A view of the front balcony garden as you’ll never see it again
I decided to take advantage of this special, unobstructed view yesterday of my south facing container garden and my solar oven without the old balcony railing and spindles in place (they will be replaced asap with new ones).
Adapted from Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains: A guide to high-altitude, semi-arid home permaculture gardens:
Considering that we are still in the dry season and that it hasn’t rained for more than two months, the tomato plants are doing great in this new location and new raised bed. The tomato variety experiment is quite useful for those of you who garden in restricted spaces like balconies. Neither variety is “better” than the other, in my opinion.
- The compact hybrid variety, which is designed specifically for container gardening, is obviously the better choice if you don’t want to have to use stakes and wire cages around your tomato plants.
- If you have the space, the heirloom variety, which now has several dozen tiny green tomatoes on it, is the better choice if your goal is high fruit yield. I added a second, taller, stake to the heirloom cherry tomato plant and tied on some of the branches to the new stake and to the wire tomato cage. It’s turning into Godzilla. As soon as the new railing is in in place I will tie the plant to the railing for additional support.
The lemon tree has replaced its leaves for the third time in less than a year-and-a-half. The tree is flowering profusely. I continue to provide it with extra organic citrus tree fertilizer. I also pruned off some dead branch sections. The leaves will be fully mature just as the monsoon rains arrive. We have made a screen set-up to protect it from another extreme hail storm, like the one that stripped off it’s leaves last year. It will not be put in place until it is needed (the screen also attaches to the balcony railing). I don’t think the lemon tree could survive yet another disaster. I’ll keep babying it as best I can.
Adapted from The Sunny Side of Cooking: Solar cooking and other ecologically friendly cooking methods for the 21st century:
Solar cookers, even larger ones like my Global Sun Oven, fit on even small to mid-sized balconies like mine. On a tiny balcony or a balcony with an awning or roof it would even be possible to use a platform to hold a solar cooker that attached to the railing and extended outwards from it to ensure that the cooker received enough sunlight, like the solar wall oven and the parabolic balcony cooker.
I’m wearing one of my handwoven outfits made from 20/2 and 10/2 cotton yarn; the yoke is from the re-made sleeve of my wedding dress jacket.