Edible garden in April 2015

kitchen garden in april

It is the kids’ spring break and tomorrow we’re leaving for France for a few days. I would like to take this opportunity to say how awesome it is to have kids who are big enough (and willing) to help around. While I went to town this morning, Esther and Sebastiaan cleaned their rooms and the bathroom, vacuumed and wiped the doors. Esther also packed our lunch for tomorrow and made dinner (shakshuka)– hurrah for 15 year old girls interested in cooking! And she came with me to plant lettuce in the community garden this afternoon (I always have some last minute planting to be done before I leave my gardens) and even admitted the possibility of becoming interested in gardening some day in the (far) future. That coming from a child who for years told us she hated the garden! Wow! I so hope it does happen.

tulips
Admittedly, the garden at this time of year is pure loveliness. In the community garden, it’s the tulips stealing the show. Last year we planted lots of bulbs and some wallflowers in between the last vegetables in the polyculture, so now there are dark red “Uncle Tom” and purple “Royal Acres” tulips flowering between chard, leeks and bolting kale. From our neighbour who keeps goats and a pony in the middle of the city, we got some well-rotted manure and mulched carefully between the tulips.

community garden hengelo

There are more tulips on the other plot but those have been planted longer ago. In the square beds, we have sown sugar snap peas, broad beans and spinach.

tulips 2015 community garden april
At home, in our small edible forest, everything seems to be flowering at once: tulips and daffodils, the apple tree and self-sown purple honesty. I did a little weeding this afternoon and there were so many bees buzzing around me. We are picking fresh herbs for tea every morning and today we had a tasting of different tulip varieties which was a lot of fun (tulip petals are edible). We liked the taste of the yellow tulips best.

edible forest garden in april edible forest garden april
On our allotment we finally got around to some long procrastinated jobs, like creating a support for the bramble and tying in last year shoots and mulching the rhubarb patch with a thick layer of compost.

tying in blackberries
We have also put new (recycled) pallets around our compost heaps and they have never looked so neat before.

compost heaps
I have planted out two varieties of sugar snap peas (“Cascadia” and “Opal Creek”) that I grew in roottrainers (special pots designed so that beans and peas can develop a healthy root system).

sugar snap peas in roottrainers planting out sugar snap peas
We are picking lots of leaf mustard from the polyculture bed.

leaf mustard
There’s also plenty of rhubarb and we have picked the first tiny, but delicious, radishes.
Meanwhile, the windowsill is getting very crowded and I hope I can start hardening off the tomatoes when we come back.

tomatoes

Even though I am looking forward to the trip, leaving my garden even for a few days now seems like a shame.

I hope you’re having a lovely spring wherever you garden!

p.s. This is what our edible garden looked like in 2014 and 2013.

 

2 comments for “Edible garden in April 2015

  1. Michelle Rock
    28/05/2015 at 07:46

    Your blog is inspirational. We are just starting a new garden and an allotment, so having an example pf the end product is heartening. Imespecially like your polycultural model within a ‘traditional’ raised bed system. Imlook forward to an enjoyable gardening journey.

    • vera@gtc
      29/05/2015 at 10:28

      Thank you, Michelle! The people who have tried my annual polyculture are amazed at how much you can harvest from such a small space. I will make sure to post an update of the polyculture in my next post!

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