Simple Living: Wandering Around the Orchard and Garden in June, Eating What I Find

I take a stroll around the land in the summer heat and sample the delicious morsels I find. An unfortunate young hare had the same idea, but ran into my cat.

The wild edibles I find in this instalment are: lamb’s quarters, amaranth, prickly pear pads, purslane, wild kale, mallow, prickly lettuce and chamomile.

Sunflowers are featured as a green manure plant as well as a companion plant for shading cucumbers in the hot summer. Basil is used as a companion plant with tomatoes.

I also take a look at one of my second-year bell pepper plants, and munch on a couple of tomato varieties: Currant Sweet Pea, and an unknown cross between Black Cherry and something else.

You might notice the sparse foliage on some of my tomato plants. This land was a tomato plantation sometime before I bought it, and the soil still has disease in it, so I’m forced to strip any diseased leaves off each affected tomato plant to stop it from spreading and killing the plant.

Next year I’m going to have to plant my tomatoes on virgin land higher up on the mountain and work on curing the affected soil. My girlfriend told me she heard that old-timers planted onions and garlic to leech disease out of their soil, so I’m currently trying to find out more on that, if anyone has any information.

This is only my second year working this land, and I couldn’t be happier with it so far. There are more than 80 fruit trees (everything from apples to mulberries to mangoes), and they’re all thriving. Now that the annual green manures have reached the end of their lifecycle, it’s time to start planting perennial native green manures, but more on that later.

My goal is to guide this land into a sustainable Mediterranean food forest using adapted permaculture ideals.

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