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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

Some more plants in the ground!

Permaculture is very much about increasing the number of perennial plants that not only support us in terms of food, but they also help support the system. Often providing mulch or habitat, but also are very important for supporting the soil food web which is critical to building soil and creating a healthy environment for all! So I really love being able to propagate new plants from seeds or cuttings and spread them around. Last week I dug up some hebe seedlings that had grown under the parent plant and moved them to one of my swales. As the bees love the flowers I decided that that wasn't enough and took some cuttings that are already showing signs of root life in the vase I've put them in. This week I dug up one of my three year old rhubarb plants and split it. I made a video about it so please check it out via the link at the top of the page. I would love for you to comment below the video if you do watch it and let me know what you think - how many plants should I have produced from this one bundle of crowns - would love to hear from you!!

I managed to get quite a few new plants in the ground - just have to watch that my muscovy ducks don't find them. They do tend to have a go at things I plant! After finishing the splitting of my rhubarb I had quite a few stalks that headed off to the kitchen. My favourite way to have rhubarb, because it is so quick and easy, and yummy, is stewing it then adding honey to the mix. Delicious with yoghurt and granola for breakfast!!

I continued work on my lemon preserving. I juiced up all the lemons that I had removed the rind from and put it in my fantastic silicone trays. Each little cube holds about 60ml so it's easy to grab out just what you need from the freezer down the track when needing lemon juice for a recipe. I also whizzed up the dehydrated lemon rinds, that I showed you last week, into a fine powder. This will come in handy for adding a zing of lemon flavour to dishes. I'm looking forward to trying it in my honey and egg custard that I love to make!

Out in the garden my snow peas are starting to get going. There is about a 40cm gap to the trellis above so I made some stakes out of grain stalks that had been growing in the chicken yard (not sure what they are but they grow from missed seed from the chicken feed). Hopefully that will give them something to grow on so they can reach the more sturdy trellis above. The stakes only have to last a short time until these plants get established.

While my small brassica seedlings are really not doing anything with the short daylight hours and cooler weather, my larger plants are thriving. I have large collard greens, brussel sprouts and cabbages that have been in the ground for at least eight months and they are providing an abundance of food. My sprouting broccoli has just finished and my cauliflowers are not great. I have definitely not perfected the art of growing cauliflower at this point but will put in more effort in future because who doesn't love a bit of cauliflower and leek mash!!

Something that I have to work on a bit more, is getting perennial species in my annual crop garden. These are plants that are often used like an annual lettuce or spinach but they continue to grow past a year. They may die back at certain times of year but kick in again, with no input from the gardener, to generously give their abundance once more. Sorrel is one such perennial plant. It has a lemony taste to the leaf that I throw into mixed salads. I'm hoping to add in perennial spinach and lovage (similar flavour to celery) amongst others (still to do my research on all of this). Please let me know in the comments if you know of any great perennials to grow in a cool temperate garden!

Ok, that's me done for another week. Please check out my video and be sure to leave a comment!!

Have a great week!

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