Just finished a great day at TAFE – getting our hands dirty, planting more veggies in our patch and doing our first round of weeding. It’s just so satisfying, it can’t even be explained! When we got home we were discussing why it is so satisfying – is it just working outdoors in the clean air? No, no…it is much more specific. There is something so nourishing about growing your own food, especially when it is completely ORGANIC! There’s no nasty chemicals to smell or handle. Just beautiful live soil. And amazing colourful, character-filled seeds that burst into life with the littlest of attention! And its so much fun getting dirty, stomping around in gumboots, digging up the ground, pulling out the weeds. You probably all think we are mad! Maybe that’s true 🙂 but there’s no complaints from us!
In class today, we decided to run an experiment using different seed raising mixes. Each mix is different in terms of its porosity (that’s how much air space there is), and how much organic compost was used, and other variables too! We planted corn in all, and we will give them 4 weeks and see which ones are growing the best! Here’s a photo of our team getting our ingredients together…
This afternoon, we used a technique called cut and cover to get rid of the weeds (which had flourished in all the rain and sunshine we have had this past few weeks). To cut and cover, you simply use a hoe and drag soil from the middle of the furrow up and over the weeds between the plants.
The we hilled up the potatoes, in part to cover the weeds and in part to give room for more spuds to grow. This is a very similar technique to the cut and cover, except you try and move a bit more soil to create room for your spuds. Here is one of our class mates ‘hilling up’ – so you can see the mound of dirt around the potato plant (this is where spuds will grow).
We fertilised everything today with a combination of chicken poop and blood and bone. And finally we planted some of our last seedlings to fill up the remaining space in our first bed.
After class, Rachel and I went on a harvest and collected 4 incredible artichokes (see below), a half dozen custard apples and a mix of citrus fruits. Harvesting is Michelle’s favourite activity; she is a natural forager. Rachel is really keen to have a go at cooking something with the these artichokes as soon as she can find a recipe!