So much evidence around us show that plants are sentient beings with an awareness of its surroundings, and this is further proof that this is so. Crystal Castle has brought in technology from Damanhur, an eco and spiritual community in northern Italy, able to convert plant vibrations to music, and today it was demonstrated during a sharing session how different plants can make different beautiful sounds and interact with its surroundings.
It was a very popular talk, and lots of children came along for the experience.
The synthesizer above, is rigged to plants, and as the speaker shared, plants hear themselves for the first time and are surprised at their own “voice”. During the session, she also mentioned research that suggests plants react to birds chirping in the morning, rather than the sunshine, which I thought was quite interesting.
Two weekends ago, I attended the quarterly Gardeners’ Day Out organised by NParks, and because I’d missed the last one, I made it a point to wake up very early to make it to Hort Park for this session. I generally like my sleep ins, especially on weekends. Well, it certainly did not disappoint! I did wish I had bought more plants though!
In general, I found that plants, soil, manure and some products to be rather affordable. Gardening can become an expensive hobby once you add growing systems, composting system, seeds, pots, seaweed extract and/or fish emulsion to the equation. Heirloom and organic seeds are always more pricey. The Seeds Master had a really lovely display, and each packet of seeds was going for $6, or 5 packs for $25. I ended up buying three different packs of flower seeds, I’m obsessed with flowers at the moment. There was a bit of a lucky dip for customers, and I picked a pack of Dwarf French Bean seeds.
There was a good range of plants on sale – succulents, including cacti, orchids, pitcher plants, air plants, florals, herbs and even eggplants and mulberry. Young seedlings were also available. There were also interesting talks and workshops, but I didn’t attend any.
In my last post, I shared that our main veggie bed was looking quite unkempt. All of that has now changed, after some intense weeding, soil preparation, planting and mulching by Dan and I. After a year of experimenting in the garden, we now have a good idea of what we use most in the kitchen and what it makes sense to grow more of, rather than dedicating a lot of room to plants that take a long time to mature.
The above would be our priority list, and if we have additional room, we could indulge in some exotic vegetables. What we are planting most of this summer are tomatoes and beans!
If you’d read my last post, you would recall me saying that I got back to Moondance, only to find this vegetable jungle.
And it now looks like this!
Dan bought me a couple of garden gnomes to dress up our garden. This bed was formerly filled with broad beans, parsley and daikon. It is now our lettuce bed, since it gets the least sun in summer. We bought rocket, mixed lettuce and spinach seedlings to hasten the process of having salad on the table.
This is our former lettuce bed, which is still home to perennials like kale and silverbeet (Perpetua Spinach). In it, we have recently planted beetroot, eggplant, coriander and okra. There is also a bulb of fennel, which should be ready to eat in coming weeks. In the small, triangular bed, we have mint and calendula.
In one of our former potato patches, we have planted two zucchini seedlings that we grew from seed. They are both doing well.
And in this other potato, coriander, celeriac and broad bean patch, Dan has planted Australian Butter Beans, Flagrano beans, and Tri-colour beans. The Australian Butter Beans came up really quickly, in around 2-3 days! The other beans took around 7 days.
Admittedly, this bed needs a bit of work. This is going to be our soy bean bed. We also have gaps here and there to fill with seedlings that I’m growing at the moment.
This bed still has loads of room, and the plan is plant more corn, watermelons and cucumbers. To the right of the photo, the unruly tumbling bushes are really just badly staked tomatoes. Our 4 zucchini plants, which have been very generous in the last 7 weeks, are next to it.
Did you notice my mammoth sunflowers? It took close to three months before they both bloomed. Although they are of differing heights, they bloomed just days apart. Both are taller than I am, and one of them is taller than Dan, who’s height is greater than 1.8m. Next to it, we have two corn plants. We really should have grown more.
This was our onion, carrot, herb and etcetera bed. Our onions and carrots didn’t do so well, so we will try again in another spot. We might grow some soy beans in this bed, since we are gunning for an epic crop for freezing, so that we can stop buying bags of edamame from our favourite Asian store, because we suspect that they are GM beans.
Outside the veggie beds, we also have some small, individual plots where we are planting tomatoes, Purple King Beans, sweet potatoes, taro and also soy beans.
Here are some seedlings that I will be planting soon, there are more in the kitchen, where we germinate all our seeds. It’s the only space we have indoors that is mostly warm.
In a few week’s time, I’ll be back in Singapore, so I need to make sure everything is planted… and I’ll be back around two month’s later, for harvest time!