changing the garden…..herb-tower

Nice, all the square-gardening stuff is outside of the garden, we decide to put everything in the full ground. To experiment with permaculture and to learn about our garden and how it grows.
Of course a real thing of permaculture is the herb tower (at least I see it everywhere), so I tried to make this also.
In the herb-tower you create a life of animals and make sure the water is going slowly into the ground and is being hold for a longer time.
Also you want to make a sunny side and a less sunny side, we choose for an easy tower, you can make also a spiral, looks really great. We wanted a mulch place/compost in the middle of the tower so the worms are being feed and the tower gets soil of their poop!
So this is how we began.
First make the ground equal and then decide how big you want the tower, we just do one layer.
Be aware that you want also a place for the compost to put in the middle.

Lay some stones to mark the round and dig a little whole on the place you want to make the compost pile.put some sticks (I used some old material what is really perfect for this task!) See the pictures
Put in the ground of the pile some straw and some food to feed the worms mixed with some earth
Time to build up the tower, staple the stones a little inwards so the tower will be strong! Decide how high you want the tower, I left some wholes so I can fill the wholes with some herbs to, but this is up to you.

Fill the first layer with straw and upon some soil

(of course there are many variations on this I tried this one), time to put the plants in make sure which side needs the most sun, there you will put the sunny need herbs and on the other side you can put the shadow herbs.
Make sure the herb tower is close to the kitchen so you don’t have to walk a long distance to your fresh herbs if you want to use for some nice dishes.
The tower is ready for use, I will see this summer if I did a great job or if the tower is useless, but anyway it looks really great in the garden! And I made also after i made the tower a little pond for the wateranimals under the tower Picture will follow

Here I have for you some you tube-films so you get inspired, really nice and great to see how the towers are made and how beautiful they are.
spiral tower with pond

herb tower

my inspiration to make a nice tower

making a bee hotel…

Last year it was the year of the bee, the bees are suffering at the moment, Many bees are dying in the hives. They really don’t have an explanation for it (not officially), but we think here it’s the chemicals they use for growing flowers.
In the Netherlands the dying of this very important insect is very high, maybe because we have a huge business with flowers selling, producing and growing!??
So I try to stimulate more the organic growing plants and bulbs.
And Albert Einstein said when there are no bees we can’t live and he’s right, this little creatures let it happen that fruit will pollinate. I heard in China they let childeren pollinate the flowers from pear trees and so on (this has an other reason, because not every flower gets pollinated). Is this the future?
Please help the bees a little make a bee hotel and let grow some organic flowers for the bees. Give them a warm place in your garden.
Here I will show you how to make a bee hotel, you can use so many stuff for this and can hang it in your fruit-tree on on your wall. You can choose šŸ˜‰

Step one
Choose your shape I choose for 3 squares upon each-other, you can make a bigger one, make with nine little squares a big square, or make rectangles. Whatever you like!
Step two
choose the materials you want too fill the squares with, I choose bamboo sticks, hey and pine cones. But you can also take a piece of wood and dig holes in the wood or stone.
Step 3
I put in the materials and I made sure the materials won’t fall out of the rectangles, by wire tensioning, hold together by nails. (see also picture by step 1)step 4
You can close the back with some wood, I didn’t do because I will hang it against a wall ,I am too lazy) Too hang the hotel you make a hook on top.

step 5
Now the bee hotel is ready you can put it on the right place, like I wrote before, place it on a warm place. Not too low and really nice close to some flowers.

Hope the bees will like this šŸ™‚

Oh no I have a pole in the garden!

Many times I saw this on internet and heard about. It’s a easy way to make your garden going vertical instead of horizontal, nice when you don’t have a big garden. And I….., I don’t have a big garden and I like to experiment, and I like to find out if it really works.
Ok make myself clear I am talking about a pole where you make holes in, the pole you stiff with: soil, compost andĀ  peat, so in the hole you can put some plants. Let the nature do his job and give you some nice fruits or vegetables.
You are interested?, I will show you how we made the pole

To buy….for 4 poles
we bought 4 big buckets, where you can put the pole in. Also we bought cement and gravel for in the bucket so the bucket will be heavy and the pole won’t fall when the wind is blowing!
We bought a pole from pvc with a diameter of 160 millimetres and 2 meters high (but this is what you like), we wanted bamboo or something else but we couldn’t find unfortunately maybe it doesn’t excist?!
Also you need some plants to put in the holes, like strawberry plants, tomato plant, zucchini, lettuce and so on.

The tools you need…
a drilling machine
a 5.4 centimetres bore for the drilling machine
something to mix the cement with.
some good mood

Let’s begin….
First make some holes in the pole.
We had all the time 40 centimetres between each hole.
We “separated” the pole in 4 sides. So the first side we count from the bucket-high 40 centimetres for the first hole, 80 for the second, 120 for the third and so on. On the second side we count from the bucket high 20 centimetres, so you will get the second hole on 60, the third hole on 100 and so on!
The third side we did the same as the first sieds, 40,80,120,160 and so on
And you guess the fourth we did like the second one, 20,60,100,140 centimetres and so on.

After we made the cement bucket where you will put the pole in to make it more heavy and resistant against the wind.
Look at the cement powder how much water you must you use for the cement, and put in some gravel. I must say I don’t know how much gravel my boyfriend used for this!
Mix the cement and put in the pole, make sure the pole is not standing skew.
Let it dry for 24 hours and more, it will harden out.

The bucket and pole are heavy and good hardened?
Now you can make the soil, mix 1/3 soil, 1/3 peat and 1/3 compost together.
You will have now a great basic for the plants to get their nutrients from.
Fill the pole with some soil till the first hole, put in some plant and some water, fill again some soil in the pole till the second hole, put in the plants again and a little water and fill the pole like this way!
Just a warning, beware you put the biggest plants/ biggest roots at lowest in the pole, otherwise they will drink all the water before it is getting to other plants!
Because you must give the pole sometimes water( poor in at the top), the water will slowly fall from the top down to the bottom and give all the plants water.

Time to put the pole on the place you like! We made a strawberry pole and we hope to get more nice and fresh red strawberries. Have fun I hope you will like this also, for me it’s great discovery!

enjoy the sunshine!

Wonderful green wheatgrass

A couple of years ago, I had a wheat-grass-shot on a hippie-festival. I was really amazed about this stuff is it really healthy? And who discovered to make juice of some grass? Isn’t this for cows to eat and chew on?
Still after those yearsĀ I didn’t takeĀ the time to discover this wheat-grass madness, but now finally with the nice source of internet and friends I am making my own wheat-grass at home. Again another greenish thing in the house!

So this is how I make the wheat-grass, of course on the internet I read a lot about how to grow!
Some people use special wheat-grass trays and special vitamin and mineral sprays. I don’t do this at all, I think the most natural way is using soil…..

Anyway how to start? Just follow this steps

1. First get the wheat-seeds, of course organic it’s really better for you and the environment.

2. make sprouts of them in a jar (see sprouting in this site for a complete information how to make sprouts) first put them in water for about 12 hours, then drain them and rinse every day for two or more times with fresh water. Don’t leave the water in the jar (the seeds will rotten away and get smelly).
When the seeds are getting little threads, when they are as big as the seedsĀ it’s time for step 3 (on this picture they are too long)

3. put in a flat container some soil, like 2 centimetres high. Above you put the seeds, see the picture how to spread them. (just make sure you don’t haveĀ heaps of seeds, but well spread)
Give them a little water not too much ( I spray them with water in the morning and evening), the soil must be between wetĀ  (so no water on the bottom) and dry (it’s easier then it looks)
Cover the container with some newspaper it must be protected the first day from light! Make sure the soil get in a while some water (I just spray some water over the soil every day)

4. When the wheat sprouts are likeĀ 4/5 centimetres high (it takes like a couple of days) take of the newspaper and let themĀ enjoy the light, they will start to get green now. Let them grow and enjoy the green grass getting higher and higher don’t forget to spray some water in a while. When they are like 20 centimetres they are ready for use. Don’t put them directly in sunlight, because they will turn into brown grass (really not nice)

5. Get your wheat-grass juicer, I have the healthy juicer (it’s called like this) and I really enjoy it, its very easy to clean and you can also juice vegetables and fruit in it. Ok it isn’t on electricity but really the electricity ones are very expensive and this is just as easy but maybe takes a little more time!
So make your first wheat-grass juice , cut of the grass as far as you can and put them in the juicer
I like to mix it with other vegetables or fruits, just use your brains to make a nice juice

6. Oooh one more thing I read one shot is like 30 ml, and the maximum shots of a day is 4, but if you are healthy enough just take one shot thisĀ must be enough. And of course built up the shots because your body has to get used to this healthy green ‘witch’ drink!!

making an indoor sprouting ‘garden’ ; )!

Sprouts are really really healthy, and also easy to make. But you must pay also attention on them while making them. It’s fun you can do it every moment of the year, making your own little green ‘garden’ in home, sprouts are super food!! We made in front of the window some shelves for it, so they are always in the light (especially on the end of sprouting it’s nice to put some light on, it’s not necessary anyway) but not in the full sun! Only legumes sprouts maybe will get bitter so they can be out of some light
What you need!
some clean jars
some water
some seeds for sprouting
cheese cloth with medium holes in it, so the seeds cannot come through
some elastics to stick the cheese cloth on the jar

So how to start!?
get some seeds for sprouting like rocket, broccoli, alfalfa, lentils, munge beans other kind of beans wheat, barley, peas, fenugreek or chickpeas. (a lot of time you see seeds in the organic shop) Some water and a jar ( I always use old jars from maybe jam or old bouillon powder jar so be creative)
Put in a jar some seeds maybe 2 teaspoons it depend how much you want (remember they grow bigger then the seeds, maybe 6 times bigger so take a jar what is big enough), now you poor in the water till they are totally under water. On top you put the cheese cloth and stick it with the elastic on the jar
Let stand this for 12 hours dark or light!

Lets begin to make them your baby! After the 12 hours you drain out the water! Poor some new in, shake a little for cleaning the seeds) and poor out the water again.(till the water isn’t dirty anymore…do this 3 times a day , if the water isn’t getting out quickly you can stand them upside down while the water is getting out slowly. And again give them some sunlight and put them in the window

When are they finished?

They are finished when they are like 3 cm long, (some seeds take longerĀ to growĀ then others, like leek for example take weeks) you can eat them also when they are bigger, but remember the bigger they grew the less vitamins are in the sprout. Imagine the have a lot of energy when they are little they need it for growing, so they have also a lot of vitamins in them to get bigger!
You can save them in a refrigerator for I think 3 days anyway you will smell it when it’s getting old.

Have fun with making sprouts, oh and before I forget, sprouts like cress you can just put it on a paper kitchen towel (you don’t east the seeds but cut them off from the seeds) on a plate or something else and beware they always have a moist paper kitchen towel and that it isn’t screaming for water. Wait also a couple of days!

jar-sprouting:
alfalfa,clover,lentils, chickpeas,peas, mungbeans (green), azukibeans (red), marrowfatbeans, flageoletbeans, wheat, kamut, quinoa, red cabbage, white cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, radish, turnips, horseradish, onion, leek,chive, fenugreek, coriander, dill, fennel, anise, caraway, basil, sunflower seed andĀ pumpkin seeds.*

sprouting on paper:
garden cress, rocket,broccoli, turnips, radish, red and white cabbage, horseradish, mustard, basil and shiso*

*jar-sprouting and sprouting on paperĀ I found in the book:
kiemen en kiemgroenten
Peter Bauwens

Everyone can make a vegetable garden….even without a big garden

Nice to wake up and your day starts with some girly things, painting your nails, put a face mask on your face, drinking tea writing on your blog…very nice.
Today I am home alone….the baby is with someone else , my boyfriend has to work and me…aaah doing some preparing for the night, I go with my friend to Cocorosie in Bloemendaal. Really looking forward.

Also today I want to put some germ into the ground I have bok choy/ kale/ endive and beans.This year the garden is a big experiment, just look what will grow and how I can use the earth as wise as possible. And the most important how I can grow plants without toxin, on a natural way get rid of insects and snails ( stay tuned on the green garden to read more later on)

Maybe it’s interesting how i made the garden. I don’t have a huge garden but still there’s a lot of vegetables in it. A friend of my told me about square gardening, she explained and it looked very interesting and easy. After searching on internet i found a great and easy site (makkelijkemoestuin.nl, it’s all in Dutch) so thanks Jelle.

So he said the first step is making big square plant through, I made mine out of old pallets ( not impregnated) and surround 1,20 metres by 1,20 metres (16 squares of 30 cm). You can make it also 90cm by 90cm or 30cm by 90cm, it’s the easiest when it’s always squares of 30 cm, if you made this it’s time for the next step

step 2: put some root canvas as a bottom for the plant through.
Now you won’t get weed from the ground.
Great finished this all? time for step 3

Step 3 make the earth for the growing vegetables. We made a mix of 1/3 coco peat (for holding the water, 1/3 compost (for feeding the vegetables) and 1/3 potting soil. It’s better to mix on some canvas. Pour the mixture on the root canvas, fill the plant through till it’s just as high as the plant through sides.

Ok almost done now it’s already time for step 4
Get some rope and make (in the plant through) squares of 30 by 30 cm. So start 30 cm under a corner and get the rope to another site, then on the wood itself put the rope down (30cm) and then again go to the other site. Below you will see a drawing I made to make it clear.

The final step if you like to grow beans you can put on one side of the plant through, some netting. See the photo I made

I say you are ready for gardening!!!