I took out two 8×2′ plots to toss my lot and see how I could do at it. The approach was different, but my plants are flourishing:
When Judy Wright, with the community development corporation here, asked if I was a master gardener, I responded that I’m a sustainable designer and a composter. One of the concepts of permaculture is that there’s no such thing as a blank environment. As such I looked to see what was already growing. The first big planting day I transplanted in cumphrey and red clover to get a compost-nitrogen fixing system going. Then planted orange heirloom tomatoes, onion sets (2..), a mound of “pickle size” cucumbers, and lettuce/spinach mix.
The other bed was more complicated. There were many tomatoes coming up from last year’s garden. I decided to leave tomatoes in the bed and plant sorrel, a leafy perennial that is known for a lemony taste. Then trellised the tomatoes. So far, the sorrel has flourished. I am giving flower tops to a friend who is making tea with them, and the leaf I’m using for a yellow dye with a college administrator. Finally, the roots I will keep and use as red dye for my wool.
What started out as a design experiment is working out very well; I am rewarded with the top-3 garden plots this year amongst the community growers. More plants and perennials to seed the whole area with. Pura vida! Pics soon.