Friday, June 1, 2012
So like I have said in the past, our property is not conducive to a typical vegetable garden due to space and light conditions. And as much as I have always dreamed of a “mr mcgregor “ style garden it has been fun coming up with ways to squeeze in as many edibles as we can.
I have been experimenting with fruit, vegetables and herbs in different light conditions and have found over the years that many edibles can do quite well in part sun. They may not be as prolific but they will produce.
I have stopped pretending that we are able to feed ourselves completely on this land of ours. But luckily we have other local sources to help feed us.
The farm (where I work), our farmers market in town and our community plot also play a huge part in our seasonal cooking and eating. And our little garden space at home is more of a place to grow a variety of things for fun, to nibble on and to supplement with in the kitchen.
Although I do love a veggie garden of neat little rows I also like incorporating fruits, vegetables and herbs into the perennial garden.
I use strawberries as a ground cover where taller perennials like Spiderwort, Coneflower, and Black Eyed Susans can grow through.
Our strawberries are not huge and may be not as plentiful as they would be in a sunny row but there are plenty to nibble on and each morning there is enough to fill a small bowl for breakfast.
Swiss chard makes it’s way into our containers and is tucked in amongst the perennials.
I love the 'Bright Lights' variety with beautiful brightly colored stems. Swiss chard definitely does well in part sun.
Currants, blueberries and gooseberries are planted along the sidewalk where they can receive a bit more light than out back .
Yes they may be tempting to people walking by but we don’t mind. We like to share.
There are many herbs that are just as beautiful as perennial flowers if not more.
Comfrey, Borage, Anise Hyssop and Catmint are some of my favorites to throw into the mix.
And the more shallow rooted and creeping herbs like Mint, Oregano and Thyme grow beautifully in the living roof of our bunny hutch.
The peas that were growing up the chicken coop are now finished and have been replaced with cucumbers whose little tendrils have just started to grab onto the wire.
Cherry tomatoes are a must. I like to grow things that are easy to pick and pop right into your mouth.
I also like to tuck bush beans in wherever I can which is another great one for nibbling.
We planted a dwarf pear tree in the back yard three years ago. It hasn’t produced a bushel of fruit yet but just a handful of pears is all we need.
I won’t lie when I say that sometimes I get a bit jealous when visiting a friend’s farmette.
Or when i stumble upon a beautiful farm blog to find a family producing an entire year's worth of food.
But then I come home or walk out our back door and realize how much I love this little place where there are no rows, and just a handful of peas and where everything grows together like one big happy family.