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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Eureka! and Hooray to Helpers

Remember I asked you lot a few days ago what this plant is?

Well I've finally cracked it!  It's Fool's Watercress or as our American cousin like to call it, European Marshwort (apium nodiflorum).  It was no coincidence that we found it in a damp ditch, that's where it likes to be.  In Italian it has various common names, mostly more descriptive than the English names: Crescione (big cress), sedanino d'aqua (little water celery) or erba canella (cinnamon herb).  the latter two names really describe the flavour of this plant.  They do say it makes an excellent addition to a salad, however they should only be picked from near clean waterways and should be thoroughly washed as they might harbour parasites harmful to humans.  Another unexpected addition to the book, it's getting longer and longer!

Meanwhile back at the farm... we've had two cycling Americans all the way from Arizona helping us out.  They've been really hard working and, like us, have a keen interest in permaculture.  They've been bravely beating back the encroaching jungle, helped us plant out stuff, made us a lasagne bed, shifted leaf litter and topsoil from the woods below our 18 terraces and dragged it all to the top and they've dug a new compost toilet.  It's all been mighty impressive!

Here a few pictures of Becky and Nick in action.  First Nick dug a really deep hole for the compost toilet:

Then all that earth went in bucket 2 or 3 terraces down:

...to cover a previously prepared lasagne bed, i.e. layers of different types of organic material on top of some cardboard to keep the weeds down and add organic material to the soil:


...and did you notice?  They were still smiling!

Anyway on a final note our cat seedlings have done particularly well this year:


5 comments:

Martijn said...

Very nice. Plants are so interesting. When I was training to be a biologist, I was the only non-birdwatcher. I loved plants, and I still do, probably because you can look for them with your head down (just kidding).

I have never heard of the phrase lasagne beds but I can imagine what it means. Hoorah for your American friends slash slave labourers! And lovely cat.

Sandi said...

Love the cat! Neat post.

Sandi

Giulia said...

Love the cat pic!!!!

sunflower said...

your cat looks like he is in prison!
great helpers you have there!
enjoy your upcoming course Heiko, and remember to post often (with tips for novices like me)

Lo Jardinier said...

Well, it's about time I started following your great blog, after all Chaiselongue has told me about it over the dining table for ages now. I see I've got some catching up to do!
By the way, as a blues and world music (or real music) fan too I may have some things you'd like. If you want, email me at richard2nrobso3n @ orange.fr (remove numbers and spaces first)and I'll tell you titles.
Best wishes
Lo Jardinier