Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 180
Latest Activity: 1 hour ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

Discussion Forum


Started by Dominic Florio. Last reply by Idaho Spud on Friday. 15 Replies

Permaculture thinking and skills for youth

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Aug 24. 3 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Barbara Livingston on November 30, 2014 at 11:39am


Thanks for the Bill Mollison post.  I'm working my way through Toby Hemenway's "Gaia's" Garden", and continue to watch Geoff Lawton's seminars. I've also found a couple local permaculture groups which I'm sure will add to my knowledge.

The amazing thing, at least to me, is how many mistakes I made in just getting started and will have to correct.  The principle that 'Nature hates bare ground' - and will use whatever is available to heal it - wind, rain, or birds to bring in seeds was new to me. The healing is usually thought of as weeds by us humans. I thought I would do a good thing by getting all my beds ready for planting in the Spring.  

Nature didn't like my idea of just adding compost to the bare beds and leaving them to meditate over the next three or four months - we had extremely high winds and rain for two days and when I went out to look at lawn a couple days later - ALL the beds had been "healed" by Nature and all had little green sprouts in them.   Back to the drawing board. I went to local grocery and came home with a trunkload of cardboard.  This next week I'll replace the cardboard with leaves I've gathered from the neighborhood. 

One other point - Nature doesn't do things in straight lines according to Mr. Hemenway.  As I stood and looked at my backyard all my beds have nice straight lines, squared off neatly and surrounded by stones.  Ahhhhh, back to the drawing board where I will remove stones and put them back once things have been planted in a flowing natural way - if then.

I always thought of myself as missing the gene of visualization and it was damn frustrating not being able to visualize what I wanted my garden to look like.  Then I discovered the Principles of Permaculture design and NUMBER ONE on the list is - Observation. To sit, stand, walk quetly around the area.  Observe movement of the sun, wind, water, and other physical aspects over a period of time. Observe physical limitations and benefits.

My little dog likes me to go with him to do his business in the back yard ... and now I use that time to observe what is there and what might grow best in a particular area.  It's not so much about visualizing what I want to grow, but rather what will be happiest in a particular area.  Which plants will grow together in a that section of the yard, which plants will withstand the wind, which plants need shade of the tree.

I'm allergic to all plants of the nightshade family and as much I choose to ignore it from time to time, I always wind up paying the penalty for doing so. Thus, I'm giving up the idea of growing regular potatoes in a tower, and am concentrating on sweet potatoes. When I realized the benefits of doing it right I wanted to laugh out loud. Sweet potatoes do not like cold and love hot and dry- I live in hot and dry So Tx.  Sweet potatoes don't require alot of water - we are under water restrictions.  Sweet potatoes make a great ground cover - I can plant among my fruit trees and won't have to water as much as well as planting in other areas instead of growing water thirsty grass and can grow buckwheat or other nitrogren plants once I've harvested the sweet potatoes - and the best part - I love sweet potatoes and I'm not allergic to them.

I guess its pretty obvious why I've become a devotee of permaculture. I've discovered I might not be able to visualize like others, but I sure can observe ... 

Comment by Barbara Livingston on November 30, 2014 at 10:57am

Going back through posts - Ugh! many of you have nasty weather so I won't mention our sunny warm days. :)

Finished putting together my hugelkultur bed. Now that leaves are falling here in So Tx I was able to rake and stuff them into and around all the wood, and finally covering completely with compost.

Randall, I went to library to get book you recommended only to discover that I had already read it and taken from it the design for my veggie garden. First acknowledgement here of memory issues. :(

You have to be mindful of things you feed your worms. Last night I opened box to feed them and discovered 6" sprouts coming out of shredded paper. Have no idea what they are although I think some kind of bean.  

Comment by Barbara Livingston on November 30, 2014 at 10:44am

Daniel, all the descriptions of the apples made me want to order some!  I imagine the chilling hours required for each of them are pretty high, eh?  We only get 400 to 600 hours here so we are limited in varieties.  Nice post though. :)

Comment by Randall Smith on November 30, 2014 at 7:51am

"Banana" peppers aren't too bad. I think the secret, for me, is simply adding them to dishes, like omelets, not eating them plain.

Oddly, I put capsaisin cream on my thumb joints as a relief for my osteo-arthritis. It really works.  Get it on your lips, however, and ZOWIE!

Comment by Daniel W on November 29, 2014 at 10:31am

Forgot - here's that "Red Portugal".  I also have a Tabasco in another window - not sure what to do with that because the peppers are too hot for me to handle.

Comment by Daniel W on November 29, 2014 at 10:29am

To me, hot peppers / chilis vs. blocky bell peppers, are totally different things, even thought they are the same genus and many are the same species.  I'm not crazy about the big green peppers.   I also like the small peppers in like you mention GC.  Some have a very fruity flavor, with or without the heat.   Like anything home grown, I think the ones you grow taste better than the ones you buy.  I like mildly hot.  10 years ago I liked superhot but I changed. 

I have a "Portugal Red" that I started from seed last Xmas.  It was in a container on the deck for most of 2014.  I moved it into the sunroom a month ago.  It doesn't look "happy" about its circumstances, but is alive, colorful, and I like the novelty of eating home grown fresh peppers in December.

Peppers are not a good houseplant.  They tend to get aphids and "the dwindles" during the winter.  Even so, some gardeners keep them for years, growing into bushes or trees.

Great for stir fries, casseroles, pasta sauce, and sandwiches.


Comment by Grinning Cat on November 29, 2014 at 10:04am

Randy, I find that red bell peppers (also orange and yellow to some degree) taste noticeably sweet and not at all like green peppers. They might be worth a try.

I've also seen these sold in a small, "Sweet Mini Peppers" variety. Just like green bell peppers, these have no capsaicin heat -- zero Scoville units.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 29, 2014 at 7:38am

Daniel, I like the looks of the bonsai pepper plant. However, I'm not a big pepper fan. I think it goes back to when I was a kid and was forced to eat a stuffed green pepper. It was awful. I'm a little better now--at least I try. I like 'em dehydrated.

Comment by Daniel W on November 28, 2014 at 6:02pm

Ordered the following pepper varieties - this was Burpee.  I'm not happy with their website - I guess Im just used to them.  Their prices seem higher than ever too.

Hot Pepper Sweet Thing Hybrid

Pepper Sweet Banana

Pepper Sweet Nikita Hybrid

I have some of last year's packets too. Wanted some not as hot - couldn't eat some of what I grew this year, too hot!  I also have one in container in sunroom from last year, yet another experiment.

Some people bonsai their peppers.  Looks like a lot of fun.

Comment by Daniel W on November 28, 2014 at 5:05pm

Chicken tractor ideas - there are zillions.  Could be a good winter project.  The biggest challenge is making one that is easy to move.  I think wheels on both ends would be a good idea.  Bigger wheels - wagon or small bike wheels, light and easy to move - might work.

I'm about to order some pepper seeds.  Last year I started some at xmas - long time to grow inside, but it was a peaceful activity and I enjoyed it.


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