|Icy rain dripping from the crabapples - nature's Xmas lights!|
And so, despite another year of enviously reading those articles and blog posts from (real?) people who say they just "enjoy each other's company" and spend December sitting around the fireplace with loved ones while enjoying a nice mug of hot cocoa and a book...well, our season doesn't look like that. And that means a fair amount of garden avoidance, too.
In my 2011 post about harvest totals and 2012 goals, I mentioned our commitment to not expanding the garden and focusing on other important tasks like remodeling the kitchen (future post!). No way was I ready for how much time and attention that project took. So with that
|Basil & Sweet Potatoes|
|Brussels sprouts, daikons, chard, kale, collards|
1. Tomatoes (33 pounds)
2. Kale (27 pounds)
3. Strawberries (16 pounds)
4. Collards (14 pounds)
5. Swiss Chard (13 pounds)
Close runners-up were broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Looking ahead, we're preparing to be the site for 2 home garden permaculture tours this year. I like this kind of mini-stress because it gives a clear deadline for completing some of the many projects that we started in the past two years and haven't yet completed.
|Ladybug eggs spotted on our front porch furniture|
In general, it's a good idea to make planting your fruit-producing trees and bushes a priority, since they will take a few years to start to bear fruit. But this rule applies more to landscaping than to efficient gardening-based permaculture thinking. Fruit trees are best left unmoved, i.e. be really sure about where you want them, and have a plan for how they will interact with your larger design. You don't really want to move them. Though it can be done, you will be setting them back to the point that it might have been more economical to have waited until you were sure about your design before planting them. And it's easy to fill in gaps in the landscaping/design with vegetables while you take the time to observe and complete the design process. In short, have a plan, don't be hasty.
|Late-winter turnip harvest|
Now off to plan those vegetable gardens and swoon over seed catalogs! See you at the Cincinnati Seed Library swap on February 27th!