Category Archives: ORGANIC PRODUCE

ORGANIC FARMING BY JOHN THE FARMER .

Today John the farmer planted up winter seedlings.

Today I am planting up kale, wasabi mustard, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, parsley and spinach for sale at Towerkop Nursery.

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Guild of plants around the young fig tree.

The guild of plants around the young fig tree include tomatoes interplanted with kakibos (Tagetes minuta), wilde dagga (Leonotus ocymifolia), Butternut pumpkin and Aloe ciliaris and jasmine on the trellis.

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Today John the Farmer is growing watermelon and sunflowers.

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Today John the farmer is sheet mulching !

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A Good use for Bad news…Today john the farmer is using newspaper to sheet mulch an area of the allotment !

Sheet mulching prevents weeds from coming up and retains the moisture in the soil.

A layer of well rotted biomass from the compost heap holds the newsprint down and prevents the paper from drying out.

I intend planting a ground cover of Sour fig (Carpobrotus) by making small holes in the newspaper and sticking the cuttings into them.

Carpobrotus

Update on the mulching and subsequent planting..

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The fig tree raised bed is planted with sunflowers, gazanias and gem squash.

The trellis contains Jasmine, Aloe ciliaris and an epiphyte cactus.

Below it rambles a butternut squash.

 

 

Today John the farmer is doing Hugelkultur !

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Hugelkultur or hill culture is simply growing what you want on hills or mounds created out of rough biomass to improve the soil, increase drainage and at the same time prevent the soil from drying out.

I added a galvanized wire mesh tube or cylinder which i plan to use as a trellis for climbing plants.

The middle of the tube will filled with garden clippings, kitchen waste and leaves to create a ‘wormhole’.

The wormhole will concentrate earthworm activity from where they will spread out to the rest of the mound.

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I must say this Hugelkultur method really works ! Three months later and all the veggies I put into the mound are reaady for harvest..The beans that I sowed must still climb the trellis but I am ready to replace most of the veggies with the summer seedlings.

Today John the farmer spotted this on his walk on the mountain.

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This Babiana plant is a perennial corm bulb in the Iris family. Apparently favoured by baboons that eat it’s corms (hence babiana), it survives amongst rock crevices on sandstone slopes and flats where it flowers in early spring.  Possibly B. ambigua, this one was found growing on the Swartberg mountains in the little Karoo.

John the Farmer went up the Swartberg pass!

PassRecently re-opened after flood damage, the Swartberg pass was built in 1887 by Thomas Bain. It connects the Little karoo to the Groot Karoo through the majestic Swartberg mountains. It is 24km of gravel road barely wide enough for two cars to pass. A favourite for mountain bikers.