…. Kate Flint, Vegetable Vagabond blog, 2012!
When I came to live in this pretty little house, on an acre of paradise, at the bottom of the world, there was nothing edible in the garden except a few well-established fruit and nut trees. For this I was very grateful, as they take years to grow and produce well. However, I felt lost and incomplete not being able to pick even some parsley.
After a full year of sowing and harvesting what I could, one day I saw some self-sown lettuce seedlings appearing and I felt I was at last beginning to belong. Now, two and a half years since I arrived, I can say that I have a well-established food garden and a wonderful seed bank, in the soil and in my cupboard. If Cygnet was cut off from the world, I would be well-fed and able to feed others.
Sitting by my sunny window the other afternoon I wrote down everything I could think of that is edible in my garden. Here is the list. Of course vegetables and some herbs change with the seasons. I have not been specific with varieties here.
|FRUIT AND NUTS||VEGETABLES||HERBS||SOWING IN SEED TRAYS|
|red currants||asparagus||winter savory||capsicums|
|boysenberries||Tas. nettles||salad burnett||chicories|
|quince||red cabbage||garlic chives||corn|
|red plum||sorrel||lemon grass||herbs x lots|
|cherry plums||fennel bulbs||Viet. mint||SOWING OUTSIDE SOON|
|Irish strawberry||various kale||lots of mints||parsnips|
|apples, various||walking onion||chamomile||brassicas|
|cherry||frilly mustard||chervil||etc etc|
|Chilean guava||miners’ lettuce|
|Cape gooseberry||mixed Asian greens|
|lemons||sugar snap peas|
One of the things I do in my garden that differs from many other people is that, wherever you walk, there is something to eat, depending on the season. I use fruit trees as THE trees. So, I sit under the walnut tree, on the lawn, in summer. I have a little seat by the pond, which will be shaded by a crab apple on summer mornings and by an Irish strawberry tree in the afternoon. Various paths are edged with espaliered fruit trees or overhung with fruit trees whose blossom at the moment is incredible.
There are also an increasing number and range of Australian and Tasmanian shrubs and small trees, for the birds and insects. And I let areas of grasses grow as a meadow. It is delightful to watch the myriad of insects and tiny birds darting about there, especially when they are in flower and seeding. Although this does not directly feed me, the diverse ecology of this garden keeps most “pests” in check and allows my food plants to flourish.
There is nothing I enjoy more than spending time in the garden.