organic vegetable growing

Do you like organic gardening? Then you’ll appreciate this colorful and super helpful chart. It’s all about companion planting, an easy and effective permaculture technique that will help your vegetable garden flourish. The idea is that certain plants grow especially well together (and repel pests). Try it! You’ll probably become a convert to companion planting, like me.

My friend Maurice Small.  He teaches kids how to grow organic vegetables and they sell them to their folks and their aunties and their neighbors and it keeps organic vegetables in the neighborhood and teaches the kids about entrepreneurship and craft.  He uses the coffee grounds from our cold brew operation to teach the kids how to grow organic mushrooms and they sell them to local restaurants for a cash crop.  He’s one of my favorite people.

5

Cilantro is a great easy to care for herb to add to your garden. Like all herbs they thrive when they are picked regularly and they grow fast. Cilantro wants to bolt after temperatures reach 75°+ (fahrenheit), never fear, because after going to flower they then become Coriander seed which is a common kitchen spice. Collect and store them for cooking or you can let the plant reseed itself, it will continue to come back as long as the conditions are right!

6

Woooo I’ve been given a greenhouse. One of the other plot holders had one in his garden at home and wanted rid of it. We actually carried it through the village- that was something I never thought I’d do. We are going to finish it off on Sunday ready for me to plant in on Monday/Tuesday next week. I’ve taken up two of my 4ft square beds to make room for it. Can’t wait to grow some tomatoes. Planted the first row of broad beans and dug over some more beds. It’s been a really productive week down at the plot, we have managed to give it a good sort out all ready to go.

GROW POTATOES VERTICALLY 

Use Potato Towers To maximize Yield And Save Valuable Space.  You can grow easy-to-harvest potatoes, with a minimum of fuss and effort. Using a piece of wire stock fence rolled into a cage, growing them is a snap!

Step 1:Take a piece of wire stock fence or similar sturdy wire fence. 

Make it about ten feet (approx. 3 meters) long, and roll it into a cylinder about 3 feet (approx. 91 centimeters) wide. Fasten the end to the fence with wire to hold it together. It should form a strong but easy to open cylinder that stands about four feet (1.2 meters) tall. 

Step 2: Prepare the soil. 

Loosen it, and add a bit of fertilizer. This will get the potatoes off to a good start.

Step 3: Plant the potato seedlings as you normally would. 

Place them about three to four inches (approx. 7.5 cm - 10 cm) deep, hand tamping the soil around them.

Step 4: Place the wire hoops so that they are standing upright. 

Place them around the planted seed potatoes, centering the future plants.

Step 5: Keep the space filled. 

Your potato plants will soon be popping out of the soil; as they grow, fill in the space inside the fence with leaves, straw, and additional dirt. Do not bury the plants; only bring the soil level up inside the cylinder two to three inches (5 cm - 7.5 cm). Once the potato shoots grow to about 1 foot, do cover completely with leaves, straw or a similar material. You want to keep the light off the developing tubers, as it can cause them turn green.

Step 6: Continue to fill in the cylinder as the plants grow. 

The plants will use this extra soil to grow even more potatoes in. Soon, the cylinder will be filled with leaves, straw dirt, and potatoes. Potatoes do not need a lot of additional rich organic material, but they do need additional water, at least 1 inch per week. Enough to soak them thoroughly without drowning them.

Step 7: Harvest the potatoes when ready. 

When the plant tops dry and wither, the potatoes are ready to harvest. Simply undo the wire fasteners and pull away from the fence.Your potatoes will be ready to harvest, without digging, right in the cylinder of soil. Gently spread out your new potatoes and allow them to air dry for at least a day, to help “toughen” the skins. If rain is threatened move them to a covered area. Once they are matured, they can be stored in a cool dry place until you’re ready to feast on them.

10

Today’s harvest. What a beautiful afternoon it turned out to be. I hadn’t planned on spending much time down at my plot but I got a little carried away. I’ve dug up the first of my King Edward potatoes and picked my first broad beans. Gooseberries, courgettes and strawberries followed. The worst job down at the allotment in my opinion is picking gooseberries! It bloody hurts! My apples are getting bigger and juicier and the outdoor toms have really filled out. I’ve sown some Autumn carrots and some more radish. Tada! Not bad for a quick little trip.

7

Today we harvested all my potatoes and by golly was I surprised! This is by far my best crop in the three years of having my plot. All that manure really did pay off. These are my King Edwards and as you can see from the photos I have small, medium and large potatoes. I reckon I’ve got about 60 kilos of yummie potatoes. My partners sister has already had some of the smaller ones boiled for tea and they are delicious. Me and my mum went out and bought some burlap to make potato sacks to keep them fresher for longer. I also took up half of my onions and these are no drying out in my shed on a rack. The beetroot and peas are doing mighty fine and tomorrow my mum is going to harvest the black currants, rhubarb, broad beans and courgettes (yes I have 7 more ready)
The real success today is my potatoes! I’m well chuffed.

Keep your eyes open…I’ll be uploading a little film shortly.