Have you come to the Tiny Diner this month? Did you see our honeybees pollinating our sunflowers? Did you
notice that our willow thicket is gone? We have had a lot of changes – both seasonal and constructional – to our tiny landscape of late. Our gardens are more lush than ever this season. Here is a brief update so you can identify and watch our ever-changing landscapes evolve.
After 4 years of adding organic compost, cover cropping in the fall, supporting perennial blooms, and letting annual crops go to seed, we have large fruit and nut trees, huge berry bushes, and herbs that are encroaching on our pathways. We have had to prune, trim and shape these plants in order to encourage plant growth AND visual clarity for visitors. We have been harvesting tomatoes, peppers, nasturtiums, garlic, serviceberries, plums, cherries, and herbs throughoutf or the past month.
Our rooftop garden, which is in its third year of production, is in a difficult spot. We have been growing crops in the Night Shade (Solanaceae) Family for three years. These are crops that can handle sunny, hot and windy spots like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. However, this year, the tomatoes have produced very little and are very diseased. This is partially due to transplant nursery sources but is likely due to soil depletion as well. In plant containers of any kind, like our wooden planter boxes, soil depletes much more readily given that rain water washes through and it is aerated on all sides. We have decided that we are going to pull out all of our plants on the rooftop this week to properly amend the soil for next year. We will add compost and winter wheat as a cover crop to amend the soil. Plus, this rest period will force any tomato diseases to expire as well. Next year we will NOT plant tomatoes nor peppers on the rooftop and instead plant all herbs and flowers. We will forego short-term crop production gain in order to build more soil health for the long run.
Lastly, our willow thicket was dismantled in August given that it could not be repaired. This last week, our talented and friendly carpenter friend Dan began the installation of a new Play Hive for all. It is going to be built with cedar wood and strong pillars with hopes that it will endure for years to come. Additional construction pictures coming soon. You don’t have to wait for them though. You can check out the progression of our fall gardens and our NEW play hive by coming down to the Tiny Diner this month. The fall season is a perfect time to relax, observe and share the harvest with us!