Veggies are the new weeds

Walking out our back door the other day I looked down to put on my farm boots then very near squealed in delight.

Naturalised veg - Tatsoi on the left and rocket on the right

Naturalised veg – Tatsoi on the left and rocket on the right

Young lettuce in the lawn

Young lettuce in the lawn

Tatsoi, rocket, lettuce oh my!

And this cute zucchini guy.

Zucchini plant in lawn

So less than one year of veggie growing has already begun to build up the seed bank of herbs and vegetables to the point where they have started to germinate themselves.  The consistent foot traffic in and out of the house has allowed the nifty human vector of seed distribution to bring us a very convenient lazy nursery!

This is a natural feature of many established vegetable gardens, and a concept that is laid out simply and articulately in the video below by Kirsten Bradley of the amazing Milkwood filming Jude Fanton from the amazing SeedSavers network. Superlative, superlative.

For the curious, here is more detail from Iowa (home of soil seed bank rich prairie country!) plant ecologist Thomas Rosburg.

Seed banks tend to build up especially well in gardens which don’t involve any tilling or significant disturbance of the soil structure apart from the natural excavation of adventurous roots, worms, macrofauna, etc.  When soil is overturned at all, as well as leaching most of its key nutrients like carbon, phosophorus and nitrogen into the atmosphere in a manner of hours, days or weeks (carbon and nitrogen go up in the form of the highly greenhouse effective C02 and methane respectively – mind this global warming haters!) it disturbs the natural seed bank leaving it open to predation, oxidation, premature germination due to transient rainfall and the general ravages of the elements.

With a good soil structure preservation and lots of raised mulchy spaces for seeds to sit safe, dry and ungerminated until they’re in a sweet spot, a no dig veggie growing model really helps to sustain the seed bank for the longer run.

Leaving you free to pop up delightfully surprising tomato after zucchini after rocket here and there and then move them to their ideal garden homes.

Useful things popping up everywhere are a pretty standard fixture in a home garden – with common weeds like the adaptogen and healing promoter herb gotu kola amongst a cast of hundreds of fantastic plants that follow us humans around through our best established seed bank.

Weeds are the old weeds - Gotu kola, also in the grass

Weeds are the old weeds – Gotu kola, also in the grass

Other highlights lately:

Growing a luscious lawn back. It had been dead and gone for a few months care of a poorly timed #1 haircut which was a tad scary as it got to its brownest just before fire season and cinder risk really hit. Anyway we know better now care of a lot of fire training over the summer and after many sprinkler sessions and a good spot o precipitation she is right as rain!

The green green grass of home

The green green grass of home

Ripening our first ears of corn, a source of “kid at christmas” scale excitement.

Corn plants

Corn ear

Will be ready to go in a week or so, and can’t wait to be snacking on that business. BBQ*, succotash**, and fritters will be getting a work out.

Hanging with the chookie babes.

Girls scratchin around

One of our beautiful bantams. Such lovely patterning

One of our beautiful bantams. Such lovely patterning

Home grown eggs, a returning feature of the Murrindindi stomach!

Chook excitingly getting to business

Chook excitingly getting to business

Eggs

And the finished result

Baking tasty bread.

Bread

Enjoying the last few weeks of zukes and their flowers for the year.

Zucchini flowers

Dill, fresh and ready to spruce up polish dumplings, silverbeet and pickles!

Dill! And a spot of coriander

Dill! And a spot of coriander

A visit from a dear friend with a very cute pet. Hello world, meet Pedro. Prepare to be dazzled by his charms.


Nyam nyam nyam

Love Murrindindi

* Put a few teaspoons of butter inside the husks along the length of the cob and bbq straight on the griddle. Open up at table to much fanfare and sprinkle on combo of chilli, paprika, salt and pepper. Maybe a squeeze of lime.

**Butter. Add 1 tbsp at least! Sunflower seeds, pepitas, kasha, seaweed amazing but entirely negotiable. Butter, no. Any old chilli will do – especially pre-roasted. Add coriander and lime juice at the end for best taste.

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3 Responses to Veggies are the new weeds

  1. Hooray for feral veggies! I love it when food plants just appear as if by magic. If you get enough corn try making tamales stuffed with a little bit of cheese and served with a nice tomato salsa. Time consuming but worth the effort.

    Great to see that you’ve got chooks again! I hope they lay lots of love eggs for you.
    Joanne
    🙂

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