Notes from Windward: #67


Lavender and Saffron

two more crops become established

     Here at Windward we have a long dry season, and we can't count any perrenial plant as having become estasblished until after it's made it through to the fall rains. I'm very pleased to report that because of the faithful effort of 'terns Becca and Alison, the lavender that they planted this spring has become established.

120 lavender sets ready to plant

     Lavender is best propagated by cuttings, so we ordered in a tray to start a patch on top of our gray-water drainfield. They come 120 to a tray, so after giving some to our neighbors, we still had lots left to plant. The first thing to do was to incorporate some organic matter into the clayish soil in front of the yurt.

Alison using the rototiller to work compost into the lavender bed

     Alison and Becca faithfully kept applying mulch and water to the lavender sets, and while we did lose a few, most took root and grew considerably over the summer.

Acorn yurt with its lavender lawn

     After backfilling the area north of the dining hall, we planted a variety of edible perrenials including a patch of saffron bulbs. We hadn't seen much action from the bulbs, and were growing concerned that they hadn't made it through the dry months. Well, I'm delighted to report that evidently they were just waiting for the fall rains to come before blooming.

a saffron blossom

     Each new plant has its unique pattern that we have to learn. The books said that saffron would grow in limited-rainfall climate such as ours, but it's very good to see that promise realized and producing a delicious spice for the kitchen.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67