Sunday, October 23, 2011

edible landscape

The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is holding its Edible Garden Festival this weekend. The event includes demonstrations of gardening, composting and cooking, and is intended for people who only have room for one container on their balcony, as well as folks who have an acre to plant. Plus, they've got food trucks.

We had a chance to stop by yesterday and take notes on soil (use lots of rich, organic material and perlite), the need to use raised beds, and good combinations to plant (tomatoes and peppers like to be neighbors).

The chicken display only fueled our on-again-off-again fantasy of raising hens. Using papaya trees to provide shade makes for a perverse kind of brunch-oriented landscape. All that's missing is the coffee plant.

As beautiful as the hens are, I doubt we'll raise them at tin box. They would drive the neighbor's dog crazy, and eggs don't really fit into a vegan diet. But we'll definitely take the papaya trees, which grow quickly and produce prodigious amounts of fruit.
Not all the vegetables need to be grown in raised beds. Some of the peppers at Fairchild are planted in the ground, and have some great aesthetic qualities - like good density and size, plus beautiful fruit - that will make them ideal foundational plantings around our house. And while there's a limit to how many hot peppers we can consume, we can always sell the surplus at the South Miami Farmers' Market.
We're still not sure what materials we'll use to build our raised beds. Once the house is habitable, we're going to revisit the design of the planting areas. We're interested in forms and materials that complement those of the house.

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to see the development of your edible lawn!