Tag Archives: July

Plan your Edible Garden

What a storm! Blew away all the old and made fresh space for the new… Like every year, right now it feels like spring is never going to come. But I know that in just a couple of weeks I’ll be preparing beds and sowing spring crops at the urban farm here in Newtown.

How about you? Are you ready to get going with bed preparation and seed propagation as soon as the weather allows? If you haven’t got your garden planned out for the upcoming season yet, don’t despair! I’m running a workshop on that very subject – but it’s filling up fast, so if you’re interested, register straight away.

After a few windy days like these, you may want to look at wind proofing your garden. My main piece of advice (hard earned!!) is to get whatever strategy you choose implemented well before you sow and plant. Because, let’s face it, we all KNOW we’ll have more storms like this one before gentle December arrives! Cloches also help warming the soil up, and tarps can help the excess water drain away so you can broadfork earlier. Chose the techniques that are appropriate to your own garden, as there’s no one solution that works everywhere.

This week, my only garden tasks will be to get rid of the banana passionfruit vine which has managed to climb the peach tree while I had my back turned for a second, and pamper the tree with some worm castings from our absolutely over full worm farm (two birds, one stone 😉 ). If I get around to it, I might plant some spring bulbs that I have lying around.

 

Advertisements

Winter is for Dreams

Hello again! I’m almost back from maternity leave, my daughter is now 6 months and is enjoying some time with her nanny. So back to blogging, designing and farming!

Winter, for me, is stillness and darkness, a perfect time for dreaming. Of course some of our dreams will be about the coming of warmth and light, just like the dreams that lay hidden in the seed before germinating… All the information about what it will become and how, is already present in that teeny tiny speck. And when the conditions are right, it will send out its little root, then its little stem, and if the environment allows it will develop into the best version of what it can be.

I use this calm dark time to plan next seasons production in the garden and at the urban farm. Starting with my dream garden – like the information hidden in the seed – I then narrow this down to how many of each plant, how many seeds or plants to buy, and by when the beds need to be ready and warmed up to receive these. You can learn this method in the first session of my next workshop series, Grow More Veges #1: Plan your Edible Garden 2-3.30pm Sunday 30th July – register here!

To get as close as possible to the best version of that dreamed garden, I look closely at my notes of what worked and what didn’t last season. That special lettuce that handled the warm weather really well? The tomato variety that didn’t get psyllid? Grow them again, and maybe save some seed next season. On the other hand, the boggy area that got flooded in all those rains? Might need some double digging and maybe even drainage installed before planting out this spring.

These decisions all stem from the meeting point of my dreams of an edible oasis, and the conditions I have to deal with – like the fickle Wellington weather! Every season, I learn something new and get closer and closer, by keen observation and information gathering rather than hard work.

If you sign up to the full workshop series – 5 Sundays – you get a nice discount, and you get the opportunity to apply for the position as Gardener at the urban farm. Practice the skills you learn at the workshop alongside me and the Production Manager, and after three months with us you’ll have the confidence and skills to produce a good portion of your own food in the Wellington region – we focus on our local climate and soil so the growing strategies and techniques you learn will really work here.

I hope you have beautiful dreams this winter, and that you spend some time gathering the information you need to make them come true!