Winter Gardens December 2007

The Hostel Gardens have passed to newly arrived old hands. MikeJoe, Joey and Mikey are all back in the forest and have been throwing themselves at the gardens.

The current cast of gardeners is being led by Mike Joe and is learning to grow by the moon cycle. This includes working the beds on Barren days like a day that lands on Aries, which is a fire sign. Then on a day that aligns with Pisces, which is a water sign, we would plants seeds, and transplant young sprouts.

It is winter of course so the garden is evermore so each day being filled with greens and root crops. Already we are have harvested Peppers, Radishes, Mustards and other Lettuce mix, whilst more things like Carrots, Beets, Cabbages, Bok Choi, Collards, Swiss Chard, Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli are being added to the beds.

The Flower Garden still looks amazing as winter fast approaches, thanks largely to Joey’s Landscaping skills and his time here last fall and spring. The presence of many strong perennial plants makes quite a difference in the winter months.

The *Herb Garden is also running steadily. It is still pumping out Fennel, Basil, Pineapple Sage, Chives, Lemon Balm and more. It has been re-mulched recently and come spring, is apt to have some new editions.

The Lake Garden has undergone the most dramatic changes of all. The fence and the bamboo have both been removed. Thus begins the initial stages of making the transition from, a run of the mill magical lake garden, to an “Edible Forest Garden”. Last year the Garden Crew attended a workshop by David Jacke with the abovementioned title. The lessons learned then are the focus with this area now. Ideally in several years this section by the lake, currently “The Lake Garden” and “The Orchard”, will be a self-maintained fruiting Eden.

The Peppers that were still hanging on in this garden experienced a mass harvest. Now in those beds are five varieties of Garlic, White Onion, Yellow Onion, Beets, Carrots, and Bok Choi.

The Teepee poles have been stripped of their moldy canvas shell, and relocated to the left of the current beds within the area that was once fenced in. It is here that Grapes have been planted, and other fruiting vines may find their way to these poles someday as well. Two Avocado Trees and two Apple Trees have been planted around the back perimeter of the Lake Garden just past where the old fence used to be.

The trees in The Orchard that were planted last year are doing very well. Only two of those planted were lost: a Peach Tree and an Apricot Tree. On a brighter not we have also just received an order of several new trees, including Figs, Apricots, Peaches, Pecans, and PawPaws.

As time goes on more plants, from trees; to shrubs; to vines, will be added, and The Hostel will not only harvest its annual crop, but also be plentiful in delicious perennial self sustaining fruits.