To Wikipedia, a kitchen garden is many things, but to me, it is one simple thing. My kitchen garden is where I go to get the herbs I use for cooking. It could also be called an herb garden, but because I use these plants specifically for cooking, I call it my kitchen garden.
Are They Easy To Do?
A kitchen garden is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to start gardening. It can be a simple as a basil in a small pot on your window sill to a large, elaborate garden. How far you take it is up to you. But either way you’ll be hooked the first time you taste and smell the difference fresh herbs can make in your cooking. Continue reading “Kitchen Garden: It’s About Thyme (And More)” »
Probably, sometimes. But the more I invite Stone Age simplicity into my life, the more I realize that there are two sides to this equation. For all the cold and hungry caveman moments, there were also happy and well-fed moments. Those happy moments just don’t get the same press. I’m here to change that.
In the last two weeks, the garden has really started taking off. I have flowers on my pea plants, but that’s not all. I found and ate my first pea pods yesterday! They were planted November 17th, 2011. It took roughly 3 months, but I’m looking forward to adding peas to the menu very soon.
If you are dealing with finite space, when you can’t go out, you go up. I’m not the first to think of this. There is a thing out there called vertical gardening (or vertical farming), and it makes a whole lot of sense for those of us who are doing the Agricultural Age in tight spaces. Its all about re-thinking your space and using all three dimensions to increase your productivity. In the baskets in front of my house, I used to have flowers. As a part of my front planter conversion project, I am now using them for edible landscaping. This is converting vertical, ornamental space into vertical, edible space.
Yup. I got this bright idea last July to store my pumpkin harvest in my bedroom closet. Needing a place to store my squashes and root vegetables and finding the environment in the bottom of my closet both cool and stable, I tucked thirty pounds of pumpkins next to my shoes and sweaters for six months and waited to see what happened.
Very little, which is exactly what I was looking for. I was able to process some of the pumpkins, but there are still several left. Last week I did find my first casualty, I think the cat knocked a stem off one of the pumpkins while she was roaming back there and that caused it to rot. But the rest of them are in perfect condition, still as vibrant orange as the day I harvested them.
What Did You Learn?
I learned that rethinking the way I use my limited space can have real benefits. I was able to turn square footage that was being used for dust bunnies and clothes from the ’80’s into genuinely valuable space for storing food. I needed a root cellar, but had a closet. By being creative, I got both.
What Will You Do Next?
This worked, and I’m going to expand on it. Here’s how:
visit other closets around the house and see how they are actually being utilized. Are they cool and stable? Can room be found in them to store food?
For closets that qualify, clean them out! Get rid of the useless junk that is being stored in there and recycle it or donate it.
Install shelving or find bins for the new closet space.
Fill it with this year’s root and squash crop. I have in mind potatoes, onions, pumpkins, and squash. There may be more.
It looks like I have another project on my hands! As with so many things in sustainable living, this one has dual benefits – clean closets and food storage! I will be working on this as the weeks progress, and as always, I’ll keep you posted!
In my fist lady bug episode, I was going to bust out the big guns on my aphid problem with a plastic bag of red speckled whoop-ass. I let the ladybugs go in my greenhouse, and waited to see what happened.
Did Releasing Ladybugs Work?
No. At least, not yet. Its been three weeks, and I still have a severe aphid problem. The bag originally had 1500 ladybugs in it, Today I counted about 10 that I could still see in the greenhouse.