More Anarchy in the Garden

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One month later my garden hasd grown considerably.

  • I 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 sentinels.

  • 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 system.
    Next: Growing a sunflower house for your kids.

    Make a non-violent, wind-powered gopher repeller.

  • Recipes from my garden.

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