Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

Rain or Shine

This morning I heard some people complaining about the rainy weather. In a drought affected state.

Hello?

The children and I, on the other hand, are overjoyed with the rain, after having so little of it when we lived in South Carolina, and, before that, Shihr, Yemen. We tend to rejoice when we hear the first drops falling on the roof, and never let ourselves take this blessing for granted.

That being said, planting wildflower seeds in the rain on a cold day is not exactly, well, fun.

Still, we have persevered, finding that the fun and optimism inherent in gardening helps us deal with the uncertainty and sometimes frustration at not being in a house yet. Planting a seed is an act of hope and faith, and seeing the beautiful plants that come from it a constant reminder of the wonder, beauty, and perfection of Allaah’s creation.

We have numerous seedlings started now, most of them heirloom varieties of vegetables we love to eat. Prudens Purple and Yellow Pear Tomatoes. Sweet peppers and hot, eggplants (okay, I don’t really love them, but I do have some affection for them, anyway), pumpkins, watermelons and summer squash galore. Lavender, lemon balm, mint, oregano, thyme and sage. Just today we replanted some of them into bigger pots so they could spread their roots and get stronger in the couple of weeks before the last frost date.

A couple of days ago we were able to go to the house and spend the morning planting. Nusaybah, Hudhaifah and Mu’aadh helped me with this. We planted a raspberry bush, a blueberry bush, and a grape…well, I don’t know what you call a grape plant. But we did plant one, as you can see:

Here is our grape...whatever.
Here is our grape…whatever.

And, our raspberry bush:

Our Raspberry bush!
Our Raspberry bush!

 

Sadly, for some reason our blueberry bush is not present in our photo gallery, mash’Allaah, but it is there, and we are looking forward to seeing how it settles into its new home.

In the photo of the grape…whatever…above, you can see part of two planting boxes we placed along the back fence. I had planned on planting marigolds there, but I forgot to prepare the seed ahead of time. I wanted the flowers to cover up the lovely (not) fence that separates us from an equipment yard, abandoned house, and two large, very rambunctious and decidedly carnivorous guard dogs. I also wanted them because they remind me of my sister Patty, who passed away while I was in Yemen.

I couldn’t plant them though, so I will have to find another place along the fence somewhere to sow them once we have prepared the seeds properly. Instead, I planted sweet peas- the lovely smelling flowering ones as opposed to the edible peas that we all know and love. Also, calendula, poppies, and echinacea, among some other lovely blooming medicinals.  I love growing at least some of the herbs that I like to use all the time, even if I can’t grow enough for our complete supply for a year. It’s especially good for the children to see what they look like before they end up in their teacups or slathered on their knees in a spit poultice.

 

Our Hugelkultur bed is progressing wonderfully, alhamdulillah.

This is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago:

Hugelkultur OneThen, like this:

We used logs and branches that were all over the yard for this
We used logs and branches that were all over the yard for this

And now, it looks like this:

All covered up, waiting for some mulch, if we can get some
All covered up, waiting for some mulch, if we can get some

That is where we planted some of our potatoes and a couple of other exciting bits and bobs of plant life.

We also transplanted organic broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and lots and lots of lettuces into the box bed near the house because we all love salad! We figured it would be a perfect fit for our Zone One.

 

Pretty, and YUMMY!
Pretty, and YUMMY!

 

We had to put the fence around it because of two neighborhood dogs who have taken over the neighborhood, making their own little gang and terrorizing smaller animals, people, and, of course, newly planted lettuces. We plan to do this with as many beds as we can.

The wire is low enough to lean over, and Khalil made one of the long sides so we could open it for weeding and such. The bed is just the right width to make this very easy, as we found out when we planted all of our lettuces.

In the bed next to this one we planted peas, purple bush beans, carrots, onions, and the rest of the lettuces and some spinach that wouldn’t fit into this bed.

We also planted some herbs, but we’ll go into that next time, insh’Allaah

Here are some stilllives with lettuce:

Wildfire lettuce
Wildfire lettuce

 

and

Lovely green lettuce
Lovely green lettuce

And look at this one:

My favorite!
My favorite!

 

and a lettuce landscape:

Can't you see these in your salad bowl?
Can’t you see these in your salad bowl?
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3 comments

  1. Having a large family, I rarely saw Earthbag houses being built that would work for us. Jose’s designs are the notable exception to this! They are unique, practical and beautiful. It is fascinating to read how he was drawn to and got started designing them.

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