7 Heavenly Hens GARDEN | blog

We are an urban homestead based on natural, holistic and sustainable principles. Our livestock includes chickens & honey bees and we cultivate fruits, vegetables and kitchen herbs.

04 – The potager; The Year in Review at 7HH-G

“A potager is a French term for an ornamental vegetable or kitchen garden. The historical design precedent is from the Gardens of the French Renaissance and Baroque Garden à la française eras. Often flowers (edible and non-edible) and herbs are planted with the vegetables to enhance the garden’s beauty. The goal is to make the function of providing food aesthetically pleasing.

Plants are chosen as much for their functionality as for their color and form. Many are trained to grow upward. A well-designed potager can provide food, as well as cut flowers and herbs for the home with very little maintenance. Potagers can disguise their function of providing for a home in a wide array of forms—from the carefree style of the cottage garden to the formality of a knot garden.”   ~From Wikipedia

11794462_10206745097859076_4080084969760567553_o

Variety, diversity and beauty = a potager.

 

Growing herbs, vegetables and flowers in our potager at 7HH-G was extremely successful this past year for a variety of reasons. We grew cold season and warm season vegetables that our family eats on a regular basis. Several culinary herbs were grown and a variety of flowers were also included (Zinnias were our favorite flower).  Several vegetables were grown for the first time – that was exciting to see them grow and do so well in our raised beds. Broccoli, lettuce, swiss chard and egg plant were a few of the first time vegetables we tried growing. Other more traditional ones which we have grown before were tomatoes, basil, zucchini and marigolds. Besides looking beautiful with herbs, flowers and vegetables all together in one area, this approach provides for companion planting for pest management . Basil and tomatoes are one example of two plants helping each other out. Marigolds are an overall good pest deterrent in the potager. Our Warre bee hive is close to the raised beds which guarantees plant pollination. The rich diversity of plant life attracted so many other pollinators in the form of leaf bugs, lady bugs, butterflies, hummingbirds as well as some small bats ! Imagine that.

11698796_10206528330800035_1075377324775621050_o

The potager is surrounded by ag. fencing to keep out the chickens.

 

The basic format and approach of the potager consists of raised beds for intensively grown vegetables, herbs and flowers. Our space is very limited here at our urban farm so the Square Foot gardening method is used to maximize the space we do have . Some people refer to SFG as amateur or basic gardening but having had gardens and growing up with them in my past, I still believe they are the way to go with limited space available. The raised beds are made from wood and filled with a mix of compost, vermiculite and peat moss.

IMG_20150217_135836806

Building the raised beds and filling with a good mix of compost, vermiculite and peat moss. All of this over a bed of wood chips .

 

Mulching the surface of the beds once the hot, dry weather of summer arrives with wood chips, grass or straw helps to retain moisture.  Eventually the mulching material gets composted into the beds.

Drip hoses are used to water the plants so that even watering can be achieved. One goal for 2016 is to invest in a timer for more controlled, consistent watering to be provided throughout the day. After the end of the growing season, the beds are topped off with a layer of compost for them to overwinter on and be ready for spring planting.

For this coming growing season, we will have many of the crops from last year and we plan to introduce a few new ones. One goal for us will be to increase production of a few popular varieties of vegetables we hear people like and sell from our front yard when the local Farmers Market is happening a block away – lots of foot traffic in front of our home could be possible sales for our produce surplus (what better way for teaching our children the art of selling their goods).

11231872_10206079604182150_852694753256311638_o

Drip hoses can be seen in the early spring before the mulch of straw gets added.

 

In previous years, we have grown vegetables in straw bales as well as in simple raised beds with only a few varieties of vegetables at a time. The simple raised beds were set up to grow in a row format which limited the amount of plants to be grown;  our current raised beds use the SFG approach and intensively grow plants based on their space needs.  The straw bale method we tried used and wasted so much water to prep the bales and to water them – water here in the arid southwest is too limited for that method. Also, the surface area of the straw bales did not allow for the intensive approach we currently use. We know these methods work for others in different climates but they don’t for us here. We’re looking forward to more success with our potager here at 7HH-G.

image (162)

We used string initially to locate transplants in their 12″ x 12″ square.

Advertisements

2 comments on “04 – The potager; The Year in Review at 7HH-G

  1. diggingwithdana
    December 29, 2015

    LoVe LoVe LoVe this blog post!! Best Wishes for a wonderful new year.

  2. Pingback: 04 – The potager; The Year in Review at 7HH-G | 7 Heavenly Hens GARDEN | blog – WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on December 28, 2015 by in Recap posts and tagged , , , , , , , , .
Patti Says...

Causing dialogue and eliciting responses about living design while presenting various observations for critique, consideration, solutions and some good humor!

Spirited Rose Homestead Dairy Farm

Happy Cows ~ Quality Milk ~ Healthy People

Farm Fresh For Life - Real Food for Health & Wellness

Ready for a fresh approach to healthy living? Or maybe growing your own food, roasting deer legs and stuffing mason jars sound like your idea of fun.. Come join the food revolution! Be inspired, empowered and encouraged to eat real, live healthy and enjoy everything!

grassfood.

discoveries along the grassfed life

digging with Dana

My southern style of living through gardening, cooking and diy projects. Stop by often to see what I am digging into during my free time.

Urban Overalls

Celebrating the urban homestead

Mucking Moms

Horse Showing, Stall Mucking, Kid Raising, Garden Growing, Animal Rearing, Creative Crafting, Home Cooking, Penny Pinching, Coupon Clipping, Family Loving Moms

The Toy Box Suburban Farm

Living off the land when the land is a small suburban lot.

Comfort Chickens Homestead

"Farm Fresh Fragrances"

The Source News

Brisbane News, Australia News and World News

Simple Bees

Bee-centred Natural Beekeeping: Information, Hives and Courses

Adventures in Natural Beekeeping

Bees, Hives, Swarms, and Everything under the Sun

Lewisham House and Farm

Exploring sustainability in Sydney, and down south

Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping Group

Honey bees holistically - bee-centered, low intervention and chemical-free

The Wicked Chicken

Sharing the often fun, sometimes tragic but always fabulous life in the country!

thecraftycreek

Making and creating

Willow Creek Farm

High Altitude Homesteading

A Girl & Her Chickens

A dive into all things feathered and farming...

%d bloggers like this: