Friday, July 1, 2011

Progress in the Yard (or Lack Thereof)

This summer we've had a pretty hands-off gardening style. I'd like to think it's intentional experimentation, but mostly it's neglect. With the exception of the weekly watering and fairly regular weeding, we let things run their course. The vetch is truly out of control: it's rapidly going to seed and starting to climb into the fruit trees. The fescue is nearly as tall and has also gone to seed. The wheat is also ripening nicely, which the chickens truly appreciate. The veggie bed has greens going to seed (which is intentional) and a volunteer squash and melon of some kind doing their best to crowd out the tomatoes. I am fascinated by the plant dynamics but the yard is truly unruly. Here are the hens set free from their run to help maintain the jungle:

Making their way through the wheat, fescue and sunflower forest

Wednesday we ate the last peach from our tree. It was heavenly. Here it was just before we reverently devoured it:

Garnet peach

Two turnips are still buried and I really should uproot them. They are not meant for near 100 degree heat. One of the 5 tomatoes has two wee fruit growing and the mystery squash should start blossoming any moment. I also spotted basil I had forgotten about. Along the perimeter of the lot we've also planted some giant sunflowers. They are hitting their growth spurt and I can't wait to have 8-10' flowers bobbing their greetings when in bloom.

The one spot we can't neglect is the guerrilla orchard. It needs to be hand watered about twice/week. Although next to the acequia it doesn't have direct floodwater access, so we hand water. There are 4 cherry trees currently as well as a handful of sunflowers. This whole thing is situated next to a west-facing block wall. The radiant heat can really speed up evaporation and transpiration, so we have to be more diligent in our care.

Although our yard will never make it into some glossy gardening magazine,we like it this way. We have great habitat for insects (and even a toad), pesticide-free fodder for the chickens, a cool microclimate where the vetch is and some food for us. It all works out.

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