The World at Peace – In My Garden

Is world peace just a pipe dream?  It may seem like it is in every corner of the globe… except where there’s a garden.

Because of seed companies, like Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, where owners, Jere and Emilee Gettle travel the world, collecting seeds from over 70 countries, and offering “the most diverse collection of edibles on the planet”, a garden is the one place on earth where world peace can not only exist, but thrive!

In my garden, lettuce and cucumbers from Israel…

cucumber tunnel

happily share precious soil with watermelons from Iraq.

sugar baby watermelon

Eggplant from Italy and Asia…

rosa bianca

pe tsai

proudly co-mingle with tomatoes from Greece and the good ol’ US of A.

tomato harvest

pineapple tomatoes

Squash and melons from France…

Ronde De Nice Squash

charentais melon

are content to co-habitate with kale that hails from Portugal,

portugeuse kale

and broccoli that has roots in Italy.

Green Macereta Cauliflower

Ethnicity, religious, political, and world viewpoints don’t matter in a garden.  Border encroachments are readily forgiven, and jockeying for positions of great power and wealth are absolutely unheard of .

A garden is  such a happy, beautiful, and peaceful place.  Yes, “There is peace in the garden.  Peace and results”, says Ruth Stout.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world was at peace

 just as it is

in my garden?


Multi-Tasking Artichokes

The humble artichoke is fast becoming one of my favorite plants to grow in the garden.  I love how quickly it grows, filling in empty spots.  Also, because it is a perennial plant it has tremendous staying power!  Artichokes do not have to be hidden away in the backyard vegetable garden.  They look beautiful, up front, as  border plants,  or even as specimen plants in a mixed garden bed.  If  you have fruit trees (especially plums), they work wonderfully well as a part of a permaculture planting guild when planted around the base of the trees.  As the big leaves die and shed, they make a wonderful mulch and, later, composting material for the trees.  And let’s not forget the fine flavored, tasty treats these beauties provide!  At our homestead, we love to eat them steamed and drizzled with a bit of melted butter mixed with fresh chopped garlic, chives, and lemon juice (Now that we’re eating more healthy, I need to find a  replacement for the fat in the recipe — any suggestions?).

The month of May is perfect, here in the Central Valley of California, for starting artichoke seedlings indoors to plant out in July.   It’s amazing to me that, for just a few dollars, you can produce hundreds of seedlings to plant out all over your gardens, or share with family and friends. Once again, my favorite source for purchasing heirloom, open-pollinated, non-GMO seeds is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  They have a nice selection of artichokes — my favorites are the Green Globe and Purple of Romagna.

Artichokes, I think, provide one of the greatest bangs for your buck in the garden by providing you with permanent beauty,  an fresh source of nutritious food (artichokes are high in fiber, and vitamin C), and a rich source of mulching/composting material for the rest of the garden. They are great multi-taskers!

Are you growing artichokes in your garden?  If so, where are some other “non-traditional” areas that you might grow them?  If not, why not purchase a pack of seeds and get started growing some today!