Food Forest Update (First Half of May 2018) - Garden Journal

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I love using Steemit to see updates on homesteads located all over the world . It's so informative to check out how different varieties of plants grow and learning what other homesteaders do during different seasons solidifies the fact that the planet is so vast. There is so much to see and being able to observe different growing methods is so interesting. The techniques are plentiful and picking up new ideas and progressing towards that ideal state is what it's all about. I love @simplymike's great idea on starting a Steemit garden journal. To be able to look back on the growing season of 2018 and see how the food forest take shape throughout the year in one place is awesome! To keep a history of the food forest and remember the story of each growing season, I will be doing a bi-monthly update on our food forest this year.

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Red Potato

I was only able to purchase red seed potatoes this year, so that's the only type I planted. This variety seems to do really well in our area. Our Spring temperatures often get on the hotter side rather quickly, so we only grow the short season variety on our homestead. I am waiting for the leaves to die back a bit to start harvesting. There has been no insect issues. And even with the hot temperatures and lack of precipitation this Spring, they are still looking extremely healthy. For the last the four years, I have had yellowing leaves or insect problems at this same point of growth on this same variety of potato.

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Garden Eye Candy

So many bright colors in the food forest! I planted different varieties of calendula and marigolds this year. Planning on eating some of the calendula petals. All the flowers are blooming. Spiderwort is quite beautiful this year. Comfrey and yarrow flowers are all covered in bees. We also planted more perennial flowers this year such as echinacea and Black Eyed Susan. We have been planting more perennials in the food forest to reduce our work load. Who wouldn't love more eye candy in the garden without having to do the work of planting every year!

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Garlic

I started harvesting a few garlic that looked more mature. This is the earliest, in five years of growing, that I have ever harvested garlic. The harvested garlic bulbs are large and healthy. I also cut some garlic scapes the last two weeks from the hardneck garlic. We look forward to this time of the year when we can harvest fresh garlic scapes. My husband makes a great dish with garlic scapes and fried tofu, yum! The rest of the garlic should be ready in a week or two. I love growing garlic and have found ways to grow beautiful, large organic garlic without chemicals. I will be doing a post on my garlic growing method soon.

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Sweet Potato

I started two varieties of sweet potatoes slips this year from last years harvest. After growing my own slips indoors for two months, they were finally ready to be planted outside. I hate keeping sweet potatoes slips indoors for too long, the vines can get quite out of control. One of the varieties is called "Molokai Purple". I haved double the amount of this variety to grow this year because it makes the best (almost fully raw) purple sweet potato pie! The only part that's cooked is the sweet potato. I wrote all about this purple sweet potato and the recipe for the purple sweet potato pie as my first post on Steemit. It did not get much traction since it was my first post. You can follow the link to read the post if you like: Growing Molokai Purple Sweet Potato and Eating Pie

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Artisan Lettuce

Lettuce are on their way out due to the hot temperature. They are now bolting and getting eaten by pests. We have been eating a lot of salads lately, trying to clean the patch out. But, I am not complaining. I love the way lettuce looks in the garden during early Spring. It adds such beautiful colors before the Summer crops overtake their place . It's sad to see them bolt but I need more space for flowers and herbs anyways.

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Summer Crops

Tomatoes and peppers are loving the heat and growing by the hour it seems. I even saw some baby fruit forming on several plants. Zucchinis are doing well. Not yet bothered by stink bugs. They will come in time, there is no stopping them. Something kept eating my Marketmore cucumber seedlings in a raised bed, so I had to replant a few earlier this week. Not a problem though, as cucumbers can be planted through mid July in our area.

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Blueberries

We planted six more Rabbiteye blueberry plants this Spring in the new orchard area. The blueberry plants were already established in the food forest are producing a ton of fruit. As long as we can beat the birds, we will have a great harvest of blueberries this year. Bird netting will be thrown on the plants soon.

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Original Orchard

We installed a small orchard in the food forest about three years ago. I was reading all about permaculture and tree guilds at the time, so I planted the orchard using the permaculture method. I inter-planted nitrogen fixers, nutrient accumulators, mulch plants and insectary plants all in the orchard. It's so nice to see everything finally taking shape now after a few years. Peach, plum, pear and apple trees are all doing well. We probably will not have persimmons this year. Bad timing on a late frost killed all the blossoms. Bummer, the fruit was so good last year! Oh well, it's just Mother Nature making sure we know we are in control of less than what we think we are.

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Orchard Expansion

We love the way our original orchard is growing, so we have expanded the orchard part this year to include more diversity of fruit trees in our food forest. We have only planted a couple of trees and a few perennials in the expanded part. Our natural soil is rock hard. Our focus this year for the new orchard is building soil.

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Collecting Limbs

My husband has been cleaning up the land and piling all the limbs and wood around the garden. He did this a couple of years ago and realized the soil underneath the wood get super rich after sitting there for a couple of years. Decomposing tress make a great ground cover and help build soil. Nothing goes to waste here.

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Farm Animal Hard at Work

My dog loves to help in the garden. He gets especially excited about cool, wet wood chips! Anytime when my husband and I go get a load of wood chips, he wants a ride. This is how he helps. He finds a nice, cool spot on the wood chips and makes us humans dig around him. Ha, what a smart animal!

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Photo copyright: @thelaundrylady

I am so glad to find like minded people on Steemit! It's a community I am happy to be part of. If you like my post, please upvote, resteem and comment. I would love to hear your experience.

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Oh wow, your place looks beautiful. We are working on ours slowly.

My lettuce and spinach didn't have a chance, spinach is now bolting due to the hot OK weather and it's spring!

The sudden dip on temps early spring killed our peach and apple blossoms so not expecting any fruits this year.

I will keep an eye on updates on your place. Something to learn from as we are working on our homestead.

How long did you work on your place to be at this point? 4 years at least? (Based on the potato and orchard parts of your post)...

Thank you for your kind words! I am also in Oklahoma. Sounds like you experienced the same crazy Spring weather as we did. Not going to have persimmons this year and I can definitely tell the fruit set on other fruit trees are not as good.

The part of my garden with raised beds are 5 to 6 years old. I started my first year of gardening with two raised beds (6 years ago). I added two more raised beds the following Spring. The original orchard part is 4 years old.

I love that you include edible and medicinal flowering plants. I remember as a child being taught which ones I could nibble, as well as the ones I was warned away from. It was only as I grew older that I began to learn their different uses.

You are so fortunate to have grown up that way with people who have the knowledge of different plants and could teach you. A seed was planted in you when you were a little one!

Sweet potato pie! Damn I've never had that but I may have to find a way to make it. Sounds delicious. Wonderful garden you got there too! Looks like you have a fine piece of land and making the best of it! :)

That's the best sweet potato pie I have ever had, so definitely give it a try. You won't be disappointed. Thanks for stopping by!

Ahh okay. I think you've tempted me. I may have to go buy some sweet potatoes and make it this weekend.Even though it's not the same as having home grown potatoes still worth a shot!

Love to see your lovely garden! You’ve done an excellent job; so much diversity: food and beauty! Curious where you live to already have garlic harvesting and peppers and fruits on the trees and bushes that far along ☺️ I love the garden updates, too. Thanks for yours. Gorgeous photos too by the way 🌿💚

Thank you so much for your kind words! I am in Southeastern Oklahoma and our Spring has been unusually warm.

I had no idea Oklahoma was that far ahead weather wise of he Northeast. I'm just getting stuff in the ground, after a very cold April.

The Spring has been unusually warm for our area, so everything seems to be growing faster. My peas did not like the warm weather though. They are suffering right now.

Great garden! Upvote and resteemed.

Great to see your garden flourish, @thelaundrylady.
Due to my health problems, I’m a bit late with everything, but slowly I can see everything growing.
Meanwhile, I love checking how everyone else is doing.

Yes, I remember reading you were having surgery this week. Hope you recover well! Thank you for the idea to keep a garden journal on Steemit! Appreciate you stopping by.

No probs. I’ve been checking out the tag and was pleasantly surprised it is being used by so many people.
I assume I’ll be fit enough again to set up the second edition of the challenge in a day or 10 (I’m not fit enough to do any garden work - for now, my girlfriend is taking care of the work, but I guess taking pics should be doable). Maybe make it bi-monthly afterwards, because everything is growing So fast. :0)

I am so deeply envious of your garden. I spent the last two weeks getting little done in my garden, and now I have rain for the week. The procrastination side of my personality is rejoicing.

Someday I will talk about my harvests. Until then I will fantasize with yours.

Thank you so much for your kind words! I spend hours taking photos, editing photos whether I have an audience or not. I like documenting the progress. I am glad you enjoy looking at photos of our food forest. Thank you for stopping by!

I know the feeling of going through the motions with or without the audience all too well. You gotta do what you love though.

Looks amazing! I was working on a similar project earlier, although we've got a long way to go...

Your garden is a inspiration! Being in the opposite hemisphere maybe I might be able to orgainse to implement some of your ideas by our Spring!
Glad I'm not the only one with a "helper" dog in the garden!

Thank you for your comment! I love gardening and having so many people on steemit to share and learn from is great. Glad to hear you like some of the ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

Beautiful. I love your house!!! Oh gosh I love garlic scapes... so good. Your post makes me want to get out in my garden!!!

Thank you for stopping by! You can't go to your garden, your growing season is over, lol.

Beautiful garden! It is so interesting seeing both the different seasons crops over the ocean (I'm from South Africa) and the different herbs that we don't get. I love the garden eye candy. Herbs are my favourite. They have amazing healing properties and their flowers are beautiful. Plus bee food

Thank you! Absolutely, I am intrigued by all the different food crops, herbs and fruit trees that people have around different zones and climates as well. Looking forward to following you and seeing what you have in South Africa!

It is immediately evident that you have a well-kept garden. All planted with love and care. In my garden, mostly roses, and in my blog a lot of information on the care of roses. If you decide to plant roses, I can help you with advice.

Great, rose is something I have not included in my food forest. Been thinking about adding it. Thanks for stopping by. I am following you now so I can see updates on your garden.

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