Growth is a double edged sword. Unchecked, growth can be cancerous and destructive. It is this type of ceaseless expansion that has put our society into the precarious environmental and financial positions in which we currently find ourselves. On the other hand, growth can be regenerative and life-giving. Following a forest fire or a bitter winter, the first green shoots to emerge from the earth bear witness to the earth's ability to restore life in the wake of disaster.

My goal for this blog is pretty simple and open-ended: I want to document and share with family and friends my efforts to incorporate an ever increasing degree of self sufficiency, voluntary simplicity, and environmentally-conscious design into my life as a would be urban homesteader.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Garden Pics

It's May, and the garden is alive and kicking. Here are some pictures from the 'Burbstead.

Sugar Snap Peas growing on a trellis that I made from reclaimed lumber, old porch swing parts, and a piece of an old soccer goal net. The Aster flowers are all volunteers, and they're ALL OVER my garden. I also have tons of volunteer Marigolds and little yellow flowers (Dwarf St.John's Wart?). This isn't a problem by any stretch. I try to sprinkle flower seeds around every year, and I let the volunteers grow wherever I'm not growing food. Not only do they attract pollinators, but they make the garden look nice.

 I've got 5 Blueberry bushes planted on the edge of the garden. Two of them have little berries on right now. I'm hoping to get enough to make a pie this year (assuming the damn birds don't eat them all). In a couple of years, they should be big enough that I can have enough to eat fresh and preserve some.

 Early Flat Dutch Cabbage. There are about 12 plants. I'm hoping that enough of them get big so that I can make a lot of Sauerkraut. Right now, something has been munching of the leaves, so I need to figure out what sort of pests are hanging out there.

 Fordhook Chard and Buttercrunch Lettuce that I planted in the hoop house last fall. It over-wintered, and took off once the weather started warming up. I'm not sure how long the lettuce will go before it bolts and turns bitter. In any case, it's awesome that I can get a really early Spring harvest thanks to the hoop house.

Curly Blue Scotch Kale. This year is the first time that I've grown Kale, and it's doing great. I put some in vegetable soup the other day, but other than that, I'm not sure what to do with it. Joe Rogan always talks about drinking Kale and fruit smoothies for breakfast. I'll have to try that sometime.

 French Breakfast Radishes and Olympia Spinach in the front, and Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce in the back. You can also see some Kentucky Wonder Pole beans poking up on the left side. I've planted them around the base of the hoop house so that they'll (hopefully) climb all over the frame.

Yes, that is a tomato. It's a Silvery Fir Tree. You might be saying to yourself, "But it's only May 2nd. Isn't that crazy early for outdoor tomatoes to be starting to put on fruit?" Yes, yes it is. The crazier part is that since I transplanted these in mid-March, I only had to cover them with a sheet ONCE! If I had known that this Spring was going be so warm, I would have transplanted all of my tomatoes back in March. It's funny to look back a couple of years at how excited I was to find a little tomato in early June. At this rate, I'll be eating fresh tomatoes before June. This must be what it's like to garden in southern California. Yeesh...

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