Summer Solstice 2018 Newsletter
Happy Summer Solstice!
We hope you are doing well and that your gardens are abundant. It's been a while since our last newsletter, and so we thought we'd fill you in on what we've been up to. We've got plans to keep our newsletters more regular, so please stay tuned!
As many of you know, we've moved city side and have found ourselves in a sweet home and garden in Vic West. The past six months we've been settling in, getting back on our bikes, growing a huge garden, helping our little girl grow, and growing our business. We really love our new location and community, and find that living in town actually makes getting around the Capital Region so much easier, helping us serve our clients more efficiently!
This spring has been our busiest yet, we've been working on some great projects including a huge raised bed garden room, and several backyard edible landscape redesigns. We've gained another awesome employee, Shannah Beattie, and are really excited about some new projects on the horizon with our team. We've also bumped Tim up to full-time, which has been awesome!
Tayler and I continue to teach as part of Pacific Rim College's innovative "Permaculture Design and Resilient Communities" program and their Backyard Gardening Course, as well as with the Pacific Horticulture College. We gain a lot of inspiration from our students, from building eco-centric curriculum, and from sharing our passion for growing local food with others.
Life is full and dynamic and all about food and ecosystems so read on for more edible landscaping news!
Solara, Tayler, Tim, Shannah
Plant of the Month: Goumi
Someone recently asked me if Hatchet & Seed has a signature plant, one that we try to include in each of our landscapes. For us, this would be the Goumi berry. Goumi is native to Japan, Korea, parts of Russia and China, and is known for its edibility and medicinal qualities.
In the edible landscape, Goumi berries serve many functions. They are nitrogen fixers, that pull nitrogen out of the atmosphere and store it in their roots, making nitrogen available to the plants around them. They bloom early in the spring and are a favorite of bees and hummingbirds. They can be hedged, and handle pruning well. They increase production of surrounding fruit trees and can be interplanted in an orchard or food forest setting.
The berries are yummy although a bit astringent and are very good for you. They are high in lycopene (and this increases if you cook them!) and the berry and seed have essential fatty acids in them (rare for a fruit). The plants are incredibly beautiful, red stems in the winter, red jewel-like berries in the early summer. The other amazing thing about them is that pests (such as aphids, current worms, spotted wing drosophila) do not touch them, and the deer leave them alone! They are not only a super food but a super plant.
Although they are notoriously hard to propagate, for some reason Tayler and I are really good at it and get 85% strike rate, meaning we have many goumi plants in need of homes. We're having a 2 for 1 sale on goumis folks! Get 2 for $25. Get them while it's hot, plant them when it's cooler (September). You can contact us through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in having a few of these incredible plants in your yard.
Check out this podcast to hear from one of our clients, David Grove, about the experience of having their yard transformed into an edible landscape!
Meet Shannah Beattie, our newest H&S team member. Shannah is a graduate of the Environmental Technician Program at Camosun College and has extensive experience in restoration, forestry, and landscaping. We're thrilled to have her on our team!
The kitchen garden at Nourish is approaching its year anniversary. This beautiful space continues to produce food and flowers for the restaurant and is a wonderful place to have a cup of matcha. We encourage all of you to visit this unique urban garden and incredibly nourishing restaurant.
The pear tree on the left was hard pruned and grafted to a more desireable variety. In this case, 'Conference' and 'Bartlett'.
This amazing edible backyard renovation allowed us to play with some whimsical cedar log edging. We love the outcome!
We've been refining our self-watering containers and are happy with their performance, especially during hot weather. The one pictured above we are experimenting with growing a variety of annuals such as nasturtiums, shiso, lettuce, tomatoes, as well as oca (an edible perennial tuber) and strawberries. So far, the growth is rapid and it's drinking a lot of water, we're filling once a month. If you are keen to learn more or to get an estimate, please email us.