Food Forest Update - Late May, Early June 2019

in gardenjournal2019 •  3 months ago 

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This is an update on our food forest in late May/ early June 2019. There seems to always be new sets of challenges every year. We have had a lot of wonderful Spring rains this year. My husband did not have to hook up the solar power well pump until June 1st. All the natural rain Mother Nature has given us has made our watering job much easier. Everything is singing in the food forest after a thunderstorm and we have had plenty of those this year.

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Rosemary Not Happy

With all this rain, it presents a challenge for my rosemary plants. Rosemary is an evergreen, woody herb native to the Mediterranean region. They don't like wet feet and will develop root rot when they are not happy in their environment. Our area receives too much rain fall for rosemary, so I was told by a farmer to put rocks at the bottom of the planting hole for rosemary. This would help the water drain so roots are not sitting in water causing root rot. I did that for the first two rosemary planted in the food forest, but I forgot to do it to the new one planted two years ago. This rosemary plant can be seen in the bottom right of the photo above. It is dying from root rot. Lesson learned. I will always remember to put rocks at the bottom for any new rosemary I plant in the future.

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Potatoes

In the past years, temperature would have already gotten pretty hot by now, so my potatoes typically start dying in late May. I usually harvest the first crop of potatoes first of June then plant again for a much smaller harvest in the Fall. I am not sure what's going on this year. Most of my potato plants still look bright and healthy as of June 2nd (shown in pictures above). I will leave them in the ground longer and see if we get more and larger potatoes this year. Leaving the potatoes in the ground longer than normal also means I don't have as much space to plant sweet potato slips. So we are making a compromise and an experiment. We will not have as many sweet potatoes to harvest this Fall, but hopefully, we will have a great potato harvest. Fingers crossed.

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Tornadoes and Strong Storms

A couple of tornadoes touched down within a few of miles from our home last week. The wind in the storm was unbelievable. We were glad we did not get hit or had any property damage from the storm. However, the next morning when I walked through the food forest, I noticed most of the persimmon flowers are on the ground. It was a sad sight to see. This persimmon tree was loaded with small fruit. Looks like we might not get near as many persimmons as we hoped for this year.

I thought for sure the hardy kiwi fruit would be gone due to the strong wind, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few still hanging on. I am not sure they will make it to maturity, but I said some encouraging words to them anyways.

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Apple Trees

Looks like my apple trees are finally old enough to produce a decent crop of apples this year. It feels like we have waited forever for our trees to produce for us. Every time after we get a thunderstorm this Spring, I went outside to document the size of the apples and they sure looked like they got way bigger after the thunderstorms. Can't wait to see what our apples will do for the rest of the year. I feel like a mother watching babies grow.

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Peaches

The smell of peaches are in the air which means harvest time will be soon for our homegrown peaches. This year we did not get near as many peaches as the past years due to a late hard freeze in February. Our peach trees were flowering beautifully when the hard freeze hit. We lost a lot of peach blossoms. Unfortunately, less peach blossoms means less peaches.

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Annual Vegetable Crops

I have the typical annual vegetables planted in the food forest such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, zucchinis etc. They are all doing very well from all the Spring rains we have received this year. All the plants are loaded. We have had to do very little work in the food forest since planting time. Mother Nature has been kind to us this year. We are receiving another round of thunderstorm as I type my post. Now just have to watch out for powdery mildew from the humidity.

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There is nothing better than growing your own fresh, nutrient packed, chemical free food. There is no need to guess, you know exactly what you are putting into your body. On top of that, homegrown fruit and vegetables taste way better than store bought.

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Thank you so much!

That's amazing. I wish I had space that large I could work on over years or decades. My garden is crowded, efficient and no where near as nice looking.

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Having an efficient garden is the most important thing. You must know how to use your land well. The artist in me makes me want to do extra work to the garden so it is pleasing to my eyes. It totally would have been better to use all my energy to grow more food. Thank you for stopping by.

so so glad to see you back!! your gardens look lovely and so many wonderful lessons learned. welcome back!!! <3

Absolutely. I am so so happy to be back. Have been reading the progress on your new build. It's going to be freaking awesome! Can't wait to see what it looks like in the end.

For the most part very happy looking plants! Sorry about the rosemary. Lesson learned I suppose. Cheers

Lessons learned are more valuable than the dying rosemary plant. Thank you for stopping by.

Hello my dear @thelaundrylady, thank you for sharing your wonderful plant with us.

Annual Vegetable Crops
I have the typical annual vegetables in the food forest such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, zucchinis etc. They are all doing very well from all the Spring rains we have received this year. All the plants are loaded. We have had very little work in the food forest since planting time. Mother Nature has been kind to this year. We are receiving another round of thunderstorm as I type my post. Now just have to watch out for powdery mildew from the humidity.

Wooo, I'm glad to see that you have a very nice and healthy food forest, it's also good to see the variety of plants for food, that's a sustainable mini-farm.

I really like what you do, that you have a great harvest and you can enjoy the fruit of your work.

Take care.
Pr EV

Thank you. Nothing better than working hard then enjoy the fruits of our own labor. "Sustainable mini-farm" ... I like that!

Loved this update and those peaches! Oh my! Also love the cattle panel tunnels.

Thank you. Love how the hardy kiwi vines are growing to cover the entire tunnel. I can see birds waiting by the peach trees. They must be almost ready to harvest.

Thanks for joining the Garden Journal Challenge.

Great entry. Your crops seem to be doing pretty good. I simply love the trellises/cages in your last pics. They look so...so... professional compared to mine. But I studied the pics, and noticed it's also just pipes and wood and branches... I can never get them to look that good, lol. And the tunnel in the second pic... 🤤
So jealous. I want one of those so badly, but I simply haven't got the space for it.

I didn't know rosemary could suffer from too much rain... We have truckloads of rain here in Belgium, but our rosemary bushes start to look more like trees every year. We do have stones underneath, so that might explain why they thrive, in spite of all the rain...

It must be awesome to have such a large food forest. Who takes care of all that? I mean, is it just the two of you? Must be hard work at the beginning and the end of the season (and during the season too, lol)

It's just my husband and myself who takes care of this food forest. It can be hard work, but this year with all the rain, we have had a lot of free time on our hands, lol.

My husband is the one who built all the trellises in our food forest. We use a lot of bamboo for support. They are strong and will last a long time. We use cattle panels for the tunnel. I love resting in the shade under the tunnel after working hard in the food forest.

I have always wanted to see those rosemary "trees" in person. They look so cool. The natural soil around our area is full of clay. Water does not drain well. I pulled the dying rosemary and saw the root rot, so I guess rocks around the root zone should help with drainage and prevent root rot. The ones I planted with rocks at the bottom are still doing great despite all the rain.

Another thing to remember 😉

It's a bit of a shame that our rosemary bushes are being destroyed by the rosemary beetle. They are an exotic species and have no natural enemies here. So I check the bushes twice a day to take them all off. 10 minutes later, it seems like they're back again... Sad to watch ...

Learn something every day. I have never heard of rosemary beetle. Will they kill the rosemary bushes if you don't pick them off by hand?

I hadn't heard from them up until 2 years ago. They seem to be pretty 'new' - the first ones were spotted in the UK in 1994. So that means they've spread at warp speed.
They indeed kill the plants (rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme) because they eat the tender leaves.
You can see out plants have been nibbled on... and some stems have just dies. Such a shame...

I found a good artivle about them on Gardening Know How

Wow, this is so interesting! I really thought not much would bother these aromatic herbs. The strong smell of these plants are supposed to deter pests and that's why it is suggested to plant these kind of aromatic herbs around fruit trees. No known natural enemies is definitely one of the reason why they can spread so fast. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am glad I have included the dying rosemary plant in my garden journal. I might have ever learned about the rosemary beetle if not for you.

You've been visited by @minismallholding from Homesteaders Co-op.

Your food forest is looking fantastic! Thank you for sharing your ups and downs. I hadn't realised that too much rain could be a bad thing for rosemary. I have the opposite problem, so ours does okay as long as I don't forget a bit of fertilising occasionally. I have featured this post in the Homesteading - Living Naturally newsletter.


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Too much rain is really only an issue for my rosemary because our native soil is heavy clay. Rosemary roots are unable to breath, so they die from root rot. If your native soil is not as bad as ours drainage wise, rosemary should be fine from rain. At least this is my understanding :-)

Thank you for featuring my post! Thank you.

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I'm one of the people trying to keep toxins out of my life, and this post is so inspiring! I am not in a position to grow my own food beyond sprouting, but I sure wish I could. You are playing the long game for sure.

Everything looks so lush in your awesome pics, except for the poor rosemary! Great job, thank you for sharing and I look forward to the next update.

Sprouting is a great! That was the first step for my husband and I to get into the healthy habits. We started sprouting before we began our food forest journey. Thanks for stopping by!

I wish my “forest garden” looked like yours, sadly, it does not. Lost my rosemary last year after transplanting it, should have left it where it was, lol. Thank you for sharing!

If something fails, I look at it as another lesson Mother Nature is trying to teach me. Not everything works out as planed in my head, but we continue to learn every step of the way. Thank you for your comment!

It must be so nice to be back in your garden. I dont kniw why i keep missing your posts but i have unfollowed c-squared as they were clogging up my feed with art and spanish posts so hopefully I will see them now! Just ADORE your garden updates xx so inspiring x