Monday, December 22, 2014

Three sisters for Christmas!

It was hot and windy in the garden but Ms Tagalong was determined to plant the three sisters out.

She was amazed how dry the soil was even after all that rain oh what about a week ago? Two weeks you say, yes it may have been. With hot windy conditions since.

So who are the three sisters?

Not Ms Mova, Ms Tagalong and Red – although they could be. Companionable, supporting each other and giving each other the best conditions to survive and flourish!

The three sisters is a well regarded and documented way of growing three nutritious crops by the plains Indians in the Americas.

As Ms Tagalong gently eased the corn seedlings from the pot she was sure she caught a whiff of buffalo on the breeze. As she planted the beans, fortuitously self sown in the garden, she could see tepees in the distance and when the squash plants went in, previously bravely germinated in the chicken run, she could hear, Me Big Chief Corn Belly, or some such totally politically incorrect statement rattling around her noggin.

So that’s it, tall corn used as a climbing pole for the beans and an anchor for them in the wind, and squash to shade and keep moist the ground underneath. The beans fix nitrogen and allow the land to be used again and again.

When you are next in the garden take a look and more importantly keep watering the three sisters. Long may they flourish.

You might also take a look at the tomatoes and water them too. Ms Tagalong took to them with some string and a pair of scissors in the time-honoured way of helping them along by wrapping the string around the growing shoot.

As Ms Tagalong will be far away perusing rice paddies and the suchlike take care of the babies and give them love, support and water.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Edible Garden Report

The winning garden

‘Come quickly. It’s so inspiring,’ said Ms Mova.

Ms Tagalong was standing haplessly outside the wrong house in the wrong street, mobile phone pressed to her ear. This was not entirely her own fault, it must be said, as Ms Button Pusher had mentioned a different order of events for viewing some of the winning gardens.

Walking as fast as her mother-in-law would allow Ms Tagalong meandered down the back lane amongst a profusion of mint and nasturtiums. This looks like it, she thought, and it certainly was.

An amazing sight greeted her eyes, lush green overflowing from beds, tubs, containers, pots, and wall baskets. Every square centimetre packed with greens. Lettuce, rocket, carrots, turmeric, galangal, edible flowers like violas and nasturtiums, abundant ground covers and more.

So what was the secret? A comprehensive irrigation system. Karina explained that they had three types, soaker, drip and mister. An intricate ribbonway of hoses connected every single pot.

The avid gardener group oohed and aahed, admired the smoking meats hanging in the garage and viewed more production in the front courtyard. A prolific grape (actually four different varieties) spread under the eaves and along the front of the next door neighbour’s house. Ms Tagalong knew there was an advantage of living in a suburb with houses packed so closely together!

Smoked meats

Standing at the front then, we marvelled at tomatoes, basil, finger lime, kaffir lime, raspberry and loganberry. Spontaneous applause rippled through the group as they contemplated ripping out their own plots and implementing an irrigation system. Ms Tagalong was grateful she had Mr Ideasman. In his spare time surely this is what he would like to do!

Off to the next garden, a scattered profusion of fruit trees and vegetables with a wonderful passionfruit vine snaking up through a tree house.  Ms Tagalong scuffed her way over the pennyroyal. ‘Good for deterring fleas and ticks,’ she murmured.

She admired the walking ring of banana palms, the healthy looking hands and a magnificent specimen of an avocado tree with fruit hanging by the dozen awaiting the grasp of the pole catcher.

Ms Tagalong’s last visit was to wick bed paradise. Every bed wicked to perfection. Wicked or wick-ed?  So healthy, all the eggplants, corn and beans. Grow your own food  and feed your family. Magic!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Roll out the red carpet!

One of the prizes! 

Ms Button Pusher decided that the awards ceremony for the Edible Gardens competition should be somewhat akin to the Oscars.

‘You know,’ she said, ‘maybe a red carpet and perhaps evening gowns and wellington boots, to keep  the gardening theme.’

She even threatened that no-one would receive their prize, stunning garden sculpture, unless you were so attired. We shall see.

So for those of you have not had a chance to grace an Oscars’ carpet, come along to the garden this Sunday and take part in the workshops.

Ms Button Pusher arranged a judge from Sydney who she has cajoled into doing a Permaculture Cottage Garden workshop. Come on down, you know you want to.

Our very famous Chicken Whisperer who has returned to our midst is also giving a workshop on weeds. Yes, she says, they can be useful, so roll up for this one too.

Talking about red, Red confided in Ms Tagalong the other day that she didn’t think she deserved to be called red anymore. Ms Tagalong disagrees, there are many ways to be red and the least of it is the hair! Red, you are still Red!

Ms Tagalong is very pleased to see that the wick bathtub is now sporting healthy eggplant seedlings.

Thank you to the Garden Fairy who has also planted some great companion planting, tomatoes, basil and marigolds. Keep them watered in this stinking heat!

Before the eggplants! 

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