Please consider supporting our efforts.
Today I’d like to take a look at a big, crazy garden beauty. As with many others, it tends to follow the ROT “grows together, goes together” and the “goes together, grows together” spin-off sometimes applied to inter-cropping, and tastes fabulous with many of the plants it can benefit most. In this case, there’s both the flower and leaf to consider, and although it would overgrow and out-compete some things that it pairs well with in the kitchen, it has many dandy uses in the yard.
Today I want to reintroduce you to a humble spring and fall fast crop, one that just doesn't get the widespread attention other companion plants enjoy. It is another that follows the ROT “grows together, goes together” and the “goes together, grows together” spin-off sometimes applied to companion plants, but its uses spread beyond same-dish, same-harvest-time ease of access.
Companion planting is something that was originally passed down from grandparents. Science has proven out some, such as Three Sisters and density-planting marigolds with or ahead of cabbages to decrease destructive nematodes. Science has disproved others along the way. In large part, science ignores the practice of guild planting, in particular, because of difficulties with harvest efficiency. However, there are plants and methods of integrating them that can improve harvests without undue inefficiency, whether using mechanized methods or hand harvesting techniques.
As a greenie, I take the order of reduce-reuse-recycle pretty seriously. I can only do so much when it comes to reducing the packaging things come in, but I seek endlessly for ways to reuse what would otherwise be trash.
Plastic is the bane of the environmentally conscious. Finding ways to save money is becoming a national sport. Combining the two with the ability to extend growing seasons is a recipe that can make almost anybody happy. One way to accomplish that is by combining reuse-it’s like soda bottles, old shirts, and Craigslist freebies to expand the growing season and protect vegetable gardens.
Growing up, I was lucky enough to gain invaluable experience working on a small farm near my house. My employer, Frank, was a 75 year old farmer that had broken his hip a few years before. He had farmed his land for decades, but because of his age and disability, farming his three acres was no longer practical. So at the ripe age of 12 years old, I was paid a quarter an hour. At the end of the day, I was paid $2 in cold hard cash. Doesn’t seem like much, but for a 12 year old it was big bucks. And to my surprise, at the end of each growing season, I was given part of that year’s profit.