Today, I completed the final harvest in our Permaculture Garden at Willow Green. There was just a few things left at this point – eggplant and parsley. I will use the eggplant in a baba ganoush or potentially a ratatouille. Parsley, of course, is a benefit to many dishes.
I also finished prepping the garden for winter (Angel and I started the process a few weeks ago). We removed all crops except some herbs and the marigolds and put them in the compost. We weeded and turned the soil over. Finally, I planting some winter rye as a cover crop. Supposedly, this will protect against weeds and provide a green manure for next year’s crop. I learned about this here. I also got a head start on planting by getting in some garlic.
So with the season over, what are my reflections? I have never gardened before and found that jumping in with the support of others was an excellent opportunity. I learned a lot and feel much more confident than I did this spring. This experience gave me time with nature, good food, and a chance to meet others and share in physical effort.
On the other hand, at times I felt like I was wasting my time. I produced less food than equal time’s wages would buy me at the store or market. I was glad to donate some of our harvest to a local men’s hostel, however, I was frustrated with logistics given our lack of transport. A cash donation would probably have gone further. Also, many of our neighbour’s plots were basically abandoned over the season and this sapped some of my enthusiasm. Still, gardening skills may prove useful if climate change impacts force us to be more self-reliant in food production. And with more experience I can only become more efficient. I also gained more appreciation for what farmers do for us.
Will I do it again next year? You bet!