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Thursday, 19 September 2013

Planting Trees and Asparagus Bed

First of all apologies to all my blogging friends for not frequenting or commenting on their blogs, my internet connection is a little difficult what with us having no electricity where we are still camping in Rozovets, Bulgaria, being dependent on the good will of the local bar to re-charge the laptop, but the connection there being extremely slow.  Whilst when in the nearby provincial town the connection is faster, but I'm limited in time until my battery runs out again.  So here come the latest news from the Rozovets project:

At the end of September we visited the plant sale at the Balkan Ecology Project in Shipka, about hour's drive north of us and purchased some plants for Vasko's land.  This is a great permaculture project run by an English family and their Bulgarian neighbours.  I might get around showing you some pics from there too some time soon.  Anyway, what we bought and subsequently planted is this:

A pea tree caragna brevispina.  This is a nitrogen fixing tree growing up to 20 metres high producing edible pea-like pods.  Although it grows quite tall, it is slender with light foliage and doesn't throw too much shade.

A Cornelian cherry cornus mas.  A shade tolerant shrub, small tree producing delicious cherry-like fruit.

A Japanese quince chaenomeles speciosa.  Another shade-tolerant shrub producing quince-like fruit.

Autumn olive elaeagnus umbellate.  A nitrogen fixing small tree producing delicious and nutritious berries in late autumn.

A sea buckthorn hippophae ramnoides. Another nitrogen fixing shrub which makes an excellent wind break and produces berries rich in vitamins and minerals.

2 chocolate vines akebia quinata.  A climber producing edible leaves and fruit.  The leaves make a good addition to the salad bowl, while the fruit has a delicate sweet flavour.  Can also be grown as a ground cover.

A dewberry rubus caesius.  A small shrub which functions as a ground cover in shady areas, producing small edible berries.

We also bought some asparagus plants, the variety being 'Washington'.  We've seen them in Shipka and they grow to an enormous size.  It was recommended to keep them indoors over the winter before planting them, but as we have nowhere to put them we chanced it and made a nice 'lasagne bed' for them on a sunny spot.  We put cardboard mulch down, topped by cow shit and finally a thick layer collected from the pine forest above of a mixture of pine needles and horse shit.  We lined the bed with bottles of wine mostly consumed by ourselves during our stay, but as you can see, we still have some way to go...

Finally in the medicinal herb bed the liquorice is doing well (also purchased at the plant sale).

And the bits where we haven't planted anything in particular yet we have sown some green manure, such as in this case, buckwheat, which is growing rapidly and already in flower: