Wednesday, August 05, 2009

We're growing our own!!

OK, as promised, here is an update post on the progress of our own attempts to grow our own (no, not that stuff, it hasn't yet been legalized for non-medical use here)! Above is the back of our house, as seen from the backyard. That's a peach tree taking up the right half of the photo -- and yes, they're delicious, even if it does have leaf blight this year... we've heard that spraying a copper solution on the tree while it is dormant over the winter is a completely-organic way to cure the leaf blight.

Inspired by the Forest Garden book, we planted our yard over the winter, got chickens, installed a living fence to keep the chickens from crapping all over the deck, planted stuff to grow on the living fence, and then, most recently, got a kitteh to keep an eye on everything. Or, you know, do whatever it is that cats do.

Here's our little kitty, Huasca, on his harness & leash, stalking the three chickens (Henrietta -- Henny Penny -- is the small tan one, Viola the big white one, and Edith the brownish one):

Here's Huasca through the living fence... even now that he's older and can go out in the yard off-leash, he still enjoys stalking the chickens:

Speaking of chickens, this is our famous chicken, Viola, on a ladder:

She was probably peering over the fence at this morning glory jungle in the neighbor's yard. Yes, there is a lemon tree under there somewhere, and it's prolific and gives tasty fruit:

In our raised beds, on the other side of a short chicken-wire fence from the ladder, is this not-quite ripe purple pepper (I think it's a sweet):

Here are a couple of tomatoes on a plant in the raised beds. As you can see, the fruit is beautiful (it's delicious, too), but the plant is less-than-picture perfect. I don't care, as long as the tomatoes are prolific and tasty:

Here is one of the first strawberries from the new plants we put in this spring (there were already a few strawberry plants struggling to survive when we moved in):

Here's a shot that gives some more context for the raised beds. Those are hops growing up the string in front of the back fence, and in front of them, sun flowers... blueberries are under the hops, tomatoes in the foreground in the raised beds, along with onions, leeks & lettuce:

Here's a close-up shot of some of the blueberries on their bush under the avocado tree:

Here's a little yellow summer squash, growing next to the raised beds, on their side of the chickenwire fence that separates the vegetable garden from the chicken run portion of the yard:

In the middle of the backyard, we planted a 4-on-1 apple tree, which Carryh is watering in this shot:

This is an extremely rare double rainbow that appeared over our backyard during a freak July rainstorm:

I was going to make a fire in the chiminea on our back deck, but as I was crumpling up newspaper to get it going, raindrops started falling on my head... so, I stopped, grabbed the camera (Pentax K10 SLR, great camera, BTW), and started shooting, and that's when I noticed that rainbow... and then the second one... Awesome color during a rainstorm at dusk... and, we managed to still have a wonderful hang-out session around the fire afterwards!

Next to the deck: There's a Gewurztraminer grape in there somewhere, sharing the living fence with the purple beans. Also, down below in the bed is lavender, lettuce, some kind of squash, and some other stuff:

On the other side of the garden gate from the deck is this little area. Cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, beans and squash grow in a little bed, and a lot of them are climbing up our living fence/chicken barrier:

In the foreground: The living fence/chicken barrier and the little bed underneath it, with peas, squash, beans, cukes, etc... In the background, the bamboo (source of the poles that stake up the beans & fruit trees), the apple tree, the pear tree, the peach tree, and rear fence/potting bench:

Here's a purple flower on a green bean stalk growing up a pole cut from the bamboo grove:

These purple beans are on another beanstalk growing up another of our bamboo poles:

Underneath the beanstalk is a nice patch of squash and stuff, including this nice big fat green zucchini:

Next to that is our baby fig tree, with our first figs! (They're delicious...) It's a Kadota fig:

That's me with a bowl full of produce from our garden. I've got tomatoes, zucchini, some other kind of white zucchini squash, green beans, purple beans, cucumber and peas. That's our kitchen in the background:

Here's Carryh holding the same basket, in our kitchen... I think she actually was the one who picked the veggies and arranged them so nicely (you can tell, I'm sure):

And after all that time out in the dirty yard, everybody needs a bath -- even Huasca. Washa-A-Huasca!

If we made all of this possible in the back yard of a small 30x100 foot lot, you can certainly do the same in your own back (or front) yard, if you're lucky enough to have one. If not, if you live in an apartment or some other area where you don't have yard access -- considering getting a plot at a local community garden. If all the plots are full, or you don't have a community garden nearby -- start one! Go ahead, just do it -- Guerrilla Gardening is in, man!

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