When you start to figure the steadily rising food prices, the expanding population growth, and the scary chemical pesticides we are eating in our food It makes one stop to ponder. It seems to me that it might just be a good idea to start growing some food yourself. It is not something that you can do overnight and takes some planning, education and forward thinking. Start to learn how now is some good insurance.
Like in a game of chess you have to think several moves ahead of the opponent. In the case of our food it seems the opponent is being dependent on always being able to just pick something up from the grocery store. Let's become more self sufficient and less dependent. Enable yourself.
OK, enough of the sermon but after all this is Sunday. Here is a smart move that I made that I will share with you. The first raised bed that I made in the Sandpit garden I made a dedicated bed. It is dedicated to growing plants that will support my organic beds to come.
As always , with some help of my friends I discovered Comfrey. In this case it was Africanaussie who suggested that I grow some Comfrey to make nutrient tea for the plants. After some research it became clear that this member of the Borage family has numerous benefits to an organic garden as well as being a medicinal herb plant.
I decided to make an investment after researching Comfrey and purchased six root cuttings of Russian blocking 14 Comfrey from Horizon herbs. The Blocking 14 type is sterile and does not make seeds so it will not spread beyond where you plant it as is the case with regular Comfrey. The blocking 14 is Symphytum X Uplandicum for the technical minded.
The root cutting grow easily into six plants that fill this dedicated bed. The Comfrey grows quickly producing large leaves that are filled with nutrients. The cold won't hurt it as it is hearty down to minus- 35 degrees and it loves the Florida sun.
These Comfrey plants send down roots like 8 feet deep and act as a nutrient accumulator. They are like a sponge absorbing nutrients which are transported to the leaves.
These leaves are richer in nutrients that compost or manure. The Comfrey leaves contain Nitrogen - Potassium - Magnesium -Phosphorus - Calcium - Silica -Iron and a host of micro-nutrients. Comfrey is also one of the few plants that can take up vitamin b-12. It's like having your own renewable fertilizer machine in your garden. After you harvest some of the giant leaves others quickly grow back to take their place.
Here is just one way to use the leaves. I cut a few off and cut them up into Comfrey confetti which I then plop around the base of other plants. The Comfrey Leaf Confetti breaks down and the nutrients are leached into the soil for the plant. Or you can make Comfrey tea which works a little faster and as a nutrient spray on a plants leaves.
Did I say the Comfrey leaves will activate your compost pile? They will.
Do you get Tomato end rot where much needed calcium is leached from the soil by to much rain? You guessed it, replenish the calcium with Comfrey tea.
Tomato, Peppers and Cucumbers all crave Potassium . Comfrey leaves provide it .
The Comfrey plant can be harvested repeatedly and just provides more leaves without having to be replanted. Comfrey fills my first dedicated raised bed and provides year round sustainable FREE fertilizer for the other plants.
All the above just touches the surface of the benefits of the Comfrey herb. Google it and you can read volumes as well as get info on making medicines and the Comfrey Plant Tea.
So next time you are waiting in line at some garden center to buy some plant fertilizer just think you could be growing your own in your garden.
If you don't already try out the Comfrey Plant. They make a great case for thinking forward.