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Hello!

Hi to everyone who has landed here.

This is intended to accompany the third video that will go ‘live’ as soon as Johnny Sanchez, the stellar creator of the videos, finds time while being a busy grad student to put it up onto YouTube.

I have long wanted to start a chat about gardens and the place they occupy in our lives. Mine is so many things to me – a way to make permanent the memories of growing up in a huge garden, where my fascination with plants and flowers got started; a place to find peace and relaxation, and to share these with friends; a hobby and obsession, where i can collect as may life forms as will live here (excluding the nasty invasive aliens which I strive to eliminate – more on these another day). I hope to keep safe my one small piece of the planet, where plants, birds, bugs and bees and even people can exist safely.

The YouTube project is a COVIS outgrowth. Prevented from travel, I, like so many of us, have been obliged to stay home and make the most of our lives right where we live. I am lucky enough to have this patch to live on, and hope to share it with many people.

Food, and its sustainable production, is something of an obsession with me. I will spare you the politics, but will just say that I would rather eat healthy food that has been grown where I live, by people who benefit directly from their effort, than food produced by environmentally harmful, exploitive, international Big Ag. Growing a real vegetable garden is a lot of work, and I leave this to someone with the skills and energy to grow a beautiful collection of vegetables here. However, I can incorporate a lot of food-bearing plants within my garden. These are mostly perennial plants that need little day to day care.

I brag about having 12 or more small fruit sources – so here is the list: Raspberries (red and black); blueberries (high and low bush); blackberries; 2 varieties of honeyberry; elderberries; Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa); Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas); mulberry; American plum (Prunus americana); beach plum (Prunus maritima) – and that doesn’t include 2 marginally legal currant bushes that have been here for decades.

Rhubarb in another obvious low-care food source, as is asparagus. The amazing soil here is perfect for asparagus, and i have expanded the patch. two years ago we planted 3 good rows of the lovely giant purple variety, and plan to be overwhelmed with it in a couple more years.

Culinary herbs are easy to include in a garden – the easy perennials, like oregano, mint, lovage, tarragon, find homes in corners of flower beds or unwanted patches by the compost heap, and annuals – basil, marjoram, savory and so on, get pots and tubs or are allowed to re-seed in their own beds. There is nothing better than a huge handful of fresh herbs chopped up into salad or whatever dish you are preparing.

There are a couple of veggies I love to grow — climbing beans, potatoes, tomatoes and peppers all get their own tubs or old whisky barrels, and I have one huge zuccini in my aging compost pile. It turns an ugly compost heap into a beautiful planter!

I could go on — but i think that is enough for now. i will do a prequel thing for the first two videos if there seems to be any interest. Right now I must go and pick raspberries. My raspberry patch is over 30 years old and still has the best berries anywhere. Keeping up with the crop becomes a community effort as I recruit friends to come pick to fill freezers. They seem to be everyone’s favorite fruit and I hate to see them go to waste.

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