More Anarchy in the Garden
One month later my garden hasd grown considerably.
doubled the amount of
lettuce (I was amazed at how fast it disappeared after a few big salads with my
friends). I flood irrigate and planted the lettuce along the little canals like rows of
I was pleased with the results of my zucchini mound and decided to make more
"instant gardens." Soon I ran out of weeds (!) to put under the berms and had to
steal dry grass from the compost heap. Most people don't add manure to these, but
we have a chicken coop and the chicken manure is free and easy to get. So I added
a layer of manure: green weeds and dry grass, chicken manure, dry grass, then top
with compost. I planted directly into the compost. Into one long meandering berm
I planted cucumbers and radishes (companions), eggplant and bush beans
(companions), corn and cantalopes (companions), dill, red clover (transplanted
from cracks in the driveway), and black berries (another wild transplant).
Companion planting proved successful. The phalanx of aromatic herbs protected
my leafy vegetables from major pests. Cabbage butterflies could be seen cruising
the garden and moving on to lay their eggs elsewhere. The yarrow attracted
parasitic wasps. My trap crop, kohlrabi, functioned perfectly, being the only plant
chewed to pieces (right next to an untouched red lettuce) and staying out of the
way as well.
Companion planting is like synergy. The right plants together make each other
stronger. The study of the chemical interactions among species is a new field
called "allelochemics," although old-time gardening lore has long known about it.
I like Louise Riotte's book Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion
Planting for Successful Gardening.
Companion planting is also like the anarchist political principle of syndicalism,
where related unions form larger ones, e.g., truckers and factory workers, for
mutual benefit. Putting plants that don't get along, called "allelopathy," is like the
common practice of neutralizing unions by putting the wrong combination of
workers in them, for example librarians, grounds people, and cops (who have
nothing in common)--as is currently being done at the California State University
Growing a sunflower house for your kids.
Make a non-violent, wind-powered gopher repeller.
Recipes from my garden.
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