Thursday, March 14, 2013

Growing Supper

Future meals are up and growing in my new planter.  What you see here are four kinds of lettuce including romaine, plus arugula, mizuna, mustard greens, beets, spinach, cilantro and parsley.  I'll add basil plants as starts become available and I begin to eat off some of that densely-spaced lettuce.

Gardening in 100% topsoil is such a treat.  The last time I grew anything to eat was in rocky clay-filled ground with no real topsoil at all.  Things grew still, but planting and managing the soil was backbreaking.

Years ago I was an apprentice in the Organic Farm & Garden program housed at UC Santa Cruz.  The garden, located at the top of the hilly campus at Merrill College, was begun in the 1960s by Brit Alan Chadwick, who was almost single-handedly responsible for introducing the French Intensive Method of gardening to the world.  By the time I was there, in 1990, the soil was so fine and workable that you could stick your arm in up to your elbow with no problem at all.

Chadwick had started with a sloping rocky field.  Years of apprentices cleared off all the rocks, double dug the beds twice each year, added organic amendments constantly, and grew vegetables, flowers and cover crops rotationally.  The yield of that garden was amazing, and it was a beautiful sight to behold as well.  Rather like Eden.

My new redwood planter has soil almost like that, right from the get go.  And very soon I'll be eating out of it.  No more store-bought plastic tubs of mixed baby greens (that always go bad well before their sell-by date) for me.

7 comments:

Irene said...

That looks like it is going to be a very satisfying source for fresh food and I bet it is going to all taste wonderful. It is all on a manageable scale too and should produce more than enough for one person to eat from.

Sandra Rude said...

Happy gardening! Eating from your garden is sooooo satisfying!

Roberta said...

Years ago I did something called "Square Foot Gardening" I had so much food out of that small space. It was amazing. Good luck, you will have yummy salads!

Judy said...

I love it Connie!

Eat well!

xxoo

tiedyejudy said...

Wonderful, Connie! I can't wait to get started planting this year, but our growing season is very short here. I'm working on getting some protected areas set up to withstand the cold and sometimes severe winds we get here. Keep those photos coming! And enjoy the fruits of your labors... so satisfying!

Maggi said...

Such a good idea for a small space Connie and they are already coming on so well.

Sandy said...

Home grown veggie taste so much better and you know what went into them. We harvested lettuce from our greenhouse most of the winter.