In this instalment, I work on improving the food pond by adding a DIY swirl filter made from a dustbin / trashcan and a simple gravel filter / growbed for kangkong, watercress and other plants that don’t mind being constantly flooded. There’s still room to expand with more beds in the future, as well as floating island planters. The medium for the growbed is volcanic rock gravel from my land. The swirl filter uses a modified laundry basket lid at the bottom, and although I forgot to show it in the video, there is a T connector at the end of the hose under the laundry basket lid to send the water in two diferent directions.
I also show off a quick bench I made out of a pallet, some uses for rocks including simple terracing, and I release some geckos into the house for pest control.
I make good use of some pine trees, and make some quick raw vegan cucumber spiral spaghetti using only things I picked from the garden (tomatoes, sweet peppers, mint, basil and cucumbers), as well a few of the olives I prepared in a previous video.
The tool I use to make the noodles is a Gefu Spirelli Spiral Slicer, but there are much better spiral slicers out there that won’t make your wrists sore. You can also use carrots to make this meal in the winter, or mix carrot and cucumber. Typically, zuccinis / courgettes are used, but they don’t agree with me, and cucumbers taste a whole lot better.
You’ll want to use cucumbers with small seeds, such as the Mediterranean cucumbers I use.
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.