Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ballard Edible Garden Tour, Part 1

Saturday, June 23, 2012, was the 4th annual Ballard Edible Garden Tour.  Before the rain got too miserable, my sister-in-law and I saw 9 of the 15 gardens.  (Ballard is an area north of downtown Seattle, WA.)  The houses in the area are from the early part of the 20th century, and unlike in Vancouver, are not being torn down in great numbers, but are lovingly cared for.  Click on this link to read more about Sustainable Ballard and their Edible Garden Tour.  On this tour, I was fortunate to be able to explore backyard edible gardens as well!

What is behind the trellis?
Corn!  And a raised bed with copper strips wrapped around the outside to discourage slugs.  The trellis provides an attractive and useful foil in the front yard.  The back yard has an area for free-roaming chickens; unfortunately, I did not get their photos.
When we talked to the gardener at the second garden that we visited, he told us that he had rebuilt these boxes to conform to Seattle's guidelines for boulevard gardens.  One box is in the shade of a tree, and it had peas which I was amazed to hear had over-wintered!  I am not sure that could happen in Vancouver.

The lot is extra small because part of it was split off years ago for a second, small dwelling in the rear, so space for growing is at a premium.  Veggies are grown in pots on these steps, and there are more pots are along the driveway and in the back. The gardener likes to have flowering plants next to the front sidewalk to screen the vegetables from view, making the front very attractive.
This time, I got a photo of the chicken house (7 chickens live there), which spans both of the lots, and chores are shared. 
The third garden used a cover crop of crimson clover to improve the soil on the boulevard, and edibles are inter-planted.
Here's a way to keep a teepee together at the top!
Gardens in the Pacific Northwest invariably have spots with unavoidable deep shade.  The gardener in this garden has decided to grow mushrooms in three shady places in the garden.  He is hoping for mushrooms next year.  This is the first time I've encountered planting mushrooms outdoors.
One of the mushroom sites in the side yard:
 The backyard has an extensive garden.  The black plastic heats up this area for tomatoes and peppers.

More photos to come!!

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