Thursday, 24 September 2009

List of our (easy to grow) perennial vegetables

Permaculture is great!
Contact if you are interested in getting these.
  • Good King Henry
  • Nettles
  • Tiger Nuts
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Chinese Artichokes
  • Skirret
  • Taro
  • Yacon
  • Horseradish
Our annual vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Endive
  • Chicory
  • Celery
  • Celeriac
  • Kohl-rabi
  • Turnip
  • Root parsley
  • Brocculi
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Garlic
  • Wild garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Salfisy
  • Scorzonera
  • Gengir
  • Beets
  • Swiss chard
  • Eggplant
  • Wheat
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Soy beans
  • Chick peas
  • Peas

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Our vegetables in the garden...

Here are the most recent photos of our organic urban Permaculture garden.
We have now pumpkin, cucumber, peppers, celery, beets, swiss chards, jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, lentils, beans, yacon, tiger nuts, skirret and taro.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Recommended books in Ecological living, Gardening and Self-sufficiency

What good books on ecological living, gardening and self-sufficiency are there?
To start this conservation I decided to write a short review of the book of John Seymour, The New Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency: The Classic Guide for Realists and Dreamers, which for me is the absolute bible of self-sufficiency living. Written a few decades ago, it stands as bright and updated as ever, and it features an amazing ammount of information and resources of how to grow your own food, catch water, in very specific, non-sense and practical situations. This is a book for a lifetime.

Another very good book is Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles by Eric Toensmeier. It features an extensive list of many perennial vegetables, easy to grow, how to grow and prepare them, many of which have great potential for permaculture, and are not yet so well known. I have grown some of them this year with excellent results. This is practical Permaculture at its best. I also like very much his detailed style of writting.

Finally, the best general (and a fairly cheap one) Permaculture book for more urban settings, it's 21st Century Smallholder: From Window Boxes to Allotments: How to Go Back to the Land Without Leaving Home by Paul Waddington. This is not only a very practical book but an inspiring one. Particularly for people who live in cities, and would like to get more ecological and self-reliant. The book is divided in the sections garden and food, water, energy, waste, and has many little advices and tricks to reduce our ecological footprint and it also includes a few case-studies. Excellent book to start with.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Self-sufficient gardening - Growing vegetables in a shade garden

Today we harvested a few more vegetables from the garden.
We harvested potatoes (which were grown under only 2 hours of sunlight!), plenty of celery, plenty of cucumbers (in half-shade), and a few tomatoes (which are now slowing due to the lack of sunlight). The tomatoes in shade grow, but the fruits stay green and grow slowly. However, with just 3 hours sunlight, the plants gave a nice crop.

Our pumpkin plant is growing very long, it has several female flowers, let's hope that we can harvest in a couple of months a dozen of nice muskat de provence pumpkins!

I cut the zucchini. The plants were not cropping anymore, due to the lack of sunlight. I guess they are not adequate to shade gardens, and occupy much space. It's much better to grow the prolific cucumbers!! Each plant gave about 5-10 fruits.
We also have some beans growing and cropping (of exotic varieties).

Our jerusalem artichokes, chinese artichokes, yacon, skirret, taro, scorzonera, and tiger nuts, are still growing, and hopefully producing a nice crop of roots under. The yacon plant is huge, with giant leaves and nearly 2 meters high. I had to protect it from the wind.

We also have one plant of celeriac and a few new kohl-rabi. And our good king henry is growing fantastically well, with plenty of its spinach-like leaves for us to cook. The swiss-chard is another crop growing very well even under the shade of a tree.

The nice thing is, with so much mulching and shade, there is no need to water the garden for several days in a row.