GARDEN NOTES : February 2013

a time of drought, heat, and high winds; Xmas and New Year; a season with no student classes at the SI, School holidays, and peak stress in the Garden and Woodland.

 

The ecological equation is now well established.  Our Garden / Woodland  is situated in a seasonal wetland.  In the winter we flood, our ponds fill, we delight in greenery, the flush of flowering Geophytes, water bloemijies, and new growth.  We watch some indigenous species die from drowned roots.  In the summer we await increasing temperatures, no rain, and drying winds.  We water daily those trees and shrubs beginning to struggle.  Life for Quinga is lived at the end of a hose-pipe – except, that is, when our treated water supply is insufficient for Woodland needs because toilet use has been greatly reduced.  Then we need to access  the Dam……… and so we continue until normal flows are resumed.   Meanwhile, our faithful Bore-hole pumps water to the Vegetable Garden where we water seven days.

 

Now classes of School and SI are again in full swing.  All facilities are operational.  Our migrant work-force has returned to labour intensively, during community work, on beds that await cultivation, seeding and planting.  The transformation has been impressive.  Many of the beds “laid aside” have been dug and planted.  Those remaining will resume their productive life in coming weeks. Some fifty-five gardeners have been engaged in weeding, clearing, composting, digging, sowing and planting.  Tomatoes, basil, potatoes, spinach, beans and bringals have been harvested.  Matilda’s  lunches can again be prepared with main ingredients taken from the garden.   Gardeners now include the new intake of fourteen Umziwetu students who aim to grow for their own kitchen.  They are a welcome addition to the work-force, not least for their accompaniment of singing!

 

This year we will have olives, although not in great supply.  Last year we picked from a local orchard to maintain a supply of Makka’s cured olives on the Green Café shelves.  We may again this year have to supplement what we harvest from the Garden.  We plan to replace the few Mission olive trees that have died with the Calamata variety in order to introduce variety and cross-fertilisation (in line with ecological and SI principles!).  In addition to Lynedoch-cured olives, the Green Café also sells Lynedoch Fig Preserve, Pesto, and Mint jelly – products from the Garden and the efforts of Makka, Kitchen staff, and Nelda (local indigenous culinary expert).

 

We now look forward to further sowings and plantings and extended harvests, before investing in a cover of green manure for the winter, which last year was a significant Garden feature of soil enhancement and simple beauty.

 

Comments on Lynedoch Garden Notes and additions to them, would be greatly welcomed…..

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