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colibri organic farm
colibri organic farm
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sonora, california, US
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Cool Temperate

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veggies gone wild

Project: colibri organic farm

Posted by jordan lowery about 13 years ago

a brief description of the how and why I have wild veggies.

   Around here we toss around and save a lot of seed. So as a result we have wild eatable plants growing all over the place. Some in the most peculiar spots. Now most people would now call them weeds and pull them at first sight. Dreading that they might work there way BACK into the veggie plots that are so neatly planted and maintained. I call them free food, but they can do much more.

   What do I mean by wild veggies? I would consider these to be eatable plants that were once cultivated by you, and now you dont have to. say your onions go to seed, and as your dragging that flower stalk you forgot about to the trash bin or compost heap, some seeds fall out along the way. Or you were actually collecting seed for next year, but dropped a few here and there. Often times the seeds fall in spots where they would love to grow, so given enough time and the right environmental settings the seeds will sprout. And not only will some of them sprout, some will THRIVE.

   From here you can do a few things with them. The first is the obvious that the plants are food and should be eaten.

   Another benefit to having wild plants is that nature only selects the hardiest of the group. As the permaculture farmer you can easily take advantage of this and exploit it. some plants will grow much better than others. these are the plants i collect seed from to plant around and in my gardens. Over time you establish strong genetics on your property as long as you help cull the weak and plant the strong.

  When you are collecting the seed each year, take note in where the plants are growing. This will teach you where to plant next year. I find that when I first started doing this I thought I knew where the plants would grow best. It turns out i was completely wrong about 80-90% of the time. In turn this will help you in your normal gardening practices. Helping select the proper spots for the best results say in your forest garden.

  Now once you get the idea, youll find yourself tossing extra seed of all kinds out into the forest, the meadow, by the stream, along the side of the house.

  One more benefit is that when most of these plants go to seed they flower. some brassicas have amazing displays of blooms. Its hard to beat the wild brocccoli blooms even with all the wildflowers around. They attract pollinators as well, a carrot left to bloom will be COVERED in native bees here.

I have added a few pictures of some young wild veggies. come summer they will be huge and full of flowers, and by fall full of seed, but now they are food. they include some russian kale, broccoli seedlings, chickweed, chamomile, lettuce, arugula.


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Comments (2)

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Debra Warmington
Debra Warmington : Beautiful pictures!
Posted about 13 years ago

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Chris McLeod
Chris McLeod : Nice photos. It also helps build up the diversity in your area too.
Posted about 13 years ago

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