Things have been going really well on the land – the rhubarb I transplanted at an improper time is starting to grow a leaf; the transplanted nettles are thriving, and the asparagus continues to grow wildly. Even the lemon verbena herb that I gave up on is sprouting new leaves and looking OK. This is good, since I have been concentrating on stuff around the cabin. I put in the floor boards (see picture of it half-done above), using scavenged pallets and fence boards, sanded it well, and then added a couple of coats of linseed oil. I also made signs for the compost toilet and shower, also above.
We found hardy kiwis in Brudenell of all places the other day, so had to buy them, though there are hardy kiwi seeds in the ground right now.
Things were hectic and funny with all the furniture and the sink outside while I did the floors, but thankfully the chaos is almost over. It’s kind of hard to do that sort of thing when there is only one small room to live in. Oh well. I have been dreaming of making an addition next year of a living room, bedroom and root cellar, so we’ll see.
Well, first off, the asparagus is starting to grow! This is really exciting. It’s tiny, but doubles every few days or so. These are the asparagus crowns a friend gave us. The seeds still won’t be due to sprout for possibly another week.
I am starting to build another hugel as well. Right now it’s the pile of rotting logs and wood chips on cardboard in the background, but next year it will look more like the flower/herb garden in front. There are so many butterflies, bumble bees and honey bees around the garden this year, and way more berries everywhere than last year. Perhaps something to do with the constant frigid rain we had a year ago. . .
Here’s the small nettle bed, with a couple borage plants that self-seeded last year.
I built a book trade box, and hung it up on the bike trail near our land. So far no one has used it, but I wasn’t expecting it to get heavily used.
I also started taking down the plaster inside, since it’s crumbly and annoying, and putting up old boards from pallets, leftovers from other projects, etc. I am so much happier with the way it looks, but it was hard to capture in a picture because of lighting, and the small size of the cabin. Here are a few bits to give an idea. Travis said the aesthetic was 100-year-old 1-room schoolhouse, and I think that kind of captures it.
Finally, I don’t have pictures of this, but we were able to use the first “humanure” from the compost toilet on the land. I am way more excited about this than I should be but (as lots of people know) I love getting a good deal, and now we have something that adds high-quality nutrition to the soil, instead of waste that gets mixed with toxic chemicals and dumped in water somewhere.
I’ve been back on the Island for a little while now, and staying away from the internet for the most part. Here’s a picture from the roof of the cabin, looking out over the lane.
Here is a nursery bed for fruit vines/trees. So far it has two varieties of hardy kiwi in it, and space for medlars (to plant a little later), and persimmon (to plant next year, after it’s spent a winter in the cold cabin). In the back you can see the beginning of the brush wall Travis and I are building. So far the robins love it.
One of the asparagus trenches! Carla Emery says each person needs 15 asparagus plants, but I figure I need at least double that. I am happy to put in a lot of work initially (and a few years of waiting) for 25 years of payoff. This year, I have really been thinking a lot about perennial vegetables, herbs and of course fruit. One of our first meals here was a miso soup featuring sorel and chives; my sorel plants from seed last year are thriving, and I was really happy to have some fresh greens ready as soon as I arrived.
I dug the asparagus trench above and another, but only have room for about 15-18 plants so far. I planted about 100 seeds (the germination is uneven), so I am hoping for the best. Maybe I’ll plant more next year.
Speaking of perennial vegetables, a friend just gave me a chunk of nettles which she brought from Montreal, and I am excited to start in the garden. I love them, and PEI doesn’t have them as readily available growing wild as I am used to.