As you’ve seen in some of our prior posts, we finally bought a piece of land to homestead on. We had been looking for several years and during this time I have been itching to start experimenting with permaculture plants. We never really had the space to do much but I did manage to take over a small section of my parents potato patch for a test plot.

Some of the plants we grew in it were bush beans, comfrey, tomatoes, lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes, seaberry, hazelnut, mint, catnip, icicle radish, lemon balm, bee balm, saskatoons, horse radish, red current, and a few other items I have probably forgotten to name, plus weeds. I am always amazed at how many plants can be fit into such a small space.

Even though our production on this small piece of land was not huge, we did get some tasty vegetables while the trees are being given a chance to grow. I have learned a lot by observing the plants, even when things weren’t going exactly as planned. For example, deer have enjoyed sampling our trees from time to time; several times last winter I noticed that a little bit more of the trees had been nipped off. The damage has been annoying but not detrimental so far; our trees are hanging in there.

The radishes, in particular, impressed me and are now one of my favorite vegetables! If left to grow well past when the roots are small and tender they become rather huge. I had to trim the radish tops back several times to keep them from smothering our trees. They produced an abundance of flowers, which the bees loved, and then a bunch of edible pods! When I saw the pods I decided to sample them and they tasted great! Afterwards, I looked up whether or not they were edible and thankfully they were. I prefer the pods to the radishes themselves. The pods have a more mild radish flavor and grow abundantly. The roots of the icicle radishes grew exceptionally large and penetrate deeply into the soil creating carbon pathways.

In the video I walk through my test plot and go through the wide variety of plants stuffed in this small area. One thing you may notice in the video, that I didn’t talk about, is the orange snow fence along the north and west sides of the fence around the plot. We used the snow fence as a wind break to buffer this area from the harsh winds in this location. The fence has improved the plant growth considerably.

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