I love my new gardens beds so thought I would share, see for years I had a great garden well it was my hole yard really, I had a little stall and sold veggies to the tourist in the area but over the years my beautiful yard was taken over by Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) …. Word of advice if you see this buggu in your garden take it seriously and try to get on top of it as soon as possible it will destroy your soil.
Oxalis has millions of tinny little corms and it puts oxalic acid out into the surrounding soil to stop other plants from growing, it is a great evolutionally survival of the fittest system but makes its virtually impossible to remove once established and impossible to grow plant amongst, they just wont grow it is a terrible weed, I’ve tried everything mulch, plastic covers, vinegar, salt even resorted to Glysophate but to no avail.
So the only solution I could come up with was to build raised garden beds bring in new soil and keep the actual beds totally quarantined from the surrounding ground soil. I built beds out of old tin and poles we had lying around, filled them half way up with crappy soil from the yard lined with weed mat and filled beds with new soil and manure from my grandfather’s property. I actually got this menace of a weed from sharing a rotary hoe with my grandfather the weed came from his place and I learnt a hard lesson from this “Don’t share dirty hoes…… I can’t help myself I had to say that, sorry no but seriously pressure clean any garden equipment if you are sharing it.
Any way I’m wrapped with my gardens, a lot of hard work but so worth it and now I’m not selling to the public anymore these are heaps enough for me and my menagerie…. chickens, ducks and worms!
I have been on a journey now for a coupler years of foraging and trying to live of the land as much as possible, the rest of my yard now is weed pasture that myself and my girls and two boys can graze on, I rotate them around the yard to rest areas I have a big yard.
In my beds I planted some plants I’m hoping will self-seed into the rest of the yard plant people would refer to as weeds but I look at weeds as a free nutritious food source and have been living off them for about two years now, I buy very little food these days it’s great. There is nothing more satisfying than hunting, gathering or growing your own food it is very primal and I believe deeply healing. It is great for you and the environment in general if done with respect.
In my beds I have several different beet roots as they are one of my all-time favourite root crops, I have recently discovered the joy and health benefits of Beet Kavas, a lacto fermented beet juice it is fabulous.
I also have in Purple Orach, Zucchini’s, Sweeds, Carrots of all different colours, Peppermint for tea, Kale, I give a lot of that to my girls they love it I also ferment a bit here and there for myself and it is a good textured hardy green for stews etc, Squash, Parsnips yum, Snap Peas, normal Peas, Scarlet Runner Beans.
The more unusual plants are Amaranth for grain, I don’t really like the leaves, Salsify black and white, I’m hoping this will go feral in my yard, I’ve also collected lots of seeds of this from feral plants around here and thrown it all threw my yard, it is a delicious root veggie, Sorghum for grain but I didn’t realize it is sterile when I bought it so it wont go feral unfortunately, it is hard to get some plant here in Tasmania because our quarantine is pretty strict and lastly Burdock that I also wish to go feral, well I haven’t actually tried this yet but read a lot about it and it sound good.
The weeds that have come up in my new soil that I eat are Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) Fat Hen (Chenopodium album) Night shade (Solanum nigrum) I will talk about this later in detail ok, these are all very welcome weeds in my yard and on my plate!
I already have Broad Leaf Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) Curly Leaf Dock (Rumex crispus) Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) Mustards (Barassica sp.) Dandelions (Taraxucum officinal) False Dandelions (Hypochaeris sp.) Chick Weed (Stellaria media) Smooth Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus) Nettles (Urtica dioica) Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) Bitter Cress (Cardamine hirsuta) Horse Radish (Armorica rusticana) Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) Apple Mint (Mentha sp.) and a bigger leaved mint. WOW when I list them all I have a few, no wonder I haven’t had to buy food and this is all without what I actually go foraging and hunting for in my local area…. My new raised gardens are just a bonus really for root crops that need softer soil and plants I can’t have in with my Ravenous mob of girls!
I have been taking some of my Orach and Beet leaves to a friend here in my home town that has a cafe and accommodation, she loves the leaves and has been mixing them with lettuce for salads, they just give salad a different texture and great earthy taste, some balls you might say! I find lettuce quiet plain without these extras. I also add Dandelion leaves and flowers to liven up my salads. She “B” brews me up a nice coffee and tries to feed me up every time I take something up, B is a chief so it is good to bounce of her and she doesn’t mind being a Guinea pig for my recipes so bonus.
I love seeing people enjoy and appreciate my food, fresh or cooked I think it is one of the most loving interment things you can do for someone to feed them and it gives me immense pleasure too.
So today was my first real harvest for myself from my new veggie patch, I pulled some baby Sugar Beets, Snap Peas, Scarlet Runner Beans and Smooth Sow Thistle, I threw all this together with some bought pasta and my home made Red Wine and Tomato sauce from last season, I love simple foods and when it is so fresh and healthy you don’t need to make it complicated, I washed all this down with my Rose Hip Kombucha mixed with my Elderflower Lemon syrup, sweet sour and tangy just perfect with the earthyness of this dish, I’m really looking forward to some yummy meals this summer…. Cheers 🙂