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Progress not perfection

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

But as close to perfection as you can get...

It's rolling around to that sort of time when I start making over-ambitious plans for developments next year. But first, I thought, an assessment of where we are right now.

When I moved in, it was all rocks and wilderness. Now, I have an abundance of food, a small degree of satisfaction and about 2000m2 of cultivated land.

When I get around to writing the "what went right, what went wrong" post for 2021, a major part of it will be "not enough gardening". I don't have the glorious stores that I was hoping for, and that is because I didn't spend enough time in the actual garden doing actual gardening .The obsessive drive towards increasing cultivated area informed everything this year.

Some of it, the vineyard, absorbed enormous amounts of energy, yielded no actual results, and for totally different reasons, the project might actually be cancelled. But, I do have a massive fence around a massive area. I'm going to be thinking about what to do with it, and I guess even if I do something like a Christmas Tree nursery, it will forever be called The Vineyard.

(I will not be making a Christmas Tree nursery!)

So this is what we have:

Maybe a quick run down of each:

1. Soft Fruit

This year was amazing for the soft fruit. Winter went on a long time, but then it stopped. There were no nasty cold snaps to kill the blossoms and the insects which pollinate them. Last year, winter was short and easy, but some brutal frosts in May and one cold snap even in June killed off all the fruit making flowers, and other than gooseberries and goji berries, there was not much to be had.

Next year, I'm looking forward to taking the first spears of asparagus.

2. The Potager.

All 6 quadrants are dug. The last one needs quite a bit more work, but it's going to be a fully productive vegetable garden next year. For more on this, see my post on the Self Sufficient Pirate 6 Year Crop Rotation

3. Orchards

I believe there are 32 fruit trees now. I started with two cherries, neither of which have ever made and fruit, but maybe next year. This year was a good start for quinces. Next year, the trees should all start cropping a bit. Happy apples!

4. Nutzfläche.

The hazelnuts are not happy. But, they have been joined by walnuts, scots pines, hickories and sweet chestnuts. We're not expecting much from any of them for at least 8 - 12 years!

5. The Pig Field

Now sporting two wooden picket fence edges, and two electric fence ones. It still has some growing to do, so this is not its final form. It is version 5. I counted. I only really started it this year, so, pretty happy here. I also saved about 2500 sweetcorn seeds and maybe 5000 sunflowers. As long as they all go in next year (which would take up about half of the area and would feed the pigs for a long old time), I'll be happy. But I'll be pushing for more. Mostly sugar beet and feed-mangolds (Futterrübe).

This is some of the sugar beet from this year

6. The vineyard.

Mostly see above.

7. The Kitchen Herb Garden

The big success for this year on the kitchen herb garden was deciding where it is going to go. That made me happy, and it is definitely in the right place. Next year (probably), I have to dig out 40 tree roots. Not fun.

8. Pigfield Park

Probably the most fertile ground on the farm. Also new for this year. It grew a whole load of feed-mangolds, but never enough to save for the winter. But the piggies snacked on them all year.

I'm not sure what will be going here next year just yet.

9 &10. The Poisonous Herb Garden / The Medicinal Herb Garden.

Well, I've mown them both a few times, and I decided where they are going to go. That's enough for now!


Thank you for reading!

If you are interested in what I am trying to do here, and want to support the barracks, then please head over to my substack.

Here I post weekly updates of the jobs I am hoping to do in the coming 7 days. I hope it gives more of a regular insight into the actual work that goes into the place.

If you really like it, there is a 5 euros a month sub. For the price of a coffee a month, you can make a real difference.

If you are feeling flush, and really want to show that you believe in what I am doing, there is a 250€ a year sub as well. Every time someone takes out one of these, I put in a massive order for pig food! I guarantee, every cent of the big ones goes into the bellies of the pigs.

Just being here and letting me know that I am not shouting into the void is a great help and makes the winter just that little bit more endurable.

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