Here are the snow peas we planted in April. We started harvesting them in early June. From this bed and another smaller one we are able to give our CSA customers 100g each a week, (that would be worth $3.30 in the organic shop).
This is what that bed looks like now. We will leave it to develop our seeds for next year before removing them to plant tomatoes. The tomatoes will love the extra nutrients provide by the nutrient-rich peas.
The pea is swelling and the skin is becoming clear. Once it's dry, it's ready to pick and store away for next year.
Here are more snow peas that we planted a month after the first lot. There's another similar bed and, with these two beds, we are harvesting as much as we need for the boxes and ourselves and other family members.
And when their harvesting time comes to an end, we have another bed of peas ready to take their place which were planted a month later. These should take us up to the harvesting of the beans.
Through successive plantings, we are able to maximise our harvests. The most often asked questions at our gardening-related workshops are to do with what and how many vegetables to plant. The what part of the question depends a lot on what people like to eat, but what they really want to know is at what time of year should each veggie be planted and that's mainly to do with our limited knowledge of seasonality. So we help them out with a generalised guide to what grows when in our local area.
To answer how many, I suggest that they make a list of the vegies they and their family like to eat and then think about the amount of each that they eat in a week. I suggest they plant four or five varieties of things like lettuce that can have the outside leaves plucked while leaving the rest to continue to grow. For others, make successive plantings every three to four weeks. For example, if you eat one cabbage a week, plant four in your first planting and then, four weeks later, put in another four. Likewise with beans, cauliflower, cucumber, peas, sweetcorn and tomatoes. Once again, this is only a guide as all families are different. I suggest that they make a start and keep good records of what they planted, when they planted and how much they were able to harvest. Then next year they can adjust their plantings to better suit.
Here we are using the chooks to prepare beds for sweetcorn on the outside edges of the mandala gardens. The chooks scratch and fertilise the beds and every two weeks the dome will be moved on and 40 sweetcorn seedlings will be planted in the prepared ground.
Today we are featured over on Liz's blog Eight Acres. Liz interviewed us about our house cow in her series, Getting started with homestead dairy. Please pop over and take a look at the interview and while you're at it take a look at what she's doing in her neck of the woods. Some pretty inspiring stuff!