We popped up the plot on Wednesday evening to give the polytunnel a water, and what greeted me was most disappointing, blackfly on the broad beans. A quick spray and let’s hope they disappear.
The doubled-up legume system in conservation agriculture is premised on the belief that while farmers will be in a position to get the usual benefits of the doubled-up legumes (‘double’ the grain output per farm, hence more food and also ‘double’ soil fertility through the leafy biomass components of groundnuts and pigeonpea); they will also potentially benefit more from increased moisture retention towards the end of the season as well as reduced labor in land preparation, if the backbreaking conventional tillage practice of ridging can be avoided.
Eight months ago, we set out on an adventure in “Valhalla Falcon” to follow our dreams and live a life of purpose. My expectations were no match for the realities of life on the road. Expensive and time consuming vehicle repairs, border crossings, rainy weather conditions leading to mold growth, poor communication, and disorganization continue […]
Life below ground: Yes! There is life down there! It is so complex, even soil scientists have yet to plumb the depth and breadth of all species and interactions that make the soil work like an organism. For gardeners, it’s important to know that a lively soil feeds your plants. So feeding the life in […]
I’ve been rather busy saving up for my son’s tution so I have been working non-stop.. LOL.. Not that I enjoy snoozing and forget about writing. well, ok “i’m not a writer FINE!” But still there are people who reads my blog so still….. Here is an update of how I SUCCEEDED in container […]
I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. Like a lot. I was in a car accident nearly three months ago and it has turned my world upside down. While the accident wasn’t too serious, thankfully, it was enough to cause me health problems I’ve been dealing with ever since. One way to cope with stress is to do things I love — cook, write from the heart and dream.
There’s something about being up to the elbows in fresh soil that is oddly soothing. Caring for a vegetable garden is a satisfying journey that begins with the dirt. While it’s too early to get my hands dirty (though seed planting begins in only a few short weeks) I can cope with the stress by daydreaming about this year’s gardens.
One of my biggest mistakes in gardening last year was not paying attention to the soil. My raised beds thrived because they had great soil, the newer ones in the front however, terrible. Here on the Niagara Escarpment we have a lovely red clay soil… not so good for growing. While we did add a few yards of soil to the plot and some manure and compost, it was not enough to create an atmosphere where plants would thrive. Case in point, my midget pepper and bean plants which were barely half way up my calf when they reached their maximum height.
In defense of weeds
February 2, 2015 by Stephen 1 Comment
I provide a haven for weeds. No crap! Sometimes, if no one is looking, I even save seed.
There are places on my property where I have broken ground, turned the grasses under, and waited, just to see what would grow.
And I recommend it. Urge, even, every gardener to think, just for a moment……what would grow here If all these introduced grasses, shipped here from some place in Europe, where removed?
What would grow if I stopped ripping it all out at the slightest hint of germination, If I let some stuff just be?
How would it look?
Would the plants I want to grow do better?
And I promise it will be enjoyable and educational in a way that changes everything. Some of this happens, I think, because you stop looking at the weeds as weeds and think of them as plants again. Just like any other plant, and you get to see how they can benefit the ecosystem that is your garden.
Of course some weeds you will know all too well. Like invasive grasses or “Old Man’s Beard” (an invasive weed in my country that destroys native forest). These should be dealt with in the usual way.
What I’m talking about the other stuff. Like cow parsley.