Early June in the Permaculture Garden



The first of the goumi berries (Eleagnus multiflora) are ripe.  I picked a handful, and my eldest promptly ate them all.


We have four goumi bushes (2 of Sweet Scarlet, and 2 of Red Gem), but only two are old enough to produce any berries.  The young plants will produce a few pints of berries -which as you can see in the above photo, ripen in succession – but in the future, we should get more than enough for batches of jam and fruit leather and fresh eating.  As a bonus, the shrubs are nitrogen fixers, so I have situated them near fruit trees in the orchard, and just uphill from one of the raspberry patches.


Another look at our little persimmon guild.  The Early Fuyu persimmon has lighter colored, glossy leaves (upper right).  Clockwise from the persimmon: chocolate mint, Japanese iris, Russian comfrey, horseradish, mojito mint, black currants.  Unseen are two young lilacs, burdock, a highbush cranberry, and the goumi berry bush shown earlier in the post.



Adjacent to this guild is a recently added a Smokey Juneberry (Amelanchier alnifolia).  Juneberries are known by many names, including “saskatoons”, “serviceberries”, and my personal favorite, “chuckley pear”.  I ordered three plants of two different varieties from Burnt Ridge Nursery, which arrived as little dormant sticks, but rapidly leafed out and are doing quite well.  It will ultimately grow 6 or more feet tall, and after a flush of fragrant white flowers in late spring, produce abundant harvests of pinkish-purple fruit, rich in vitamin C.



The black currants all around the yard have been spared the plague of gooseberry fruit flies that have ruined my other currants.



A final shot of the burdock (with my foot thrown in for scale).  It is such a handsome plant, and growing rapidly.  I have had to remove flower heads multiple times this week, and look forward to trying the root in stir fry later in the summer.

IMG_9417[1]Hal, our six yr-old, thrilled to have found the first ripe red raspberry of the summer.  Gardening with children is such a great experience.  They know the garden and its plants as well as I do, and I hope they will have fond memories of running barefoot in the raspberry patch, snacking as they go.