Some Autumn Vistas

Autumn has finally arrived here after a long extended Indian summer.  It’s been the driest October here since forever.  The sun is still out, but temperatures have dipped and a chilly northern wind is making us hunker down by the fire.  Perfect time to show you some pics of our land that I took today.  So without further ado and in no particular order:

dsc03006This is our small hugelkultur.  It’s a pile of old wood topped with organic materials and earth.  It has some brassica growing on it at the moment, including a perennial collard.  I let my brassica go to seed and some red Russian kale has re-seeded itself this year.  Also some kind of squash has seeded itself out there, but probably too late to produce anything this year.  There is also in the foreground a burdock, which strictly speaking a weed, but with many uses.  The root makes an excellent vegetable, it has many medicinal uses and it is an excellent dynamic accumulator with it’s deep tap roots.  I’ve left it to go to seed to get more of them throughout the garden.  Oh and talking about hugelkultur, I’ve written a song about that once.  Here’s a rather drunk version of me playing it in Italy some years ago:

 

dsc03007This is our ‘snack alley.  It’s on both sides of a path leading to the back of the property where you can pick up morsels such as raspberries, Japanese wine berries, josta berries, tayberries gooseberries and goji berries as you pass by.  Not all of them are producing yet, but the raspeberries have been particularly abundant this year and are still giving us a handful every day.dsc03008

dsc03009This rather wild looking area is dedicated mostly to perennial plants such as artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, tree cabbages, rhubarb, strawberries, welsh onion.  In the background is our Mongolian yurt which houses some of our volunteers during the warmer season.

This is the beginning of our food forest, which currently consists of a pear tree, a plum tree, a fig tree, a strawberry tree, some hawthorn shrubs and wild roses.  More things are to be added soon and I’ll keep you posted.  Most of the trees are still very young.

dsc03012This is part of the vineyard with plenty of variety as ground cover plants

dsc03013This is a view to what was originally planned as the annuals garden and the polytunnel.  It’s starting to quite wild with the likes of brassica and seabeet and even more so potatoes happily self seeding and taking over.

dsc03014In the front of the house we planted a multi-functional hedge, which is starting to fill in.  It consists of nitrogen fixing and berry producing sea buckthorn and elaeagnus ebingei as well as cherry plums, Oregon grape and Japanese apple rose.  All have edible uses as well as screening our house from the road, acting as a wind break from cold northerly winds and some fix nitrogen to improve the soils.  As ground cover there are wild primroses, three cornered leek and other useful plants.

dsc03015Finally the main pond.  It is part of an integrated water system, which diverts water off the roof into here, overflows into a secondary pond, which in turn overflows into a bog bed.  We planted quite a few native species and put some fish inside too.  Frogs spawned here for the first time last year.

I hope this gives you a bit of an impression of what the place looks like.

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