Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chugging Right Along

Things here at the Mini Farm has been a little hectic for the past few days. The Mother-In-Law was put into ICU Sunday and is in bad condition. So if I miss a day or two please just bare with me.

This is an experiment with some Polyculture Planting. I got this idea from a book on urban homesteading and found out this kind of planting has been around since before the white man came to this continent.
Wikipedia defines it as,
is agriculture using multiple crops in the same space, in imitation of the diversity of natural ecosystems, and avoiding large stands of single crops, or monoculture. It includes crop rotation, multi-cropping, intercropping, companion planting, beneficial weeds, and alley cropping.
The technique I used is the same as the Native Americans "Three Sisters" Squash, Corn and Beans. The corn grows tall so the beans can climb. The beans put nitrogen into the soil helping the corn and the squash and the squash covers the ground suppressing the weeds and preventing the soil from drying out.
I plan to take this type of gardening to the next level in a couple of months and plant one entire raised bed with nothing but salad fixings. I will be using different types of lettuce, Swiss chard, Radishes, Kayle and a few others, maybe even some eatable flowers. Most will be broadcast seeded and then others will be started in containers then transplanted when needed at different times.
This type of gardening is a foreign thought around these parts. The conventional long rows of one type of plant is what has been passed down for the past hundred or so years. Anything different and some people think you have lost your mind.
I had one guy say, "That probably works for them there people up North, but it will never work down here."
According to several books like Square Foot Gardening it will work and it is working, even down here.


  1. Yes, your place/ garden is chugging right along, looks GREAT!*wink*
    Hey, as I always say I'd rather be at the head of the pack than in the middle or at the end. Who cares if they think you are crazy, one NEVER knows unless you give it a try for yourself. Plus that way you ALWAYS keep them guessing*wink* I love to blow peoples minds and do stuff just to get a reaction, LOL!!!!! Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing what's working for you, we have sort of leaned into a permiculture type of planting and although we still plant in rows( because we flood irrigate) we do inter-plantings with companion plants and herbs. Besides it's beautiful too*wink*
    Have a truly blessed Independence Day with your family.

  2. I'll send up a prayer for your mother-in-law. I hope everything will be ok.

    Polyculture is supposed to be a great a way to grow things. I haven't tried it because I myself am not sure what plants can and should be planted with other plants.

    My garden is doing great this year. Last year was the first year I have ever attempted gardening and I was happy to see a few pea plants pop up to maybe a half a foot. The peas were delicious and never made it to the kitchen:) This year I got probably twenty plants that are almost three feet tall:) I just found the first couple of pods developing and I was jumping for joy. My cucumbers and squash are the same way....I can't wait to start harvesting!