Ok, honestly that was a bit too much fanfare for this. But this year is the first year I've had Gil onboard for this and that fact coupled with what I am currently referring to as the "austerity meausres" (paying off the last of our credit cards and saving up the deposit to buy our block of land for the dream farm) means a whole new approach to the garden plan this year.
So gone is the scouring of the various seed and plant catalogues, no more dozens of varieties and hundres of packets of seeds, done are the pinterest idea boards (well mostly). This year is all about practicality and recycling (2 words that sum up Gil perfectly).
Our recent massive overhaul of our lifestyle, coupled with our adoption of a healthier diet high in vegetables, fruits and grains and with minimal meat, fats and sugars (yep, I have become the thing I hate the most the thing I have spent the better part of the last decade ridiculing - I have become a flexitarian) means we are now looking at our urban backyard of 5 small beds and various pots and trying to figure out how to optimise our restricted space to get the most yield out of our small
Our new diet, coupled with our new austerity measures, which involve us tracking our grocery shopping each week, has shown us exactly how much we spend on fruit and vege and where we spend it. And while the idea at this time of growing bananas for home consumption is currently out of reach, the fact that we spend over $10 a week on cherry tomatoes alone is something wr can rectify and self source.
And Gil being the intrepid and resourceful little cookie that he is, means we are now going to the markets to find varieties of fruit and veg we like (this week was sweetheart cherry tomatoes) and reserving the best looking specimens to use the seeds to grow our own seedlings.
So we're looking at keeping it simple this season. We still have the leeks in the black tubs in the ramps, which are going great year round in supplying us with tasty little baby leeks. The big bed will still be dedicated to sweet potato. And we have ripped up all the old ones and planted the freshest slips and some new stock. The Asparagus is still going strong in the corner of that bed and we will be topping it off with sporadically planted sweetheart tomatoes to ramble all over the bed (thus utilizing 2 crops in one place).
With Gils new found love of all things spicy, we are looking to grow a few different varieties of chillies/capsicums in pots in the shady parts of the garden, with the plan, once again, to try various varieties at the markets and grow our favourites from seed.
As per previous years, we have a horrific time growing anything in the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, kale etc) and as these are some of our favourite vegetables, the thought of not growing them is painful. But the cabbage moths that blight our brassica crops seem to not be as partial to beet greens and swiss/rainbow chard, so Gil is currently sprouting some past thier time beetroots for us to harvest as beet greens and we will sow some chard lkaseeds in the tall beds in front of the berlotti beans Gil planted a few weeks ago. This coupled with our established alternative greens crops (Kang Kong, Okinawa Spinach, Surinami Spinach) should be enough to see us through.
We will be growing a form of cucumber, as we eat quite a few of these now, but are yet to decide on a variety.
And thanks to YouTube (Damn you YouTube *shakes fist at sky*) Gil has taken up verticle gardening, but more on that in tomorrows post.
Our ginger, tumeric, lemongrass, and herb stand are all still well established and the fruit trees /spice trees are still going strong, so we have plenty of access to citrus et al for the 2 of us.
Unfortunately, we lost our beloved passionfruit this summer, but loss is just a new opportunity and free space in the garden and so after some research we have some granadilla seeds on the way to try something new. And at some point we will replce the passionfruit with a new one once we find a variety we love as much as the "Dee passionfruit".
And that is our simplified vision for the 2020 garden plan. It will undoubtably change and evolve as we plant it out and we will keep you updated as we go.