Garden Journal

Wild Cultivation: July & August 2017

Quebec, Canada

[Part 1] [Part 2]

Probably better to show what’s happening than try to explain it too much. These are two sets of photos from the same experimental ‘wild-cultivated’ field, bookended around Lammas.


July 16, 2017

Not sure what these white ones are above. Also looking for a name on the purple flower pictured bottom left in the sequence below.

I think those ones in middle picture above are fava beans.

Hiding lettuce (above, left).

Probably the same fava plant pictured earlier at center.

Some kind of chenopodium — could be a cultivar I introduced (magenta spreen?).

Yellow mustard flowers

Sunflowers, pre-bloom in foreground at left. Mustard and oats all over.

Nasturtium, borage, poppy, and either coriander or a flat-leaf parsley.

I think this is some kind of broomcorn or sorghum (is that the same thing?)

Peas, top left above. Barley, top right. Purple mystery-flower again, bottom left (from “Penny Pincher” mix at Vermont Wildflower Farm).


August 15, 2017

Multi-color bachelor’s buttons (above) are the surprise hit of the summer, with some red clover for good measure. (PP mix, VT-WFF)

Things are very mixed, but there are also “zones” of predominantly one type of plant. Some of these I ‘planned’ after a fashion, and others evolved. Don’t remember really more than the borders, really. And birds ate many many seeds out of what I put down originally.

Barley is a really ‘handsome’ plant, in my opinion.

I like growing these cereals with no intention of harvesting. Just cause they are beautiful, inexpensive to cover large areas, and will hopefully self-seed.

Some “zones” pictured above.

Scythed out a trail down the middle of the field.

Will likely do more of these next year, but keep them small-ish, so you can kind of wander down them and explore the emerging “zones” — and rest at different places to sit, which I will build in the future.

Don’t know what this yellow thing is. There are not many of these, but definitely introduced by yours truly…

There were lots of layers of insect traffic in this image (and everywhere) but it’s hard to effectively capture that type of activity in an unsophisticated photo.

I have at least two strains of sunflowers, it appears. I’m thinking these taller, dark red ones are from VT-WFF, and the other ordinary yellow ones pictured above from a large sack of sunflower seed (for birds) that I bought.

This is far and away the densest, most active and fertile area of growth.

I read today (Duolingo) that fertig in German means, among other things, “ready.”

I just checked into this to see if fertile is from a German root, but Etymonline says Middle French/Latin:

fertile (adj.)
mid-15c., “bearing or producing abundantly,” from Middle French fertil (15c.) and directly from Latin fertilis “bearing in abundance, fruitful, productive,” from ferre “to bear,” from PIE root *bher- (1) “to carry,” also “to bear children.”

Wiktionary, for fertig, points to something else:

From Old High German fartīg, from the noun fart (“journey”), cognate with Low German fardig. Cognate with Old English fierd (“expedition, campaign”). More at ferd.

It’s a little hilarious that “fart” means journey, but I’m trying to overlook that at the moment…

From Wiktionary / ferd:

“From Middle English ferde, feord, furd, from Old English fyrd, fierd, ferd (“army, host, company”), from Proto-Germanic *fardiz (“journey, expedition”), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (“to put across, ferry”). Cognate with Old Frisian ferd, fart (“an expedition, journey”), Old High German fart (“journey”) (German Fahrt), Danish færd (“voyage, travel”). More at fare.”

But there is a sense of “bearing” or “carrying” to both, which makes it seem like there is perhaps a connection somewhere in here.

Here’s Google Translate / German for English fertile: