Prepping and planting a bed--lifting the weed barrier, digging or forking, adding fertilizer, adding compost, possibly swapping the weed barrier with a piece that has suitable holes for the new crop, re-attaching the weed barrier, making a watering apparatus or moving in an apparatus suitable for the new crop, manicuring the soil of the holes or drills, possibly adding sand or vermiculite or compost to accept the seeds, possibly mixing seeds with sand, planting seeds or plants, possibly adding a layer of compost, watering the planting in...
...takes at least a couple of hours per bed. Planting a line of several beds--like the 24-by-4-foot garlic bed or last year's 36-by-4-foot bean bed--doesn't really reduce it that much.
120 beds, two or three plantings per bed per year, takes us to, oh, maybe 300 hours of prep-and-plant per year. On weekends, when the weather is suitable and we're in town and I have time. So this explains why I have yet to get the whole farm in production at one time.
Perennials. Edible perennials. Preferably what I'm calling "soft" perennials--the kind that are easy to move or eat or give away if I want a bed back for annuals, someday when I have more gardening time.
Currently, the perennial list is:
- Six (seven?) beds of strawberries.
- Three of black currants.
- Two and a half of chives.
- Half a bed of garlic chives.
- One bed of thyme and oregano and tarragon.
- One of sage.
- One of rosemary.
- One of perennial scallions.
- Two of Jerusalem artichokes.
- One of artichokes.
- Another bed of chives.
- Another five beds of strawberries.
- Two beds of garlic chives.
- Ten beds (one full row) of blueberries.
- Probably six beds of raspberries.
- A sweet bay.
- At least one more bed of herbs.
- Ten roses along the left-hand fence. Probably rugosas, for lots of rose hips, so that they count as food. See the picture up top? Fruity!
- Ten of something along the right-hand fence, where the ground is painfully gravel-filled from the parking lot next door. Something tough, like maybe butterfly bushes to bring in pollinators for the rest of the stuff.
- Five evergreen shrubs of some kind, preferably edible or edible-themed, along the front of the five right-hand rows.
- Another five at the back of those same rows.