I’ve chosen to do something different this summer.
Re-do my “forest’s pathways” and improve the soil for Fall’s planting instead of concentrating on just on summer (tropical) vegetables. Yes, I’m doing it my way.
I’ve used corrugated cardboard – old wine cartons, appliance packaging, good thick brown cardboard from recycling dumpsters – cut them open, carpeted the paths, then wait for the afternoon rain (a common occurrence in Florida).
No red carpet… just plain return of tree material to soil.
A closer look at my handiwork …
Cardboard weed barrier
Covered with pine needles
They will look like natural forest paths in a couple of weeks and it hasn’t cost a cent! OK, they may need re-doing in a couple of years but it will give me time to re-plan and perhaps even re-design the pathways depending on the height of the in-ground trees and perennial edibles, as time passes.
Our Passionfruit (Passiflora Incarnata) harvesting season is coming to its close. It has been a good stretch with fruits galore. The tough rind has been put in bokashi bins, compost bins and cut up, then put in the worm bin as feed.
Their latest use has been as seed-starting pots. Just like papier mache seed-starting pots, which is composted to become “soil”, Passionfruit rind will do likewise so why not try them for a new function?
Pole beans in their “new” seed-starting pots.
Germination has begun …
They sprouted healthily.
Whole ‘pots’ went into soil once cotyledons appeared
They seem happy 😀
There will be a few more ‘fruity seed-starting pots’ available once we cut up the remaining Passionfruits on our kitchen counter to be preserved for future devouring.
Yum-yum! Every part gets used.
Comfrey harvested slightly over 2 weeks ago got hung to dry, then moved to the garage for a couple of days when Tropical Storm Colin came to visit and got moved out again for summer sun drying for 7 days.
When nicely brown and dehydrated, I laid it in a cardboard box and sprinkled it with a scoop of compost. Then it was left to cure for another 7 days ~ almost similar principle to preserving vegetables.
Comfrey curing in a cardboard box.
I use cardboard boxes as it absorbs moisture and prevents condensation and rot. After proper curing, those leaves are now covered with mycelium! So sweet smelling …
Almost looks like winter frost, doesn’t it?
Now it’s ready for use. I will mix some into potting soil, some into vegetable beds, some into soil-mix to be used for Fall planting and some into my worm bin. This will be done in summer while all Comfrey plants are growing extra fast & producing leaves extra big and thick. This is my form of organic soil enrichment which I think has Ma Nature’s approval.
After we killed Ms Papaya, we decided to re-do her bed but leave that 1 matured Curry Leaf Plant (Murraya Koenigii) growing as is, because she (I call her Ms Murraya) does provide shade to the wall in summer.
Newly prepared bed
I’ve buried some well fermented bokashi in that bed before topping it up with topsoil and manure. Now it sits peacefully allowing some natural settling.
In the bed I have placed (vertically) 2 water pipes (each 1 ft long) with lots of holes drilled into them, to help with deep watering and a red 5-gal bucket with its bottom cut off. This is going to be a worm resort where those pet worms will be fed with bokashi and vegetable waste from the kitchen. They will live their lives in comfort, indulge in gourmet delicacies and in return, they will reward me with their treasured poop! Fair exchange, right?
Worm resort without furnishing, bedding or food (yet)… with removable roof.
Different level exit & entry doorways.
So now, as summer comes to a close and the weather begins to cool ~ it’s time to “reforest” this bed with vegetables of the season… perhaps some Carrots, Daikons, Beets and Garlic amongst Tomatoes & Napa Cabbage … BUT I definitely want a couple of giant Collard Greens there ~ I just love Collards.
Caught a Flounder in Venice, FL & froze it in the hotel’s freezer … & forgot to take a pic in all the rush & excitement of moving from hotel to hotel. But when we got home, that single Flounder (the weirdest looking fish I’ve ever seen) got shared between us human beings and the plants.
… and after filleting the fish, the bones, ‘spare parts’ and all, got thrown in pot and simmered till it disintegrated. The stock got diluted and fed to the plants,
… and we had the body for dinner with Romaine Lettuce and home-grown Tomatoes.