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Sunday, August 1, 2010

What are you reading these days?

This is a question we all get asked, we ask of others, and if not... then your not a reader!

I am not a good reader. 
I rarely have a good book just for relaxation, most of my reading is about learning or searching for answers.

Forest Gardening, Cultivating an Edible Landscape, by Robert Hart ( sorry can't figure out how to underline it)...

What I was looking for was almost a blue print of sorts that I could apply to my own space. After all there are so many gardening books out there, with square foot marked off with suggestions out the yang?  .. NO such luck, but the book did inspire more thought to my estate and what more I may expect of it.

This little book was more on the history of, the use of, the development of and hoping most of all to PUSH the reader into do more agroforestry. 

I didn't need to be sold, and I'm not like most who likes to be preached at about ANY subject.  So the GREEN is REAL chapter did me little to no good, but the... "where do we go from here" chapter actually kept me up most of the night with my mind racing about exiotic things I should try in my garden, how I could protect them and make them work in my zone.  Which is AGAINST my entire reason for wanting a forest garden. 

I want a forest garden so I can tend to it very little and get as much out of it as possible.

There are things that grow well together, that feed each other and the life growing around them. 
For Example... My Paw Paw ALWAYS grew his green beans with his corn.  As a kid I never understood why people put wood in the ground in the middle of their gardens?  What in the world?  Not only did this little understood planting seem like no big deal to me I just thought that was how everyone was suppose to do things.  Come to find out this relationship between Corn and Beans is one few people today take advantage of.  Especially where I live right now!  I just drive by and laugh.

What I know now is... Beans put Nitrogen in the ground AS THEY GROW!   Corn TAKES such a high amount of Nitrogen it can easily rid soils of such nutrient.  So these two veggies not only  support each other above ground, save space in a garden, cause less work for the human ( no poles, no strings), but they feed each other under ground where no one thinks about.  In this book ... it talks about how Indians always grew their pumpkins with the corn, and beans... as the pumpkins covered the ground and kept weeds from growing between the stalks.

Simple things like these are what I am looking for in my readings.  I did not find too many in this book, but I will push the limits of zones in some micro climent areas I am going to try to create.  Sense the estate is south facing I may just be able to push the limits of several things. cold and hot zones.

My next reading... is because of this book... I got more out of the Indian ways than I did others. So I am thinking of getting an Indian Herbal book that concentrates on my area.    I'll let you know how it works out.

I can tell you ... I am serious about doing a forest garden so if anyone has ideas, experiments that have worked OR just wants to know more about what my plan is let me know...

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