forest.
Rain has finally come. This week it has rained regularly and I have measured around 35 mm of rain which is not bad. Every day it rains it saves me at least an hour of work (irrigation) which makes me very happy :). I am known as the only person who is happy when it rains here :).