Yesterday, Margy and I participated in the annual plant swap at the Resilience Hub. We didn’t have plants to swap, but Margy gathered seaweed to bring, and I made some grain-free, sugar-free cherry brownies to share. We were able to get lots of plants we need for our cherry tree polycultures–plants that we will place around the trees that help the trees to thrive and also have benefits for us. Back at home, I put them in pots and set up a little “nursery” area near our water spigot, for them to live until we are ready to put them in the ground.
Some of the plants and their functions:
- chives–use in a ring around the base of the tree to deter pests, attract pollinators, provide anti-fungal support (cherry trees are prone to fungal issues), plus herbs for eating
- comfrey–draw up nutrients from deep in the ground, attract pollinators and beneficial insects, cut the leaves to create mulch, and use for herbal healing
- rhubarb–more mulch, and delicious eating
- oregano–aromatic pest confuser, anti-fungal, can handle foot traffic when harvesting cherries, and cooking herb
- thyme–aromatic, one of my favorite herbs for cooking and health
- chamomile–anti-fungal , attract beneficial insects, draw up nutrients
- lupine–nitrogen fixer
- kale seedlings–especially as the tree is growing, to use the space for growing my favorite vegetable.
We also plan to plant daffodils around the drip line, to deter pests, attract pollinators and have beauty; plant the perennial seakale for good eating, maybe some asparagus; and sow white clover in the spaces between other things, as a nitrogen fixer.
The plant swap was a lot of fun, meeting other permaculture gardeners, and learning more about some plants that I didn’t know about. I also met someone who was using my book for teaching classes at her Quaker meeting. How great is that?