Until you realize you are tilling through centipede sod, in SE Texas soil (sand and clay mix) thats almost as hard as concrete at times. And before you can plant all that mulched plant mater needs to be raked out of the soil so it can be tilled again...today we did three passes on a virgin stretch and retouched the one we did yesterday.
We tilled enough for 8 4'x25' beds. Zucchini, Chard, Tomatoes, Radishes, Watermelon, Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Green Beans, Peas (if its cool enough) will be going in. We have some wire fencing that we intend to make almost an arbor with to run the beans through and plant the chard under it so it stays shaded
While my lovely girlfriend was rocking on the tiller and between helping her rake the main garden I was clearing the site for our herb garden with a hoe, rakes and shovel and other implements of destruction...It was a groovy thing and a good time was had by all.
I still have to figure out the layout but the plot is going to contain both cooking and medicinal herbs. I love Flat Italian Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (yes, I'm a Simon and Garfunkel fan). Garlic is alway a staple in my cooking. Cilantro/Coriander, Oregano, Basil, Chives, and just for Lynne, Curled Parsley.
For the medicinals I'm going to be looking for Feverfew, Catnip (going to have to containerize due to our cats having a bad drug habit - stoner kitties), Horse Mint, Rose for Rose Hips, St. Johns Wort and Comfrey (some where outside the bed as it get's huge)...maybe some others, still deciding on what I want.
That pile of mulch in the back is all the material I removed from the bed. It's now my compost pile. Tomorrow I'll be stopping at the bait shop to pick up a couple cartons of night crawlers to help the process along.
Our next door neighbor has graciously donated three rows of his field to us and we are probably going to put in gourds there (bird houses, gourd art, paleo canteens, rice wine bottles, etc) along with watermelons.
I was wanting to post some picks of wild edible from our front yard, but unfortunately was too busy working to play...but just to let you know...Cleavers are in season and great in salad, Clover is coming up nicely, Dandelions are young and tender, and First Year Thistle just about ripe for harvesting (but is almost as labor intensive as Black Walnut to process), Violets are in bloom and make a colorful addition to salads. Cat Tails are sprouting nicely in our drainage and Blackberry leaves and Pine needles make a tea, but rich in Vitamin C.
And while I'm harping on salads, we also have three jars of sprouts growing on our kitchen counter, radish, alfalfa, and bean sprouts.
My next post should be about making homemade hard cider.
Remember, no matter where you are, you can homestead. So to all my friends, keep up the good works.