Monday, November 18, 2013

Permaculture and Christmas crafts

I have a very small garden, but do love  to incorporate permaculture principles whever I can. I really enjoyed this video of a couple in Jacksonville where I used to live.
Permaculture Garden
It reminded me of how much I like to chop and drop. I tend to do that in the flower gardens, but not so much in the veggie garden.  I really dont want to be buying mulch, I would prefer to be making my own, and that is precisely what chop and drop does.  I grow lemongrass which is an amazing plant for that, and besides which it smells lovely.  I also think it might keep pests away, but that could just be wishful thinking.
recently on the down to earth forum I took part in a christmas gift exchange and received some lovely scrapbook type ornaments - unlike any ornaments I have.  That is the nice thing about doing a swap - the surprise factor..  Sorry the photo is a little fuzzy.

 My swap partner read my blog, discovered I am a gardener, and also sent me a couple of cassava cuttings. -  I have never tasted cassava, but is is also a very popular permaculture type plant.  You can use the leaves for mulch, cook them, (tastes like spinach)  and then also eat the tuber (tastes like potato).  It does concern me that everyone always says green leaves taste like spinach when in fact they taste nothing like spinach.  I am willing to give it a try though, and all I have to do is insert these sticks into the ground - slanted side up.  I do like plants that grow easily, although the wet season is starting, so I hope they can put up with that.
 This is what I sent to my swap partner.  I hope she likes them.  I have been doing lots of crocheting of christmas ornaments.  It is a relaxing occupation to keep my hands busy while I watch TV in the evenings.

Are you getting ready for Christmas?

16 comments:

Missy said...

Love the ornaments. I'm finding it a bit scary how quickly Christmas is approaching this year. I often go all out with preparations but I think understated will be the theme this year.
I agree with chop & drop too. Why buy what nature gives us for free.

Joyful said...

Lots of delightful prezzies in the mail between you and your swap partner. Time is flying toward Christmas and you are wonderfully prepared it seems.

VirginiaC said...

Love the idea of a gift exchange swap in the mail between folks whom you have never met.....very nice gifts.
Cassava is a great plant and we eat it here all the time. I now buy cassava chips and they taste just like potato chips....yes really.

Lyn said...

I have a friend who likes to chop and drop, and then her husband comes along behind her and picks it all up because he thinks it looks messy! He's not quite on the same page yet. On the other hand, my husband wants to chop and drop everything, even huge old branches - makes it hard for my poor little baby plants to thrive, and really hard to weed things like grass runners, so I pick the branches up and stack them in a pile. Gardening is always a compromise when there's more than one gardener.

africanaussie said...

I understand why you would need Christmas to be a little understated this year. That little video I featured really showed the advantages to the soil when you chop and drop. It can sometimes make my little garden look untidy, so I needed the reminder.

africanaussie said...

Joyful,
well, I have lots of lists, and only some of them are completed......:)

africanaussie said...

Virginia,
It is great fun - have you been on the Down to Earth forum? there is lots of great information and the people are so friendly as well. You dont have to join unless you want to -

africanaussie said...

I suppose you also think the leaves taste just like spinach????

africanaussie said...

Lyn,
I find since my garden is so small and so visible that I like to cut branches up a bit before dropping them. I think small plants might struggle too with nitrogen drawdown from the fresh branches lying on the soil.

Karen said...

I'm liking your idea of chop and drop, especially with the leaves that have fallen, too. I love your ornaments, I'm sure they will be delighted with them!

Eric Coons said...

Homemade presents are the way to go. Anyone can go out and drop money on someone absent-mindedly. To take the time to make, or in your case, crochet something beautiful, is a gift from the heart. To me it would mean more than anything store bought. Thanks for sharing!

africanaussie said...

I am sure that in your climate the fallen leaves turn to wonderful leaf mould under all that snow. I have had lots of fun making them, and snowflakes as well - they are so easy to pop into a christmas card.

africanaussie said...

Eric,
I do love home-made gifts, giving and receiving.thanks for visiting.

James Missier said...

Ohhhhhh...
Those are so lovely..
The Christmas mood is yet to pick up in my place.

Tania @ Out Back said...

Gift exchanges are great, especially the element of surprise, I love them both!

Jacqueline said...

You're so multi-talented, Gillian! Bless you as you're such a blessing to others too!
Happy Christmas preparation!

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