Saturday, February 21, 2009
Grow your own!!
So, we bought a house in north Oakland, CA (home of the Black Panthers!) this past December 2008... and ever since, have been working to turn the yard into a forest garden, an edible landscape of permaculture with a garden for annuals in the back. This just seems like good common sense to me, and a recent post on BlueOregon shows that the consciousness is spreading that we all need to be doing a little bit more of growing our own. Indeed, a recent article in AARP magazine shows that retired folks are finding that this is a great way to use some of that extra time they find on their hands, while reducing the burden of their food budget on their pocketbook!
So far, we've planted an orange tree, some rosemary, thyme, oregano and jasmine in the front yard (the last because it smells good and can serve as a centerpiece for the kitchen table). And in the back, the house came with a mature apricot tree, which we have surrounded with hops, blueberries, a faux-artichoke, a four-on-one apple tree, a fig tree, a currant bush, strawberries, lettuce and salad greens, carrots, peas, valerian, rhubarb ... and three chickens!! We'll be adding dozens of other crops over the next few months, as we haven't even started to plant our two raised beds, and also intend to add a few more fruit & nut trees & shrubs... I'm quite excited by it all, frankly!! I think it's one of the best parts of owning a house, that you can plant trees and stuff in the yard and know that they're your trees and shrubs and that you should be able to reap your own harvest, year after year (and if you move, well, the next occupant will be able to reap your harvest, year after year)!!
So go out there and plant edible stuff, anywhere and everywhere you can! Just pay attention to what each plant needs and wants (sun, partial sun, shade, good fertilized soil, poor well-drained soil) and give it to it at the beginning... it's just that simple!