Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Extending my growing space

Yesterday I harvested a handful of sugar snap peas and had them for a snack. I am far away from being able to have enough food for my family, though it is getting better step by step.

In order to grow more, I do need growing surface and I need crops that go beyond salad.

When I started with my first garden bed in 2014. I just had very few stuff growing, but two zucchini plants gave me loads of food. The following year I got many plastic containers from a local store for free (their flowers come in there and they are usually thrown away). In 2015 I also built another small gardenbed. From the beginning I always had one issue: where to get the soil from ... (this shall be another topic for a blog)

Until 2018 I went ahead with pots, substituting the buckets/pots from the shop that broke after one year with other pots that withstand the sun. I have some really big ones for raspberries and other trees, but still they are too small. We are not really allowed to plant trees here - well, we will try to change that, because of course we will have better yields then and the trees and bushes will be healthier. I also cannot fill the whole space with garden beds, so I must change things bit by bit. Should it be necessary: additional beds can be built really fast.

I also have some hanging pots, mainly with nasturtium, which is fine for salad and at the same time it is said to be a fairly strong antibiotics and we have a number of hanging flower pots that for now will hold flowers :-)


This year I bought "cubic" containers, because space usage will be maximized - more soil on the same surface - and I started to pile up my containers in order to have even more growing space.




Then I built a no-bed garden bed :-D that is I simply layed potatoes on the soil and covered it with what I had: grass cuttings. And now I am curious what comes out of this experiment.





And the last bit to show you today is my bean-trellis that is just a garden fence. I will add long sticks, when the beans will have grown a bit more :-) This was a dead place of maybe a hand width where I put some wooden pieces my husband had made for something else which we then did not need :-) well I needed them here - obviously that was the "real" reason for making them ;-) - never be sad about work done that seems to be useless ... it will for sure get a different life.



The next steps to extend growing space is planned for 2020: the flat beds I have now will become hills and by that even more growing surface will be available.

Why I am showing you this? Well, it shows that a garden is not built at once, but bit by bit, in particular if it is small, one will always make changes to even better use each angle.

Whenever I add something to my garden or change something in terms of growing space, you will find it under "extend growing space".

You can find a group of people caring about some level of self sufficiency on MeWe:
https://mewe.com/join/stepstoself-sufficiency

And you can find pictures from my garden, some harvest and the "almost daily apple-tree picture" on Instagram (please note that often I upload the garden overviews + the apple tree pictures once a week or so, while I add other stuff on the go).
https://www.instagram.com/stepstoselfsufficiency/


Monday, June 17, 2019

Medicinal plants that grow in my garden or nearby

Thanks to a conversation on facebook, I tried to list which plants with medicinal properties are growing in my garden and I noted that there are so many, when I start to list them. Maybe it is good to have a list :-) so here it is:

Have:
  • basil
  • calendula
  • dandelion
  • lactuca virosa
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • peppermint
  • sage
  • sambucus nigra
  • stinging nettle
  • thyme 
  • yarrow
Want:
  • echinacea purpurea
  • cardus marianus

Thursday, June 06, 2019

How I got into Gardening

Actually I am answering to a question here, and I do it on my blog, because I believe that this question comes up over and over again when we talk with people. Said that I am also curious how you got into gardening.

When I was a little girl my grandparents had a garden where I often went to help my grandpa. It was there where I learnt many things I still do today and many particulars are "coming back" to me bit by bit. At that time I also lived with my grandparents, since both of my parents worked.

When I was around 11 years old my mom and my stepfather went to another city and after a couple of years they had a garden, a so called Schrebergarten which you can rent, but then, I was not really interested in gardening. Well it was an age of those ...

When I was 21 I moved to the south of Italy. At the beginning I had only some salad on my balcony, I dried tomatoes in summer, preserved zucchini and eggplants. Years later and after some moves I met Anna and Alfonso who produce organic wine, tomatoes and much more high up in the mountains of the Amalfi Coast. On their land I found many of the herbs I knew as a child and I started to collect them. I could also get fresh veggies there.

In 2010 I came back to Germany, back into my home town, which once was at "the end of the world", because 3 kms from there, there was the border between East and West Germany. If you never lived at such a border, you cannot really understand which feelings are there, when you know you cannot pass a certain line without stepping onto a landmine. Well ... now that I was back the border was open, no more mines ... but back to gardening: I thought about getting a small garden, a Schrebergarden, just like my parents had, but then life changed an in 2013 my family move to the place where we live now, just about 20 km away from the place I was born.

The apartment is up a mountain and the house owner allowed us to create a small garden and that is where I now grow quite a bit of food. I am far from being self sufficient, but after starting in 2014 with the first garden bed, I can produce some more year by year ... and still I see many more possibilities to grow crops for my family.

Here on my blog you will find articles for newbies, recipes and some more stuff.

Btw.: it's nice to meet you dear reader :-)