Sunday, 17 May 2020

Medlars in the Forest Garden, Bulgarian Honey Garlic under Figs and Wild Flower Meadows - Week 9 - The Polyculture Project

Wow, that week went super fast. It's been hot and still here the last week, threatening to rain but never delivering which is odd for May as it's usually one of our wettest months. We spent most of the week working in the home garden Apatheia, propagating plants for the nursery, planting out the Tomatoes (now the chance of late frost is unlikely) and chop and dropping in the perennial beds of the forest garden. Here are some photos from the gardens and what we've been up to this week.

Allium neapolitanum - Daffodil Garlic,  another of the new Alliums we're growing.  A perennial bulbous plant native to the Mediterranean from Portugal to Turkey. Delicious flowers :) 

Here are the flowers with an unidentified fly (Diptera) that appears to be stuck to the petal via its proboscis. I'm not sure what's going on there? 

Orange-tip Butterfly- Anthocharis cardamines feeding on the nectar of some Kohlrabi plants that we did not harvest last season. The flowers and flower buds are delicious and make a welcome snack whenever passing by. 

Mespilus germanica - Medlar is one of my favorite trees in the garden. It grows at a steady pace and never becomes overwhelming, tolerates (even appreciates) a little shade and I've never known any of the trees in our gardens or in the surrounding area to be troubled by pest and disease. As the plant matures it often develops a quirky lean and reliably turns out plenty of deliciously unusual fruits right up until Christmas. The spring flowers are graceful and emerge in stages. I had the opportunity to photograph the flowers in different stages from a plant we planted in Aponia about 5 years ago. 

Mespilus germanica - Medlar flowering in the Forest Garden 

Mespilus germanica - Medlar
 fruits in late September in the forest garden 

I'm enjoying some quick stir-fries from the garden. I grab a few handfuls of Allium tuberosum  - Garlic Chives and Rumex patientia -  a few sprigs of Satureja montana - Winter Savory and Origanum vulgare - Pot Marjora and some  Asparagus officinalis - Asparagus spears., dice it, fry it with a few duck eggs and some bacon and that's lunch:) 

Viburnum opulus 'Xanthocarpum' - Guelder Rose flowering. Good fruit for the birds during the early winter.

Nectaroscordum siculum - Bulgarian Honey Garlic are in flower and what a wonderful flower it is. I love the way the inflorescence tower above the other vegetation on these plants. I've been dotting them around the garden over the years and the effect is quite striking. We're experimenting with these plants for pest control (as a pest confuser) given how powerful the sulfur-containing compounds are in these plants - more on that hereThese plants are also responsible for a national treasure here in Bulgaria, Samardala (Самардала)  a spice/seasoning often used in cooking.

Here's a patch of them strutting their stuff under a Ficus carica cv. - Fig

Sophie sowed some Chickpea - Cicer arietinum that I planted out the other day on the edge of an Asparagus officinalis - Asparagus patch. Beautiful plant and probably fixing some Nitrogen too.

Ammon Felix who is participating in our Regenerative Landscape Design - Online Interactive Course 
 this season is looking for a landowner interested in developing a Food Forest. Ammon is based in Walla Walla, Washington 

The main goals of this project are

1. Create a food forest that can produce enough highly nutritious berries, nuts, and herbs to supplement the nutritional and medicinal needs of a household

2. Design a self-sustaining system that is drought tolerant, produces its own fertility and creates habitat for support species

3. Can be efficiently managed with hand tools and uplifting human labor

4. Be an example of a Food Forest in our Bio-region and can be occasionally accessed by visitors

5. Act as a genetic repository for uncommon fruits and perennial vegetables that grow well in our region

This project could take many forms. Anywhere from a city parking strip, an empty field, or an existing woody area could be used. If you or anyone you know is interested in this project please get in touch. We can call to talk through your thoughts, the benefits of planting a food forest, the potential site location, and the design and implementation process.

The design process will be done as part of the “Regenerative Landscape Design Course” I am taking part in this spring ( I have been looking forward to starting this project for a long time and hope you will find the idea inspiring. - Ammon Felix

If you are interested you can contact Ammon via Facebook here

Forest Garden 

Early morning in the garden with the ducks. They like grazing the Trifolium repens - White Clover that we've sown into the lawn.

Always a pleasure to watch the wildflower meadows changing from week to week this time of year. Greater stitchwort - Stellaria holostea is the star of the show at the moment 

As well as the changes from week to week. meadows in the different gardens also feature different dominant species and this is probably due to the different way the meadows are managed. The above photo is from a meadow cut for hay twice a year, with some cattle and horse grazing in early Autumn and the meadow below is grazed by a small flock of sheep pretty much all season. The soils are more or less the same in both locations.

Elaeagnus umbellata - Autumn Olive seed sown last autumn and transplanted into a nursery bed 3 weeks ago by Dylan are doing well. The strongest of these seedlings will be over 60 cm tall by the end of the summer and 4 - 5 years from now will be producing their own fruits.

We're in the third week of our very first Regenerative Landscape Design - Online Interactive Course -  How to Design, Build and Manage Polycultures for Landscapes, Gardens, and Farms. It's been good fun so far and we have great group with some beautiful plots to work on.

There is still some time to register for the full cousre and right now we have 25% discount for full enrollment to the course. You can also sign up for separate weeks or modules that appeal to you. 

You can find out more about the course here to see if it tickles your fancy and if you are thinking of reasons why you should do this course and whether this course is suitable for you, take a look here where we lay it all out.

Regenerative Landscape Design Online Course

We're super excited about running the course and look forward to providing you with the confidence, inspiration, and opportunity to design, build and manage regenerative landscapes, gardens, and farms that produce food and other resources for humans while enhancing biodiversity.

If you are would like to learn specifically about how to  Design and Build A Forest Garden ,we have a webinar coming up on the 28th November 2020 - 19.00 GMT+3.  It's a live session where we'll go through step by step what you need to know to get started and end with a Q&A session. We'll send you a recording of the webinar when it is finished along with our design spreadsheets and plant lists to help get you started with your own Forest Garden Design.  

The webinar will be hosted on zoom and you can book your place here - Looking forward to it!

How to Design and Build A Forest Garden - Webinar

Welcome to our Online Store where you can find Forest Garden/ Permaculture Plants, Seeds, Cuttings, Bulbs, Rhizomes and Polyculture Multi-packs along with digital goods and services such as Online Courses, Webinars, eBooks, and Online Consultancy and finally we've added a Bulk Fruit and Nut Tree order form for Farms, Orchards, Nurseries, and Large Regenerative Landscape Projects. If there is anything in the store you would like to see but is not there, please let us know. We hope you enjoy the store and find something you like :) It's your purchases that keep our Project going. Thank you. Enter Our Store Here

Plants, Seeds, eBooks, Consultancy, Bulk Fruit and Nut Tree Orders for Permaculture, Polyculture, Forest Gardens and Regenerative Landscapes.

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  1. Nectaroscordum siculum - Bulgarian Honey Garlic . Amazing bell flowers, didn't know that.