I’ve spent some time planting up another bed to extend the Grain/vegetable polyculture experiment. It’s only about a days work in total, but has been spread over four. Having harvested maincrop potatoes on Saturday, re-shaped the bed, and then added compost on Sunday, today I planted out another batch of Rye.
Cereal Rye Seedlings
The planting is late. I wanted to grow another batch of rye, as the first batch started to go to seed, as reported in an Polyculture Progress. I also had to delay planting until the bed was empty. The planting of this bed was also a conscious decision to expand the scope, and scale of the experiment.
Most of the progress in my new polyculture has been in my thinking, rather than in the ground, but I wanted to record some of my early thoughts, so that I can look back at how it all developed. The rye has continued to develop ears. Rather than cut them off, I’m going to see if they have enough time to produce some viable seed. To hedge my bets, I’ve germinated another batch. This is a later sowing than the standard Bon Fils method, which is sown at Summer Solstice, but may be more appropriate to Rye. I thought that the early development of ears was due to hot dry conditions, but it may simply be that Rye has a shorter growing season than Wheat/spelt, and therefore was acting like a very late Spring sowing, rather than a very early Autumn sowing. I hope to learn more as I go along. The seed has germinated exceptionally well, 100% in fact, which has meant that I have a few more seedlings than I wanted, (Nick take Note), but can find space for them anyway.
It was my intentention to write about my progress with my experimental polyculture, having planted out the rye, and spelt. Sadly, we have a rabbit/rabbits in the vegetable growing space, and they seem happiest eating the clover groundcover. So I’m having to wait until I can get them out.
The seedlings are now more than a foot tall, and strong enough to go out, but are at the ideal height for rabbit browsing.
I have created the two Stropharia beds though, and have posted the pictures.
The plants in the Polyculture experiment are starting to grow, with the clover beginning to cover the bed. I wanted to post some pictures, mainly to record the progress of the experiment. These pictures were taken two days ago.
Bon Fils/Three Sisters Hybrid
The first picture is of one of the test beds.
Polyculture bed 1
You can see that much of the ground has been covered by the clover, but there is some space at the front of this picture. I may need to sow some more. The next picture is of the second test bed.
With so many of my recent posts concentrating on bees and swarming, I thought that it was time to get the camera out, and show you what I’m up to in the vegetable growing areas, and show you the first pictures of my new, experimental, polyculture, or guild, which is a hybrid of Bon Fils grain growing, and the three sisters planting guild, but with a couple of additional twists.