The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Early spring gardening


While I wasn't looking, the garden started to grow.  I'd been a bit concerned that our overwintering garlic couldn't stand this winter's extremes, but the plants are starting to push out new leaves.  The rye cover crop I have on other beds is also filling in and growing up, and I can see hints of new leaves amid the strawberries.  I try to ignore my father's South Carolina reports of first asparagus, though --- I don't expect to see any of that for at least two weeks, if not longer.

Pea trellis

Although I'm planting little bits and pieces of early crops in the main gardens, my eye is most drawn to the sunny patch in front of the trailer.  Due to Mark's hard work on the gutter and Kayla and my dirt-hauling, the ground there is finally well-drained enough to grow non-aquatic plants, so I've put in some peas to begin shading the window before the kiwi and grapes get their feet under them.  The old saying goes that perennial vines take three years to get established: first they sleep, next they creep, and finally they leap.  During those sleeping and creeping years, I'll fill in their habitat with something annual.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I came across this quote by Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1793 to George Washington. "Good husbandry with us consists in abandoning Indian corn and tobacco, tending small grain, some red clover following, and endeavoring to have, while the lands are at rest, a spontaneous cover of white clover. I do not present this as a culture judicious in itself, but as good in comparison with what most people there pursue."

Reading between the lines, Thomas is suggesting to avoid mono-crops and building the soil over a series of cover crops, each with various reasons why each helps build the soil. (I have no idea what the difference between red and white clover are, however.)

Comment by David Tue Mar 18 15:19:05 2014

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