The VegHeadz have been busy digging ditches--or swales--and creating berms from the displaced soil. It's the first step in creating a food forest or forest garden at the south end of our space where there is just a little too much shade for growing annual vegetables. The purpose of the swales (there will be three) is to capture water as it descends the hill (I guess you've gathered are garden is on a slope), and retain it for the use of plants below the swale.
Food forests are relatively new to the US and other countries in the temperate zone. Some call them the gardens of the future, but they have been used by people in the tropics for milllenia.
From Wikipedia: "Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans:"
We have been growing perennial vegetables for several years and our perennial garden is one of the most successful and least-labor intensive areas of the garden. We haven't quite figured out what to do with the food grown there, nor made it a part of our regular diet. It takes time to change life-long habits. Food pantries we usually donate to don't know what to do with the unfamiliar edibles either. It's an area we will be working on as we develop the food forest.
As it becomes more and more difficult to grow the familiar crops we all love such as tomatoes, we hope to develop new tastes that require less work to satisfy. The perennials we presently grow will be incorporated into the forest which will be expanded to include fruit trees, soil building plants, and new layers of edibles.
A diagram of the food forest, designed by local certified arborist and natural landscape designer David Copps, is available under our Resources heading. David's article on food forests previously published in the Tallahassee Democrat gives a further explanation of where we are heading. We'll be posting updates as we progress--or come visit us any Wednesday morning. You can even help us dig ditches.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Harvest time provides some other surprises. Let some of your spring plants go to seed even if you are not seed saving. The roots will continue to provide sustenance for soil micro-organisms, and the flowers of many varieties will give weeks of pleasure for you and the desirable insects in your garden such as bees. This romaine surprised us all with it's beautiful blue flowers which have been in residence for over a month.
|Romaine lettuce in fall bloom|
Thursday, June 7, 2018
|Maxibel green beans -- this many from half a row.|
We'll be planting them again.
|Our squash garden is taking off. Many|
butternuts, some Seminole Pumpkins and at least
three huge Candy Roasters
|Garden sentinels -- two hawks looking for prey. You might catch |
them if you arrive at the garden early like Cathi did
And some beautiful white flowers from our garden. In addition to adding joy to the garden experience, they attract pollinators and predator insects, a part of our goal to control pests naturally.
|Queen Anne's Lace|
What is Permaculture?:
Permaculture Design Course:
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Master Gardener Glenn Berman, one of the VegHeadz volunteers, is a leader in trying unusual varieties in our garden. This year he grew Brown Dutch Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) which has proven to be an outstanding variety.
It is a non-heading variety, with large, tender, floppy leaves similar to butter lettuce. An heirloom from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, it has resisted bolting, and at this late day in the spring is still mild and tender. It has survived heat and cold equally well. Glenn started the seeds indoors on January 22 and transplanted them to the garden a little over three weeks later.
It was the most frequently planted of the approximately seventeen lettuce varieties documented by Thomas Jefferson in the vegetable garden at Monticello. It was one of the most popular fall and winter lettuces in colonial America and was mentioned as early as 1731 by British botanist Stephen Switzer.
Seeds can be obtained online directly from the Monticello website.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Tallahassee’s consummate gardener Ed Schroeder--Gardener Ed-- passed away on Friday, April 13 after a long illness. So many of us have benefited from his willingness to share his gardening skills and knowledge through workshops, writing, and personal conversations. He was also the source of great ideas for unique gardening tools which he created or modified to suit a particular purpose. We will miss him, but his timeless gardening tips will live on as we continue to feature his month to month gardening agenda on the VegHeadz blog. Thank you Ed for making us all better gardeners. Obituary and Funeral Arrangements
Saturday, April 7, 2018
The VegHeadz have been busy getting our garden spruced up for the upcoming Open House at the Leon County UF/IFAS Extension on Paul Russell Road. New plants are sprouting and perennials are returning. We like to try new things, so new varieties, new trellises, new garden designs are on our minds. Come join us any Wednesday morning and help us pull a few weeds.
|Jeanne works on herb bed|
|Yen and Evelyn add compost|
|Carole plants potatoes|
|Mike is enjoying the new |
seats he added to a corner of several raised beds--
just right for a tete a tete
|Cathi and Peggy get beds read for planting|
Saturday, February 17, 2018
|Grant arrives at the garden ready to work,|
|Carol prepares bed for potatoes|
|Helping Cathi pull|
turnips and radishes
|Removing damaged leaves from cabbage|
and Brussels sprouts with Mike
|Going home with some veggies|
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Seminole Pumpkin Bread
Nopales (cactus) Salad
Mirliton (Chayote) Dressing
Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Cookies
|Roselle Jam--the seed pods provide the pectin|
|Herbs from our garden|