Sunday, 8 July 2012

July 2012 - Permaculture at the Arctic, in Iceland

It is now early July, and our permaculture garden in Iceland is in full bloom.

We have outdoors, a thriving garden full of potatoes and sunchokes, plenty of onions and leeks, a carrot bed, salads here and there (lettuce, rocket, mizuna, radish, parsley and pak choi), some cabbages and kale, two squash plants (already gave a courgette), celery, cumin and fennel (overwintered from last year), peas and lentils (grown from seed outdoors), a few sunflowers and strawberries (now starting blooming), lovage and rhubarb (both grow very well in Iceland), several currants (which also provide shelter from wind), and even one surviving tomato and one pepper plant (helped by the heat of surrounding rocks which warm at the sunlight). We also have several flowers (tulips,  phacelia, rye and mustard (that work as green manure), poppies and other native flowers).

If last year, our garden outdoors was neat and organized in rows, this year the garden seems a bit wild, because we opted for some dense planting. We have been experimenting. We are testing companion planting, creating warm micro-environments (by using shelter from wind, mulching and warming rocks) and also by depositing organic matter to create a deep rich soil (where a shallow sandy soil was initially present).

Indoors we have a collection of tomatoes, eggplants and peppers from several varieties (some are rarities like a pink tomato); we even have a container with corn (now fruiting); some chia, fenugreek, anise and sesame (grown from kitchen seeds), some experiments which still have not cropped (quinoa, millet, amaranth and mung beans), different legumes (beans, cow peas, peanuts and chick peas), some perennial vegetables (yacon, chives, chinese artichokes, asparagus, skirett and walking onions), one moringa tree, one ginger plant, and finally some small tree seedlings of honey locust, avocado, pomegranate, manchurian apples, limes, mulberries and others that we started from seed.

We have resorted only to use local resources: our self-made compost, we don't want to import nutrients or organic matter, only use the hay and grass which already grow around the garden itself.

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