Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Green Spot has returned!! This time, in Iceland!

And after one year after without gardening, we finally manage to live in a place with a garden space, this time in Iceland, at the ecovillage Sólheimar, where we presently happily live and work.

We have a heated greenhouse-like balcony, facing south, and a small space in front of the house. In just 3 weeks, we started from zero and we are growing now about 150 pots with flowers and vegetables!

I just brought all my seeds, and sown them in eight trays. The temperature indoors is around 22ºC, due to Icelandic geothermal house heating, which makes it perfect for growing vegetables inside.

We reuse hundreds of plastic cups, and also yogurt trays, to where we transplant the tiny seedlings, and while we wait that the weather warms outside (it still snows). This is practical, free and environmental friendly!

The list counts with tomatoes, sweet peppers, eggplant, courgette, oriental salads, lettuce, rucula, spinach, chicory, beets, swiss chard, broccoli, kale, kohl-rabi, celery and celeriac, peas, ginger, several mixes of butterfly and wild flowers, aromatic herbs, and some permaculture rarities such as perennial broccoli ("9 star") or the strawberry spinach (chenopodium capitatum). Below, we show some oriental vegetables such as  pak choi, mizuna, tatsoi or komatsuna spinach, ideal for stir-fry.

We are also attempting to establish some perennial flowers outdoors, such as anemones, ranunculus, dicentra, astilbe and day-lilies. I sown poppies, aquilegea,. campanula, delphinum and nicantra physaloides. And I am trying to grow also allium ursinum, atriplex, jerusalem artichokes, scorzonera, salsify, purple carrots and black potatoes. I have sown some of these indoords, in a dish with wet paper, to see if I could sprout them faster, for later transplanting, when the danger of frosts has passed.

This is a true challenge of Permaculture in polar climates! The weather is still cold and windy. Finally, we wish we could improve our food self-sufficiency, and create in this polar landscape, some color and biodiversity. Let's see how this green experience will run!

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