Whilst I day dream of large allotments of raised beds and covered seedling areas, I currently live on a regular suburban block where I do not have the capacity to pull up all the grass and make it my own food forest. I have been given two lovely raised beds, which I was able to grow about 10-15% of our food from last year. I even tried soya beans (edamame) and lentils, and whilst they were great to eat, I think you need a much larger area to produce any useful volume for a vegan! 😉
With some health items needing addressing mid September last year I stripped my two little garden beds of all plants, turned them over, mulched and left them to rest. I live in the sub-tropics so summer here is wet, stormy and hot usually. Leafy greens either wilt in a day or they go to seed in two and it takes a fair bit of effort to keep them all shaded at the right growth times, plus I knew I would need to recover over the new year so I thought it was best if I left it rest before the 2017 autumn, winter, spring grow fest I usually undertake. Well apparently my garden decided it would create it’s own pop up garden to feed me anyway.
In my southern bed, it has gone sweet potato crazy, much to the dog’s and the local bush turkeys’ delight. My dog LOVES raw sweet potatoes, she hunts them, digs them up and delightfully takes them to her bed to gnaw away at them. Unfortunately, the local population of bush turkeys have discovered the sweet treats hiding in there also. The babies slept near my chicken coop and as they get to be adolescents they have decided hang out with them and navigate to eat my garden. I am hoping that some earthen gold are left as they happen to be one of my favourites also.
In my northern bed, cherry tomatoes, an eggplant and multiple tall bushes of basil have popped up. I have this one basil plant that has been alive for about 7 years, so it has now made many many offspring! All the rest are remnants of what I had in the bed previously, but had removed. The cherry tomatoes are sweet and juicy, I often catch the dog hunting and plucking them off the plant carefully, she loves her ‘matos’, but not the green stems.
In one of my pots I had grown turmeric and ginger last year. Thought I had gotten them all at harvest, but seemed to have missed some and now have a lovely rich group of them in the pot, look forward to some more fresh turmeric soon! I especially like it in apple, carrot and ginger juice.
I am trying to grow some European raspberries, I got the plant before winter last year, they tried hard and produced three raspberries, however my dog found them just as they must have ripened, I saw them in the morning before I went out to meetings, and when I got home they were gone. My folks have native raspberries at their place which she carefully harvests among the prickles. I’m very glad she is a natural forager and that she loves the things we grow. I would like at least one raspberry next season though.
I count myself lucky that I have a pop up garden begging me to harvest and eat its wares, especially since I’ve not had much time to give it love and care.