Organic garden

 

From the garden onto your plate – as fresh as it gets!

Our organic garden provides vegetables, salads and herbs for the kitchen. If you like, you can go and pick your very own vegetable for your lunch or diner.

From organic to permaculture: We are in the process of improving our organic garden by implementing permaculture principles.

What does permaculture mean for our organic garden?

Permanent cultural planting is the practice of planting two or more types of plants close together for some kind of benefit, such as the control of pests, increased health and vigor, resistance to disease, or higher yields.

Here a choice of measures we take:

  • Pests Repellent Properties

Some plants exude chemicals from their roots, leaves or flowers that suppress or repel pests and protect neighboring plants.

  • Nitrogen Fixing

Plants of the Legume family for example have root nodules which create a home bacteria that can take nitrogen from the air and “fix” it into a form that the plant can use. This is a symbiotic relationship, as both the plant and the bacteria are benefited by this teamwork.

  • Pest Decoys (Trap Cropping)

A plant that is more attractive to pests can be planted nearby as a decoy. This creates a diversion to draw pests away from the main plants you are trying to protect.

  • Camouflage

Many pests identify their food sources through scent or the physical outline (shape) of the plant. Pests can be confused by planting companion plants which release scents which mask that of their neighboring plants. Companion plants can also be inter-planted amongst the crop plant to mask their shape, making them harder to locate, so that pests miss them altogether.

  • Stacking

In the permaculture principle of stacking, taller growing plants that need more sun can create supportive cover for lower growing understory plants that need more shade, and these in turn can create a sheltered ground level for more delicate ground cover plants, which results in all the plants receiving the optimal conditions that they need to grow. The net effect is that more plants are growing in a given space, resulting in higher yields per area.

  • Nurse Cropping

A nurse crop generally is a crop of trees or shrubs whose height or dense-canopy protects more vulnerable plants during their development from frost, sun or wind.

  • Habitat for Beneficial Insects

Beneficial insects include pollinators, predators of pests and parasites of pest. Beneficial insects need companion plants which provide nectar as a food source, or a habitat for them to live in. As a simple example, in a rice field, which contains nothing but rice, you have an ideal place for pests that eat rice to live and feed, but nothing to support the “good bugs” that eat these pests, there is nowhere for these beneficial insects to live!

  • Biodiversity

Having a mix and variety of plants together creates a more resilient ecosystem if pests or adverse weather conditions weaken or wipe out a particular variety, or type, of plant. This provides a form of security that ensures that the whole ecosystem does not collapse because one type of plant is attacked or fails.