My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

My Garden ~ heirloom seeds


I visited the Koanga Institute last week and as usual, I was inspired by the maturity of the development of their permacultural design of a multi-storied garden. Koanga has built up a rich ecosystem and variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers by sowing and saving heritage seeds and plants. I can’t help but reflect how my gardening techniques and views have changed since I first planted silverbeet and lettuce seedlings in a small, carefully tended weed-free plot. I wanted more fresh food for my children and so over time, I’ve learned to garden without digging and of the importance of creating natural diversity.

“An ecological garden has many layers, from a low herb layer through shrubs and small trees to the large overstory. Each layer can contain ornamental species, varieties for food and other human uses, wildlife plants, and flora for building soil and maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Together the layers provide diverse habitat, many products, and plenty of visual interest.” (T. Hemenway. (2000). Gaia’s Garden: a guide to home-scale permaculture. p. 26).

Organically grown vegetable seeds were the reason for my visit. I like growing different varieties and so buy heirloom seeds with the view to saving my own seeds from plants grown in my garden. For winter crops this year, I’ve sown: Winter Lettuce (wavy fingers for picking through winter), Nutty Celery Apium graveolens (nutty taste, disease resistant, can pick by the stalk through winter), Purple Sprouting Broccoli Brassica oleracea, Salad Pea Pisum sativum (low growing, tasty shellout peas and edible tendrils), White Belgium Carrot (large, sweet taste, fast growing, good in a warm climate), Manglebeet Beta vulgaris (sweet, mild taste, large orange root vegetable).  

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

5 thoughts on “My Garden ~ heirloom seeds

  1. Pingback: Heirloom seeds (Jenny Litchfield) « Desertification

  2. Here`s a good tip for your plant
    How can you boost the carbon dioxide content in your hydroponic garden? There are five ways that you can increase the level of carbon dioxide in your greenhouse to increase plant growth. First, the burning hydrocarbon fuels will create carbon dioxide gas. Second, the use of dry ice can aid in the production of this gas. Third, fermentation of organic materials creates carbon dioxide. Fourth, the decomposition of organic matter such as compost will create carbon dioxide. Finally, the use of compressed bottled carbon dioxide is the most commonly used way to create the gas in a greenhouse for the desired effect.

  3. I’ve never known anyone that practiced permacultural gardening. But, of course, it makes perfect sense. Did you take classes to learn about it, or just read Gaia’s Garden?

  4. Hi Jackie, I do read a lot but have never had lessons. My approach could be best described as a book in one hand and a packet of seeds in the other. Over the years, I’ve learned to learn from my many mistakes and by observing what others do.

  5. I am not familiar with permaculture either. It will be interesting reading about your experiences, good and not so good.

    My husband is interested in preserving our state heritage trees. He has obtained seeds or starts of those that used to be native, but now are rare. His upcoming birthday present will be a tree because I know there is nothing he would rather have.

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