This year my garden was a bit of a disappointment for me, while I still enjoyed getting outside and playing around in the dirt. But, the problem stemmed (pardon the pun) from last year after finishing up with building my large permaculture bed.
After all of the Fall leaves fell last year some went into the compost bin and the rest rested atop the newly made permaculture bed. But, I should have added more soil to the top layer before the snow was predicted to arrive. I think I wore myself out lugging the heavy birch logs into the dug out pit for the bed, then the long days of placing the limbs, sticks, and twigs in place. This took me awhile to prepare as I needed a few days off from laboring and then back to it.
I had a lot of leaves atop the permaculture bed and only three sides up with plastic fencing, the fourth side was to go up in the spring, but didn’t go into place until yesterday. So, without using common sense I covered the bed with a tarp for the long winter months. Hum…smacking myself for that lame move all this past growing season.
My bed needed the snow cover during the winter and the moisture of the melting snow to slowly provide water to each of the layers for the bed to behave properly. These permaculture beds are really a wonderful way to garden, if you prepare them in the correct fashion. Which I did not, as it turns out.
All of the layers completed ~ Check
Letting the snow add the moisture content to the bed ~ Fail
I thought I was doing a good thing putting the tarp there since I didn’t have the fourth side up and thought the leaves would blow away in the late Fall when it gets pretty windy here. So, in the spring after everything thawed in my compost bin I added the compost to the top mixing in the leaves like a batter to a cake.
When the permaculture bed is properly constructed it can withstand a drought, which is exactly what we experience here this growing season. I realized my mistake in the spring, but ran a test just the same with only watering it 3 times this season. I wanted to see if the melting snow from the winter around the sides of the bed was enough for the bed to operate somewhat well.
I planted the carrots very close together, expecting to pull out seedlings as they surfaced the top to space them properly and to munch on the tiny micro seedlings for breakfast. They are amazingly tasty, and the flavor is so much better than the proper sized vegetable. Spring time was going to be a joy eating out of my garden, enjoying all of the micro carrots.
The best laid plans sometimes don’t work out, if you don’t follow through with them….
Since, I was distraught over my blunder by covering the bed all winter I sort of just left the bed alone knowing the growing carrots, beets, multiplying onions, dill, cilantro, lettuce, cucumber (seeds transplanted unknown from the compost bin) and my planted cherry tomatoes from seeds ~ were going to suffer for my lack of common sense this year. But, I do enjoy the journey just the same and it takes skill to mess up gardening this badly.. So, I suppose that’s something to be proud about. How not to garden should be my motto this year….
I’m not beating myself up with a stick over it ~ actually it makes me smile and laugh over these details for this year, because very soon I would find out I was joining a new trend that’s happening all over in restaurants and chefs far and wide are hungry for what I was growing…
My plan was to just let these things grow and hope for the best. I should have bought extra soil in the spring to top the bed, but I didn’t want to add any more money into it. Why oh why did I plant my red cored Chantenay carrots in there, I pondered.
All of the seeds for those little carrots came up without fail. Many times the carrots fail due to critters chomping away at them or my soil is not loose enough. I added Coconut coir to the compost I added to the top bed, just not enough for the beets to grow large, I have micro beets out there just like I grew micro potatoes this year.
Remember those fingerlings potatoes that I ranted over in the stores, well it appears that they are really, really tasty. I cooked them twice now from my garden and was amazed by the flavor, texture, and the just darn cuteness of them on the plate. The trick is to serve them on small plates along with the other parts of the evening meal.
Fingerling Potatoes Texture
I have to report that the texture of these micro potatoes is something you must experience. They are similar to a mash potato, but they are a tiny whole spud when going into your mouth for your taste buds to explode with their flavor and somehow a creaminess to them~ I suppose they have not grown into the larger version to become firm in texture.. Alright , I get the price of these little jewels in the grocery stores and at the fancy restaurants.
So, when I grow potatoes next year I’ll hope for many fingerlings along with the regular sized potatoes when I finally get to harvest them.
There’s a craze happening for Micro Vegetables I didn’t know about and this is why I didn’t show you my carrots, onions, beets, etc after harvesting them. They were the cutest tiny micro vegetables you’ve ever seen, but I thought not worthy of putting up for display unless in a doll house where the dining room table was set for dinner.
My son asked, “Mom why are they so small?”
I looked up from underneath my straw gardening hat which all gardening folks should wear..
“Because they’re Micro Vegetables…”
I told him, giggling. Even before I actually knew this was a craze in the fancy establishments for dining out.
Until next time