Tag Archives: garden photos

Garden/Homestead Updates – June 2013

I wanted to spend a bit of time on my garden updates–its been a while since I showed progress.  So here’s what’s happening at the Druid’s Garden (zone 6a, South-East Michigan, USA). Photos were taken about 4 days ago.

Chickens

I’ve had some setbacks in the realm of chickens–two (my two smallest ones, bantams, were killed by hawks while free ranging, and this happened while people were home and around).  When my family kept chickens in PA when I was growing up, we did not have such large amounts of hawks.  My land is also missing tree cover where they usually roamed, so I can see how this happened. So, because of this, and because they were tearing up my mulch and perennial beds, I decided to pen them up.  Two of my friends helped me build this outdoor coop area, attached to the original chicken tractor.  What I like best about the coop is that, aside from the netting, nails, and staples that we used to put it together, all the other materials came from the property–they are mostly cedar posts that we pulled out of the back of the property from the pile that had been cut (discussed in my post here).

New Chook Pen - all repurposed materials

New Chook Pen – all repurposed materials

I was also gifted two wonderful new peeps to make up for my lost ones.  Here they are (pics from about a week ago–they grow so fast)!

Peeper in the hand!

Peeper in the hand!

New Peeps!

New Peeps!

Perennials

This year, I’ve been working to expand my perennials, both in number and kind.  I am finding that this work is as important as seed saving, especially as I move to more perennials in my yard, but also because, from an economic standpoint, perennials are much more expensive, and lots of people want to start gardens using permaculture techniques but don’t have the money for all of them.   A good friend of mine gave me some gooseberry and currant bushes, I also have more raspberries (golden), fennel and other plants from our permaculture meetup’s plant exchange, an expanded strawberry patch, and more.  I’ve been working to develop guilds around each of my fruit trees also!

Strawberry Spiral with Fresh Mulch!

Strawberry Spiral with Fresh Mulch!

Ripening Strawberry!

Ripening Strawberry!

Apparently my rhubarb plant is the largest one most people have seen.  I’m thinking that part of it is because I placed it next to a gutter and also because it has shelter and lots of light from being next to my porch.  And composted horse manure.  Anyways, I’ll be canning some rhubarb preserves quite soon!

Monster-rhubarb

Monster-rhubarb

The comfrey patch is doing really well.  I should post on what comfrey does soon–its an amazing plant for gardens and medicine alike!  In the meantime, here’s the comfrey patch–I’ve given a ton of this away, and it keeps on going!

Comfrey patch with extra tomato seedlings

Comfrey patch with extra tomato seedlings

Annual Garden Beds

With the help of friends and family, I created two new large garden beds this spring.  I am also helping another family garden behind my main garden–they are doing so well!

Amaranth sprouts in one of the new beds!

Amaranth sprouts in one of the new beds!

Unfortunately, we’ve had a really cold spring.  With snow in late April and a storm that tore open my small hoop houses and knocked over my small greenhouse to a May 30th frost, it has not been an easy season.  My main garden was planted around May 20th.  Then we had a near-frost around the 30th (and had I looked forward in the biodynamic calendar I’m now using, I should have known that…)  Most of the plants lived, however, save some basil which I had extras of.

I’m taking more of a vertical gardening approach this year, which I think will serve me well.  I’ve been building trellises of all sorts, and finding interesting materials to use as trellises (more on that in an upcoming post)–all repurposed and found!

Here are some shots of the garden.

Potatoes, Garlic, and Kale.

Potatoes, Garlic, and Kale.

Lots of veggies in the garden!

Lots of veggies in the garden!

Working on new mulched pathways to keep out unwanted plants.

Working on new mulched pathways to keep out unwanted plants.

Mulch!

I have been in desperate need of mulch for some time.  My good friend knew this, and saw a tree service in the area at my neighbor’s house last week.  He asked them to bring the mulch over, which they did, and now I have a mulch mountain.  I’m mulching all of my perennial beds as well as the paths in my annual garden.  I am going to see how much is left, and if I have enough, I’m going to move forward with my plan to build a labyrinth this summer :).

Mulch Mountain!

Mulch Mountain!

I think that’s the end of the garden/homestead updates for now.  We have a number of exciting projects planned for this summer, including the outdoor kitchen and possible labyrinth.  Stay tuned!

Garden Updates – July 2012

Hello everyone! Its been a while since I posted actual updates from the garden.  So here are some new photos!  We have had very little rain in the last two months, so I’ve had to water a bit.  The heat wave was kind to the corn, less kind to the strawberries and kale :).  But other than that, everything is growing really well!

Long Sweet Pepper (not hot!)

Long Sweet Pepper (not hot!)

So this little pepper plant was saved from seeds from a pepper I bought at the farmer’s market last year.  The person I bought it from didn’t have a name for the pepper, but she said she saved them from her grandmother (and she is quite old herself!).  It ripens into a wonderful sweet, long pepper with no hint of spiciness.

A path and butterfly garden (using permaculture techniques) that I've been working on for two years

A path and butterfly garden (using permaculture techniques) that I’ve been working on for two years

This is my butterfly garden + herb garden path.  Strawberries are behind where I took the photo.  I put up that archway recently and I have some hardy kiwi growing on it.  I’m looking forward to eating them in a few years!

Peppers and tomatoes in my wild garden!

Peppers and tomatoes in my wild garden!

My garden is really kind of wild…and honestly, what better way for it to be?  Tomatoes sprawl everywhere.  The heirloom tomatoes I’m growing are really….boisterous, perhaps.

View from the corner of the garden

View from the corner of the garden

The kale (which I’ll be posting more about soon) is in the front; you can see four of the 4′ x 20′ rows.  This is very early in the morning; the sun hasn’t yet came up through the trees.

View from the front of the garden

View from the front of the garden

Garden with 6′ fence and homemade wooden door.  Its about 1600 square feet.

Composting area with tumbler (for food waste) and piles (for weeds/yard waste/leaves)

Composting area with tumbler (for food waste) and piles (for weeds/yard waste/leaves)

Here’s my composting area!  I gather up leaves from other people’s yard as well as my own yard in the fall; they compost down for a year or more.  I also add all kinds of weeds, yard waste, etc.  I’m hesitant to gather much yard waste from other people as there might be pesticides in it.  I also slash down and add comfrey to my pile a few times a year.  Comfrey is an excellent nitrogen fixer!

Butterfly and Bee Attractor Garden

Butterfly and Bee Attractor Garden

This is the 2nd year of the butterfly and bee attractor garden.  I really am happy with it this year.  I did it all from seed; it didn’t really do much last year, but its really lovely this year!

Peanuts, Basil, and Beans, and some Corn

Peanuts, Basil, and Beans, and some Corn

Here are some peanuts (front, they seem to grow slow); basil, and a bunch of beans.  You can see some corn on the left and tomatoes on the right.