How to grow it,
How it cook it,
How to enjoy it.
Lots of special projects and tips on organic gardening, companion and container planting, herbs, how-to solar power, how-to colloidal silver, whirl-a-gig's, sunflower houses, recipes, community gardening, and more!
Ode to a Caterpiller
I found a caterpiller in the alley,
I call him "Mannfred," instead of "Sally."
He's made my life so keen and peachy,
To me he's as cute as Christina Ricci.
Here are my other gardening pages:
A companion bed of herbs and vegetables:
I planted a thick bed of herbs and vegetables. After selecting the main ones I wanted, I added a few plants purely for their value as companion plants: e.g., horehound for the tomatoes and yarrow for the herbs. Then I sorted everything out according to likes and dislikes, e.g., tomatoes like both dill and carrots, but dill and carrots dislike each other, so the carrots went on one edge and side of the bed; the dill went on the other. Then I arranged things according to soil strata, e.g., root crops mixed with bushy herbs; tallest plants at the back. and kohlrabi thrown in for comic relief. Companion planting also brings out the best in some plants, e.g., sage and peppermint, which I grow for medicinal use, also drive away cabbage butterflies and carrot flies. The bed is 4'x12'.
1) Tomato 2) dill 3) horehound 4) white sage 5) zucchini 6) peppermint 7) echinacea 8) chamomile 9) yarrow 10) comfrey 11) catnip 12) parsley 13) thyme 14) a mixed row of carrots, beets, lettuce,and kohlrabi 15) oregano 16) mixed beets and lettuce.
Growing barrels of potatoes:
I got my hands on four plastic 50-gallon barrels. I drilled drain holes in them, set them up on blocks and planted spuds in them. Here's how: Cut up potatoes which have started to sprout, leaving an eye or more on each piece. Dry these out for two days in a cool, dry room. Then plant in a shallow layer of soil and compost in the bottom of the barrel. As the potatoes grow up, add more soil and compost. After they reach the top of the barrel, I plant a couple of bush beans in each barrel. The beans protect the potatoes against the Colorado potato beetle, and the potatoes protect the beans against the Mexican bean beetle. As soon as the potatoes flower you can find little spuds in the soil. When the whole plant dies back, kick over the barrel for a bountiful harvest. I have two barrels of red potatoes, one of white russet, and one of Yukon gold.
Following an idea from Robert Kourik's Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Lanscape Naturally, I cleared a section of yard and hoed the dead plants, green weeds, and topsoil into a long berm atop a space I whose clay crust I had forked loose. I put a layer of compost and a layer of dirt atop the berm. Then I poked holes through the dirt and planted the zucchinis in the compost about a foot apart. I expect to get mass quantities of zukes from now til October. It is 8' long.
Grow a row of garlic:
Keeping a huge stand of white and Swiss chard from last year, I planted a row of garlic. Using garlic bulbs from the grocery store, I pushed individual cloves just beneath the surface, and then heavily mulched. I grow and eat mass quantities of garlic year-round as both food and medicine.
Eat the weeds:
Spearmint, nasturtiums, red clover, and dandelions all grow wild nearby. I make a garden salad with about half wild greens and half from the garden. I even let a few dandelions flower and go to seed in the garden.
This will give you a start: lots of salad, tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini. Plus highly nutritious comfrey and garlic. Replace your soda pop and coffee with peppermint tea. Treat headaches with camomile and catnip tea (both are delicious in salads). Treat colds and coughs with horehound and sage. Heal injuries with yarrow and comfrey. Prevent illness with echinachea.
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ThisFriends of the Garden Web Ring
|May 9, 2000 ("Victory over Fascism Day") Outside my converted garage apartment in Ventura, California. The fuchsia hangs from the tree with the hummingbird nest. Round zucchini grow in same big tub as the gingko tree along with a St. John's wort. (a.) Two potted wormwood growing from cuttings and two tubs with tomatoes (roma and early girl), red sunflowers, and thai dragon chili peppers in each, (b.) wooden box with herbs; angelica, hyssop, chamomile, caraway, and mesclun salad greens, (c.) solo angelica in a big tub next to (d.) a tall wooden box with red potatoes growing in a mass of kitchen waste and garden trimmings, (e.) another wooden box with a row of leeks, a row of mesclun, a row of lettuce basil, and a blue lace petunia, a potted coriander and curry plant, and (f.) a wooden planter with wormwood, garlic, flatleaf parsley, garlic chives, thyme, comfrey, angelica, and catnip. The solar panel is hooked up to a fan inside the apartment. The hotter the sun, the faster the fan. I'll add bush beans to the potatoes when they fill up the box.|