The Weston A. Price Way

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Update on Our Back to Eden Garden

Love at first sight...and bite!
A few months back, I shared about the 'Back to Eden' garden. What it amounts to is this: Turn your garden
into a flower bed...without the flowers. Actually, if you're a companion planter, you can plant the flowers, too, but the word is, with the 'Back to Eden' approach, companion planting isn't necessary.

Go back to see what I'm talking about by clicking HERE.

Today, our garden flourishes. Big time. For the first time, we have carrots-the traditional orange and the heirloom purple. That spells F-U-N for the kiddos.

 The tomato plants have grown so high that Sr.Chief started 'pruning' their tops. I've been making jars of salsa and spaghetti sauce, eating cucumber-tomato sandwiches and consuming tomatoes as 'sides' to dinner...I don't like tomatoes that way unless they're out of my garden or someone else's nearby! We have these lovely and delicious beans called, 'Dragon's Tongue' and 'Purple Royalty', and the limas are just about ready. The Bull's Blood beets, which I plan to use for our own Beet Kvass, are gorgeous and plump. Arugula grows in the shade of the tomatoes...And we're planning our fall garden for the first time ever.

Not bad for the first year, and I understand it just keeps getting better.

But I wouldn't be fair if I neglected to tell of the disappointments:

The carrots weren't as big or prolific as expected. The high side to that is that we did, at least, GET carrots. Also, Sr. Chief, against his grain, planted the carrots very closely together because that's what the video said, and showed, could be done. Our thoughts on that are that the 'poster-child' garden had 17 years of accumulated mulch which made for a grand harvest  from close sowing...the carrots and all the root vegetables, easily pushed one another out of the way.
So, until our garden has several accumulated mulch layers, we will space the seeds...Maybe not as much as conventionally, but certainly more than we did this time around.

There is some grass. Well, maybe not grass...I'm not sure what it is, but it is the only 'weed' that grows. I'd rather have no weeds/grass at all, but I have to admit, this one's not a bad one to have...I can weed the entire garden once a week and spend less than 30 minutes doing it. They come out by the roots easily, but if I use my little hand rake, the job goes super fast, so I'm not complaining. Much.

Other than that, the only disappointment has been with our squash. But in all fairness, we added a very thin layer of mulch to that area, plus it's getting closer to the walnut tree, which we recently learned is a bad place to plant anything. We'll either abandon that spot or add a whole lot more mulch and give it one more shot.

Of course, like anyone else who has watched the Back to Eden video, I want my garden to look like his garden and I want it now. Still, I am very happy with our results thus far.

We finally procured a trailer of our own, so we can go pick up our mulch from Yorktown on our own schedule, which inevitably means, we'll be creating more space for gardening...It's so easy to do, it seems a waste not to do it!

Now, about taste and quality. Oh, heavens, I can hardly say enough of the sweetness and flavor 'bang' that comes from vine-ripened foods! Is it just because it's our garden? No, it is not. It is because our garden fruits are picked when they are ripe, therefore their taste is truly at peak and their enzymes fully much so that Sr. Chief, who has trouble with tomato acid, has no trouble with our garden tomatoes, regardless of the type.
See, God put enzymes in all living things. Those enzymes are exactly crafted to enable us to digest exactly what is in that exact fruit. But for them to be at peak performance, the fruit of the vine should be picked at peak ripeness. That's pretty easy to remember, isn't it?

Oh, and one more thing...We have had a large amount of rain this year, but there were a few weeks when we saw no drops. As happy as we were for the additional outdoor playtime, we saw our plants begin to droop around the yard, everywhere except the most-mulched flower beds, and you guessed it...the garden. The only time it was watered, in fact, was just like in the time of sowing and as needed for the first week. The mulch has served to absorb excess water as well as to hold moisture in, depending on what was needed. The sprinkler became so unneeded, in fact, that we are using it as a stake for the beans.

In the final analysis, the Back to Eden gardening method earns an A from us. Next year, maybe it'll even get an A+.

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