28.10.09

Even the weeds look good


I haven't had time to do a lot of seed raising, planning or planting this spring, but luckily for the last six years I have established many of the herbs and fruit trees we need. Radishes, kales, beetroots, lettuces etc self seeded last autumn and are now providing us with tender salads along with the addition of a few choice self seeded weeds. I've also been indulging in some local olives and oil just to top them off.
( Just need to find a source of nice local feta to barter.)
It is interesting that Motherwort and nettle are thriving in my garden at the moment. My friend who is a herbalist once suggested to me that all the plants you need for your well being at any point in time will colonise your surroundings, this might also explain why I just cannot grow some herbs despite much persistence while others rampage out of control. The nettle is being taken as tea for the iron and vitamins, while the Motherwort is helpful for woman's cycles.

Other herbs and medicines also thriving are: Elderberry and elecampane, chickweed and calendula, comfrey and hop plant, lovage, marshmallow, borage and lemon balm. Listing those herbs makes me really think about all their properties as well and how I must "make hay while the sun shines" so to speak. The warm, windy weather is quite favourable for harvesting and drying them.
The weeds are also doing a good job of "supporting" some things I have planted. The broad beans for example don't need to be staked as they are being held upright by weeds.
The planting that I have been doing has involved planting 6 telegraph cucumbers in the tunnel house, a few, "Ahem!" F1 hybrid tomatoes in the glasshouse. Ox heart tomatoes curving round the corner of the garden path leading to the blueberries. Tomatoes and basil near the water tank. Sunflowers and Phacelia by the neighbours fence with spinach and hearting lettuces poked in the shady wet spots. The onions were a disaster, I think they were too little when I planted them out so only half have taken off. Peas look good, a few flowers showing. The red head has a very close eye on the strawberry patch after a lesson in why we don't pick the strawberry flowers for Mum, a few weeks ago.
One row of spuds in, one more trench dug and lined with comfrey.
Hope to get the Purple Cherokee tomatoes planted in the tunnel house this weekend as well as the cannelinni beans and gherkins outdoors. Have four zucchini in but have been a bit slow to plant the pumpkins and forgot to buy corn seed altogether. Will watch a friends experiment with saving corn seeds this summer with interest.
If any Kiwi's want motherwort roots, sunflower seeds or cannelinni seeds drop me a line.
I'll happily pop some in the post.

9 comments:

hippygeek said...

Hiya - I'd love some cannelini bean seeds. I could swap you for... well I guess you don't want sunflowers, I have a few hundred of them! How about flat leaved parsley? Broccoli (organic, my own seed from last years plant), strawberry-spinach, snow peas... or is there something in particular you want that I might have?

I don't like to leave my email address in places like this, but I see you use comment moderation so I'll leave it in the next post and you can grab it then delete the post :)

beth said...

Hello
I have just started reading your blog, and have really enjoyed reading through your posts. I have two girls, 5 years and 4 months and we would love some seeds to grow! Thank you. I will do the same as 'hippygeek' and send a following message with my email address :)
Thanks - Beth

Tracy said...

Hi Gillian
Your garden is looking good and it is great to make use of the 'weeds'. I am just getting back to blogging after a few depressed months and have had to start afresh. I hope you don't mind changing your link in your sidebar to my new blog address.
Wishing you happiness.
Tracy
PS I have had lots of compliments for the bag you sent me.

BellaBree said...

your post just reminded me to plant the corn- thanks for that! Yay you for all your produce - good work!

Gillybean said...

Hi Beth, I sent you an email a couple of days ago but haven't heared back yet. Check your "junk" box if you havn't recieved it. X

hippygeek said...

Hi Gilly - thanks so much for the fantastic seeds! Can't wait to have my first harvest of beans, woot! :)

Ruth said...

What do you use chickweed for? I'm constantly ripping that bugger out... I didn't know it was good for something :)

Gillybean said...

Hi Ruth, I use succulent chickweed that is growing in shady spots as a salad ingredient, it is my practice to sneak nutritious weeds into the children disguised as everyday meals. It's better before it flowers. Also it can be made into a tasty pesto. It has a high mineral content so is a good spring tonic. Also it is a cooling herb so good to rub on a stinging nettle itch or for stings even worth a try for eczema-in a bath or made into a herbal cream.

beth said...

The seeds arrived, thank you :)