Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gardening - flowers and food

Some of you may have noticed that we don't spend a lot of time on ornamental gardening. We used to grow showy annuals, but with less time to spend on gardening and more mouths to feed, we've focused our efforts on food over aesthetics. If we grow plants that don't feed us, we try to focus on ones that are perennial and/or feed birds.

Hummingbirds are rather fond of hosta flowers (the deer love the leaves too, but we're certainly not encouraging that). My MIL used to grow many varieties of hostas; she had a shady yard that only shade-loving plants could do well in. The ones we have now had been dug up from her garden. It's a nice way to remember her.
My MIL knew all the varieties names, but I can barely remember my own kids' names.

I haven't talked much about the herbs that we grow by the house, so here are photos of a couple of them.  This is oregano:
The lemon balm also does well.
Garlic chives have taken over much of the space around our water garden, although I don't think you can see it well in this photo.  This space has become a bit wild in the past few years.  We used to have water lilies in the pond, but now it's mostly algae.  The frogs still love it and I guess that's all that counts for now.
Hubby, with the kids' help, fixed our old chicken tractor!  Now I have to find time to stain it.
More on the never-ending rabbit saga - see the cuke plants they've turned into stubs? 
This one is for Michelle (Blog of the Soap Pixie) because we were talking about darned deer and the damage the cause (hey, that make a good rock band name: Darned Deer and Devastation...ok, maybe not).
Yes, the peas are ready! Putting the kids to work:
I may whine about weeding and hubby may complain about having to having to foil deer and rabbits every year, but I'm very grateful to be able to grow about 40% of our own foods on our land.  There is a food shortage in many parts of the world, causing high prices and food riots.  Incidentally, some may think that food costs are high in North America, but it's nothing compared to what percentage of income it comprises for some people in other parts of the world.  A couple of good articles to read about food shortage are:
A Warming Planet Struggles to Feed Itself
Where is the 21st century approach to feeding the world?
Of course, one can't really talk about changing climate and hunger without also talking about two other related topics:
Fastest sea-level rise in 2,100 years linked to climate change
Overpopulation: A key factor in species extinction

Now that I've thoroughly depressed you (welcome to the despair that resides in my heart), I hope you'll have a lovely weekend!

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams