So… what have I been doing this winter? The garden was soaked but snow wouldn’t stay for more than a day or so. Any kind of nice-ish weather meant going outside for a walk, hunting-gathering much-needed Vitamin D as we went. What else to do? Well reading about gardening is a great way to get through winter.
Apart from reading fantasy novels of course, I read up about all kinds of berries and also about wine-making (meanwhile our neighbours’ vine all but drowned in yet another January downpour).
I read Sepp Holzer’s book on his kind of permaculture. It was a book from the library and someone else wanted it (again?) so I read it twice in three weeks. Still wondering how much digging I could reconcile with permaculture. Main takeaways:
- don’t believe what others tell you about what can or cannot be grown in region X, at altitude X, or anything else;
- build terraces and create microclimates to maximize your usable space (the agricultural/digging bit) and the variety of creatures in the area;
- observation, experimentation and independent thinking beats government regulations and subsidized projects hands down;
- old varieties of plants are more adaptable as well as richer in nutrients than the new good-soil-maximum-yield varieties;
- work with what you have, if it’s a wet meadow, don’t try to turn it into a dry peace of land, make a pond and grow wetland flowers.
Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying the birdsong and sunshine way too much to remember to take picture… I’ll add some to my next post! Gardeners’ World in five minutes. It’s springtime. Finally!