This Wednesday and Thursday the weather was warm enough to plant pohtatohes. These are the fruits of mah lay-bour:
In the top left corner, you can see my sewage cleaning facility, specifically, its last two stages, the gravel-reed-bed where the water is further cleaned after the anaerobic tank and the seeping pond where it seeps into the ground around the edges. The reeds grew especially big last year with some stalks exceeding 3 m in height and 1 cm in thickness, which is normally unheard of at my elevation. Hooray for global warming, I guess. Mowing them with a scythe was an extreme p.i.a.
You can also see the pollarded willow trees around the pond that are due for firewood harvest next winter, but for years I did not know what to do with the reeds so they just rotted slowly on the compost. Two years ago I tried to put them directly on top of planted potatoes before they get covered with dirt. And it worked well, it lightened up the heavy clay significantly that year and I had the biggest haul of potatoes from that patch that I ever got – over 200 kg. We had even trouble to give the taters away because of the Covid travel restrictions, so we have tried some ways to preserve them for longer storage. Which worked well, especially dried chips for soups – we have those still and they work great in combo with dried mushrooms.
Last year there were no potatoes but peas, beans, maize, and pumpkins, so the soil can recover somewhat. It did not yield 200 kg of edibles of course, but we got a few dinners out of it. This year it is potatoes again.
So I am trying to replicate the success. On the vegetable patch, you can now see nine full and two very short rows filled with shredded reed stalks. In the next days, they will be slowly covered with dirt to form mounds for the tubers to grow. Inorganic fertilizer was added over the winter in the form of several buckets of ash from the house-heating stove. Some organic fertilizer has been added now with these reed stalks and more will be added over the year in the form of mown grass and raked moss. I do hope the weather won’t be too dry, but the sewage cleaning facility should help significantly if it is, and it adds some nitrogen too since the system is not as effective at cleaning ammonia as it should.
A whole cycle from poop to food in one garden.
Today I wanted to work on knife sheaths, but I am aching all over and it is probably not just from the work. I have a slightly elevated temperature and a bit of sore throat and a mild dry cough. The weather was reasonably warm, but not really warm, so I guess I caught a bit of chill and now some strep is trying to get me. I do hope to be able to work tomorrow, I have a commission due in May and although I still have enough time, finishing sooner is always better than later.