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Photos of Joseph Lofthouse's Garden

 
Maureen Atsali
Posts: 227
Location: Western Kenya
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I am super envious of that community support.  Very, very awesome.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2097
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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Here's a photo from my greenhouse today. These are mostly tomato plants from the polyamorous and auto-hybridizing tomato breeding projects, so they are wild tomatoes, and crosses between domestic tomatoes and wild tomatoes, and grandchildren of the crosses. Etc. The bundle of sticks in the pot of water are grape cutting that I am rooting. I pruned the grapes yesterday, so figure that I might as well do something useful with the vines.

Also, a couple of species of micro-wildflowers are blooming.
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Polyamorous and auto-hybridizing tomato breeding project
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Micro-flower
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Micro-flower
 
Maureen Atsali
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Location: Western Kenya
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What is the purpose of propagating the micro wildflowers?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2097
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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Maureen Atsali wrote:What is the purpose of propagating the micro wildflowers?


The micro-wildflowers are weeds in my garden. They are flowering within a week or so of the snow melting. I try to take a photo of a new species of flowering plant every day of the growing season, and so since they were so early flowering they got their photos taken.  The one with the white flowers tasted very edible.

Today's flowers were a mystery plant, and violets. The violet flowers are also edible, and the lawn was abuzz with honeybees visiting the violets.

And, about 50 years ago my daddy and I planted hundreds of tree seedlings. This grove of trees is where they did best.



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Mystery blue flowers
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Violets
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Grove of Juniper trees planted about 50 years ago
 
Maureen Atsali
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Location: Western Kenya
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Oh! I thought you were trying to cultivate the wildflowers in your green house! My mistake.  I remember eating wild violets when I was a kid.  I craved them!  Later I remember reading that they were a great source of vitamins, I think it was vitamin A in particular.  Funny that as a kid it was instinctual. I also remember my mother fretting and nagging that I would eat something poisonous and die!  Now I see my 2 year old putting various weeds and wild herbs in her mouth.  She discovered sorrel by herself and also favors a weed with little white flowers.  I don't know the name, but have noticed that the pigs also like it, and if you throw it in the fish pond, the fish also nibble on it.

Very fun to meet an adult who also tastes the weeds!
 
Rebecca Wooldridge
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Location: Western Oregon (Willamette Valley), 8a/8b
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chicken forest garden hugelkultur
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Your white flower looks like it could be chickweed (stellaria media), an early spring edible. If so it should have five petals, each bisected so it looks like there are ten petals.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2097
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I had a lot of fun in the garden today. I planted. I weeded. I harvested. A friend stopped by for a tour.

I picked domestic and wild-crafted greens, and cooked them for supper. I posted a photo of the stir-fry I made from them in the thread entitled: If a vegan friend visited you today, what could you make for them? The harvest included: kale, spinach, turnip root, turnip greens, sunrooot, garlic, Egyptian walking onions, and wildcrafted greens: dandelion, chickweed (thanks for ID Rebecca Wooldridge), wild lettuce, mallow. This harvest is of huge significance to me, because it represents a vast shift in the way that I garden. Last summer, I became aware of the idea that I should be growing overwintering crops, so that I can harvest them first thing in the spring. Thanks Tom and Amber! So I put a lot of effort into that sort of scenario last fall. The result is that I harvested my first meal from the garden 2 weeks after the winter snow-cover melted. Only Two Weeks! This meal is also significant, because it represents a shift in my attitude towards intentionally growing wild greens. I'm intending to intentionally grow the wild-crafted weeds that I ate today. (Maureen Atsali, next year they will be intentional.) They are species that overwintered in the garden, and fed me my first meal of the spring. If they had overwintered in the greenhouse, they would have been feeding me a month ago. 

I dug the spring sunroots, and posted a photo of them in the thread: Sunroots For Sale: Genetically diverse. Prolifically Seeding. I'm very pleased with how the sunroot project has progressed. As a plant breeder, I move the sunroot patch every year, so that I can tell the difference between weeds and my new hybrids. Sure makes for a weedy mess. I put a huge effort last summer into taming some of the weediest areas. I was finding weedy tubers today while planting other things, but not near as many as in the past.

The tobacco plants really caught my attention tonight.



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Harvest on 2017-03-20. Domestic and wildcrafted.
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Tobacco plants.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2097
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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My irrigation water won't be available until about 11 weeks from now. I am already planting my garden. I plan my work to take advantage of the natural rhythms of the farm. For example, about a week ago, the weather forecast started predicting rain for today, so I worked diligently to get the cold loving seeds into the ground, before the storm so that they can germinate with the rains.

I did my usual trick, and weeded before planting, and went back over the beds that were planted a week or two ago, but haven't germinated yet, and ran the hoe through them as well. I can weed after my crops are planted, but before they germinate. Just gotta pay attention and be careful with depth. This time of year, I really love weeding with a leaf rake. Disrupting small seedlings while not damaging larger things like onions, garlic, or peas.

We got a little rain overnight, with more expected for the next couple of days. And it sprinkled on and off all day. In other words, a cold, damp, cloudy muddy day. Perfect time to be transplanting something without irrigation!

A year ago, I gathered together whatever kale/cabbage type plants had survived the winter, and grew seeds from them. Last fall, I planted many thousands of the seeds, and sent them into winter as plants that were about 8 inches tall. Thousands of them died overwinter. However, hundreds of them survived, so today, since it was already cool, and damp with lots more cool and damp on the way, I dug about 100 of the kale plants and transplanted them into a field where they can make a seed-crop for me. I came home a gloriously muddy mess!!! The plants will thrive. And I got away with moving them in spite of not having irrigation available.

I am experimenting with  transitioning many of my crops to fall planting. Because I am already eating the fall planted kale months before the spring planted kale will be ready to eat. That seems prudent to me. To shift my food production so that some crops are producing food as soon as the snow melts. There are a few edible wild weeds that I intend to explore in this regard. I don't mind at all if I need to create my own winter-hardy varieties.




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Winter hardy Kale.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2097
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
391
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Heavy rains today (for this area), so here's a photo from the greenhouse.

I'm sure enjoying the auto-hybridizing tomato project. Most of these are inter-species crosses between wild and domestic tomatoes. 
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I love having a greenhouse.
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Auto-hybridizing tomato project
 
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