Funny as it sounds, my food forest is spawning it’s own hugelkultur-based potager garden.
From the south, this photo shows raised bed 3 to the left, raised bed 4 to the right, and raised bed 5 in front of the triangular building. The rusty red fence hides raised beds 1 and 2. Past the open gate you see the south facing part of the cutout where my small home will be. I will create more raised beds close to the house that will have my herb garden adjacent to the patio door. The 2x12s from that fence will reface the triangular building for a nice wabi sabi look.
I have always loved mixing vegetables with flowers with berries with fruit trees for a healthy polycultural mix of beauty and food similar to the French potager kitchen gardens. I have never had the strict structure of the French potager, and am enjoying watching this garden evolve. It is mostly following the plan I created last summer and through the winter and works with my small house.
Potagers were popular during the Renaissance and Baroque periods and were intended to make food production an elegant and beautiful experience. All my gardens have been beautiful, but none as structured as this one. The structure evolved from the concrete pads put down by the previous owner. Now that I am putting the pieces together, I am delighted with it. We’ll see whether I can shift from trailerstead all the way to elegant, because that eems a bit of a push.
Just the idea of high walled gardens protected from outside chaos and conflict, protecting me and my kitchen garden seems cozy. The buildings surrounding my potager give it a little of that feeling.
Monks enjoyed their enclosed gardens, but foraged in forests nearby for native edibles, medicinals, and wild game. My food forest is sahping up as a good place to forage. Monks reaped grain from nearby fields as well and I have a small grain field in the works too.
During the glory days of monasteries, their closed food systems were pretty much the best production systems going in Europe, where life outside walls was uncertain.
It was too shady yesterday to get a photo of the new tenant housing, so here is a pic taken today:
The hole is in the west facing bank of my cutout, which is riddled with various sized homesteads for wildlife. The darker part is damp and what he was kicking out while I was digging yesterday.
Even though I am combining many gardening systems from planting for wildlife to forest farming, hugelkultur, permaculture, landrace seeds, potager, and so on, I believe it will meld into a beautiful circular economy that will feed me and mine.