Abundance of Seed is Key!
Tell you what, the desert was probably one of the most difficult places we could have chosen to learn how to homestead! Not only is it very hot and dry, but everything out here in the desert is hungry! Come spring there are lots of things that sprout up, and all the hungry critters seek out the patches of green. And I don't know how those damn birds know that seed is going to be found in that freshly tilled dirt, but they do! All it takes is one to get in under your net, and all that fresh seed that you planted will be gone! The nets just don't keep them out. I tried to keep it tacked down so tight that I couldn't figure out how they were getting in, till I went to let one out, and watched how easy it was for him to do it. They just pick at it a little with their beak and make their own way in...and it's such a small opening that it's almost unnoticeable to you, but they can't find the way back out either and make a new damn hole! Ugh! So forget the nets! They don't work! The hungry critters will find a way in....so...we get the hungry critters to not be so hungry! Ah ha!
Abundance of seed is Key!
So we feed the critters too! Throw out seed everywhere! Sprouts will feed the bunnies, and if there are enough then they won't all get eaten, and some continue to grow beyond the point of being appetizing. Then those are left alone to grow, and the cycle continues!
Always try to count for at least 20 % to go seed, 10 for seed in the seed bank, and 10 back to nature. Just know that they are going to be hungry, and the less hungry you can get them to be, the more there will be left over for everyone else. Just feed the bunnies too, why not? As long as my family is fed I feel good about giving back to nature. Since I have started gardening with this concept of sharing, rather than containing and hording it away, like hovering over it with a net saying mine mine mine, I have had great success! I just keep throwing out seed of all kinds for nature to eat, and a few always seem to get left over.
"It's almost as if they know, and it's natures way of saying thank you!"
So this is just one example of what's happening in my backyard...
Phaseolus acutifolius, or the Tepary bean
|They climb the Mesquite trees,|
beans mature and dry out...
| Then they pop open and fall|
back to the Earth...
|And new ones grow, starting |
the cycle all over again!
This is a bean native to Tucson, Arizona. The common name is The Tepary bean, but other names for this native bean include Pawi, Pavi, Tepari, Escomite, Yori mui, Yorimuni and Yori muni. The name tepary may derive from the local tribe,Tohono O'odham, phrase tʼpawi or "It's a bean". They are extremely drought resistant, witch make them such a great desert crop.
I only had about a cups worth of beans, and threw them all around, mostly under the mesquites. I like to plant under the Mesquites for so many reasons! They have an amazing compost that I will also being doing an article on, because it's that amazing! So I just went about my watering, not even paying attention to how many were growing still. Then I noticed that under two of the mesquites there was a vine growing all the way to the top! So from those 2 unnoticed volunteers that made it I have harvested about a whole crock pot worth to eat, and another cup to spread around. Then there are already new volunteers on their way just from what has already fallen!
Not sure what native recipe I will use to cook them up, but I can't wait to try them out. I love trying the native plants, since that is what the native humans of this part of the Earth are meant to eat. It just makes sense, even though we have the ability now to eat foods native to all parts of the globe, it didn't start that way. Just one more way I am learning and moving closer and closer, BackToTheEarth.