My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills," William Wordsworth

My Garden ~ heirloom seeds

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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

A few years ago when I began blogging, I was in awe of the creative, the witty, the informative, the insightful posts by writers on WordPress. I was challenged by my son to write, to set up a blog, to expand my garden diary scribblings. Never did I think from scratching and grubbing in my garden dirt would sprout words of reflection, thoughts about life lived as I know it. 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 do put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. Always, there's something to write or chat about life lived as I know it. I have a certain sense of amazement that my blogging community is expanding. In a previous life, I once was a teacher. A four-walled classroom is an artificial construct. When thirty or so teenagers with diverse learning needs filled the space, the more I listened, the more I observed my students, the more I learned. They had stories to tell, to write of things that interested them. Luckily for me we embarked on amazing journeys of discovery and learned together. Some say a lifestyle block is a no-lifestyle block. We like being able to grow seasonal food, to enjoy fresh air and open space. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older stage of our life together, but family commitments continue. And so it another phase of discovery happens as I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and a menagerie of living creatures who rule the roost.

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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