Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fall/winter gardening in the kalahari

Here in the southern tip of the kalahari, we can grow food year round, more than in oklahoma, anyway. Its coming on winter now, nights are getting really cold, but days are generally warm, sometimes hot, and sunny. Our rainy season is summer, but we have been experiencing an, apparently, unprecedented amount of tiny showers. In general, the only problem with winter gardening here is lack of water.

keeping that in mind, i wrote a letter to an ag supply shop in kuruman asking for a hose, so my host family and i aren't breaking our backs hauling water from the community taps to our garden. They did donate a hose, but it only reaches halfway there. Until i get to town again, we are only half breaking our backs. :-)

i turned over three trench beds which grew carrots last season, and lined one with glass wine bottles, to see if it helps hold water better than just soil. In bed one, i planted garlic, sweet pea and swiss chard. Bed two has african daisy, radish and i forgot. Bed three has cabbage and rocket.

we can still plant broad beans, carrot, onion, kohlrabi, spinach and some others. We have chilies going strong, the last tomatoes, and spinach. We have a slow compost pile with old plants, scraps and ash. When we feel like it, or after a rain, we dig a bit more to slowly expand. We are teaching each other and reaping the fruits of our labor. No clay is really nice, i must admit!

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