Notes from Windward: #62
The Kitchen Garden
Gaia and Tara talk about the kitchen garden
Windward's Kitchen Garden is a work in progress and visible progress has been
made this year.
When Tara first encountered it, she found a fenced partially terraced
hillside with a combination of cultivated and wild sections; a working water
faucet with a hose; and a compost heap. Within the cultivated sections were
plantings of tulip, daffodil and iris bulbs, strawberries, horseradish, garlic and
mint. She also discovered that one of the sections had become a doggie latrine
- so she immediately knew what her first task was.
Lakota offered to help. His first deed was to make a new deposit to the
doggie latrine. After that he was banished from the garden and Tara proceeded to
remove the contributions the dogs had made.
Gaia and Michael joined Tara to expand the terracing, prepare the soil,
and plant. One of the terraces was extended. The soil in all the beds was
turned over and weeded. Spinach, lettuce, peas, beans, onions, carrots, radishes,
cantaloupe, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, parsley and
an eggplant were planted. Later on Gaia contributed a variety of herbs - rosemary,
basil, sage, oregano, lavender, dill, borage, lemon balm, cilantro and a struggling
chamomile. She also brought in geraniums and fuchsias.
Additions have been made to the compost heap. It gets regular feeding
from the kitchen and, as a result, it has grown greatly. It has had infusions of
coffee grounds, tea bags and eggs shells. However, it must compete with the birds
and sheep for food scraps. The compost heap also gets occasional shovels full of
dirt, grass and leaves. It passes the aroma test and everything seems to be
cooking as it should.
There have been both successes and failures in the garden. The spinach and
lettuce have provided Windward with fresh salad greens. The tomatoes are coming
along well. The first green bean pod has appeared and the peas are also beginning
to pod. The Windward community has been eating onions and cilantro from the garden
for about a month. However, the radishes and carrots have been disappointing. The
parsley and the basil never came up. Half of the cucumbers have survived. Insects
are attacking the zucchini but the zucchini resist successfully.
The garden has been a rewarding challenge and a great learning experience for
the garden crew. Windward enjoys the fruits of their labor and planning for next
year is in progress. Plans include experimenting with heirloom plants, producing
seeds, testing different plant varieties for taste and suitability to Windward's
climate, creating rock gardens out of the terrace walls and honing composting