‘Can I have two big packets of grass seed, please – I’ve got a lawn to grow’ are words I never thought I’d say. But here we are, de-gardening, trying to leave no trace of our home-grown food bowl.
Such is the nature of permaculture renting. We’re out of this place in a month.
I used to get really indignant about this kind of thing. All houses should have edible gardens! What I’m doing increases the value of this place anyway! All true, all true.
Yet these days, for us, it’s best to look at rental gardens like one of the temporary art projects we used to do in public spaces…
Bring it all in, set it all up, have an amazing experience, wish it would go on forever, realise that it can’t, accept ephemerality, pack it all down, leave no trace, carry it in your heart, remember. Then, do another one.
This might seem like a lot of work. And you’re right, it is. But it’s worth it. Plus it’s much cheaper than gym membership, results in family-level joy and awesomeness, and feeds us and our neighbours – all at the same time.
All of which is worth two packets of grass seed, I rekon.
So. Time to celebrate what has been, and then, de-garden.
Much of the summer veg is prettymuch done anyways – though I’ll leave the scarlet runner bean-wall up until the very last, to maximise the harvest.
We harvest the last of the leeks. Fruit fly got into some of our second round of eggplants, capsicums + tomatoes. We sort the good from the bad.
We harvest the last of the cucumbers and pull down their jute twine trellis.
This weekend, I’ll de-construct the herb bed – finding new homes for my beloved chilli plant, the sage, the perennial basil.
We harvest bunches and bunches of herbs – thyme, sage, fennel seeds – hanging them up in the house to dry for Winter teas + stews.
The leafy greens bed I’ve left until last, as we’re still eating from it daily. Or at least we’re eating the rocket, cima di rapa + chop suey greens – caterpillars smashed the lettuce during the recent rain. So it goes.
This weekend I’ll start some trays of microgreens (kale, rocket, buckwheat), and once they’re up and ready for the eating, I’ll pick + pesto the remaining greens in this bed, then zero that bed down to grass seed, like the rest of them.
Apart of the incredible yield we’ve had this summer thanks to the biointensive growing method we’ve been trialling (and loving), biointensive bed prep has another unexpected use: it makes beds easy to return to lawn.
Because of the fine surface tilth we’ve worked on all the beds, the added nutrients, and the lack of compaction due to the double digging, these beds are now a party waiting to happen, from a grass’s perspective.
So I’m simply harvesting everything from each bed, removing the bed surround, raking out the soil a little to meet the surrounding grass, and then adding grass seed in quantity, along with random kikuyu grass runners to help things along.
With daily watering, the grass is coming on nicely. Wait – did I just say that? Yikes. Well, it’s all about context I guess, as with any growing project.
We’ve found good homes for our hardwood garden beds, that we made so excitedly from the last of our old farm’s sheepyards. On they go, into other homes, other gardens.
And so the beans are being packed up into jars, the leeks into a big pot of soup, the herbs into dry store, the cucumbers into pickles, the yucca into syrup, the chillis into Harissa.
The perennial herbs, fruit trees + garden bed surrounds to friends gardens, to feed other bellies with future goodness.
And this garden, packed up into our hearts.
Except for this one self-sprouted bean plant, which seems determined to carry on, despite kikuyu grass on all sides. Bless.
It’s been such a great year of growing! Thanks for following along.
New adventures lie ahead, which we’re looking forward to sharing with you shortly.