Class #317 | Walipini Field Trip, Watermellon Harvesting, and Seed Saving
Link to the Walipini plans https://protectivediet.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/walipini.pdf
Protective Diet Class #317
Walipini Field Trip, Watermelon Harvesting, Seed Saving
A new addition to the Protective Diet Homestead series. With a set-it-and-forget-it meal in the Instant Pot, we set off on a field trip to local Walipinis. Julie Marie demonstrates her garden seed saving system and showcases a Protective Diet style hostess gift.
- Engage in our official support group, Protective Diet Living (PDL). Join Live Chats & Coaching Hour for personal assistance.
- Shop www.protectivediet.com/bulk, an independent source for low-cost, high-quality PD staples in bulk.
- Take advantage of current savings on Protective Diet Plant-Based Broth Mix. Rising ingredient costs are forcing prices up.
Action Steps for an Organized PD Harvest
- Harvest Watermelon
- Julie Marie and Jerry give mini a tour of their melon patch and celebrate the first watermelon harvest on the Protective Diet Homestead—a 45lb rattlesnake melon planted from seeds saved from last year’s neighborhood community garden.
- Watermelons should have a little bit of give in the middle and at the ends before harvesting.
- When the stem dries up a bit, you know it’s ripe and ready to harvest.
- Allow the melon to “sugar up” on the counter for a few days before cutting. Store bought melons have already had this waiting period and will become mealy if they are left on the counter. Slice and refrigerate store-bought melons right away.
- Save Seeds
- Get a free start on next year’s garden by saving seeds. Julie Marie’s 2022 garden was planted with heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds, as well as homegrown vegetable starts from seeds she saved last year. Her harvest was bounteous.
- Seeds from drier vegetables, like okra, can just be set out to dry completely before storing.
- Seeds from pulpy vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and melon, should be fermented before saving. Fermenting will separate the seeds from the pulp so they can be completely dried for storage. It will also destroy natural germination inhibitors in the pulp by mimicking the natural rotting process.
Julie’s Seed Saving System
What you’ll need for seed fermentation:
– Your best looking harvest specimens
– Clean jar or glass for each seed variety
– Repurposed sheets of paper, one for each seed variety
– Sharpie, or post-it notes to label everything
– Paper envelopes
|1||Collect your finest specimens from the garden (and from harvest gifts of generous friends)|
|2||Label a sheet of repurposed paper for each specimen or seed variety you want to save|
|3||Place a clean glass or jar on top of each labeled paper|
|4||Open the fruit (you may wish to collect seeds from multiple fruits of the same variety)|
|5||Squeeze the seeds and pulp into the clean jar or glass (save the flesh for your salad)|
|6||Add a little bit of water|
|7||Allow the jar to sit uncovered, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days|
|8||Dump and spread seeds on the labeled, repurposed paper and allow them to dry completely|
|9||Move the seeds around with your finger to ensure they are dry on all sides|
|10||Store dry seeds in a labeled, paper envelope in a dry location|
- Create seed packets or collections to gift and trade using mini paper envelopes.
- Start seeds in the winter under grow lights and anticipate how great your garden is going to be next year.
- Extend the Harvest: PD Walipini Coming Soon!
- Create a stable winter growing environment for plants by building a sunken greenhouse (Walipini) with a tropical climate.
- The word “Walipini” comes from the Aymara Indian language of Bolivia and means “place of warmth”. The Walipini utilizes nature’s resources to provide a warm, stable, well-lit environment for year-round vegetable production by locating a growing area 6 to 8 feet underground and capturing and storing daytime solar radiation through a plastic roof.
- Full building plans for the Walipini can be found at https://protectivediet.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/walipini.pdf.
- On the northern exterior, the roof is sheeted with metal. On the interior, it is insulated and covered with black plastic.
- On the southern exterior, the roof is covered with clear greenhouse roofing. A film of greenhouse plastic lines the rafters on the interior. The space between these two layers of plastic acts like an insulating pocket of heat.
- A window in the east end is handy for offloading garden amendments, provides ventilation in the summer (temperatures can get above 100°F), and creates an entry point for pollinators. A swamp cooler provides humidity. A fan is also beneficial.
Walls, Irrigation & Drainage
- The north interior wall is planted with lemon, lime and orange trees and partially lined with IBC totes full of water to provide radiant heat for plants at night. Interior walls may be lined with concrete, repurposed block, wood or tires.
- Irrigation mainlines are fastened to the inner walls and connected to a hose spigot outside the structure. Drip lines can be attached to the mainline and run along the ground under rows of plants as needed. The watering system can be automated by connecting a timer device to the hose spigot.
- The exterior walls are covered with black plastic (to 1ft. below the surface) to prevent water seepage on the outside from weakening the integrity of the walls, and to direct rain away from the structure toward a drainage area.
- The greenhouse floor can be accessed by a ladder or staircase.
- The dirt floor can be amended with compost, vermiculite and peat moss, tilled, and direct seeded in traditional rows, or hard packed to accommodate raised garden beds (built out of Trex decking material) and hanging plants.
- Cabbage, broccoli, radish, spinach, peas, brussels sprouts, and kale thrive in a winter Walipini. Bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs also grow successfully. Some crops grow so fast in this humid environment that you can grow two plantings in one season. Indeterminate plants, which are often grown as annuals, become perennials in the Walipini.
Lifeline Busy Summer Meal: Arrabbiata Pasta Dinner
- You can’t beat this one pot, set-it-and-forget it recipe on busy harvest days—prep (5min), slow cook (8hrs), finish (10min).
- Use up garden tomatoes. No chopping. No blending. Add fresh garden basil. All day aromatherapy. Restaurant quality meal.
Summer Hostess Gift
- Parchment wrapped Breadmaker Onion Loaf and garden Bruschetta, bottled in a repurposed glass applesauce jar. Present the gift in a repurposed cardboard organic produce flat. Add a cheerful sprig of fresh green basil.
Learn About Weeds
- Native weeds may have beneficial properties and culinary uses. Puncturevine is a natural diuretic, improves libido, relieves inflammation, lowers blood sugar, improves heart health, and may prevent cancer. It seems completely inedible, but the entire plant is edible. The best way to eat it = boil the thorny seedpods to make a protective tea.
Q: Did you haul in other dirt for your Walipini garden bed, or did you just use the existing dirt? (36:30)
Q: When does it make sense to grow cold tolerant crops in a greenhouse versus just planting them outside? (38:10)
Q: How did you dig it out? How much did it cost? How long did it take? (40:30)
- Gardening is so rewarding. It creates friendships, food security, excitement, and gut microbiome diversity.
“There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and a fruit tree or two.” ~Ezra Taft Benson
|Air Fried Zucchini Noodles||Summer Spaghetti||Zucchini Bread|
|Plant-Based Zuppa Toscana||Fermented Salsa||Reduced Sodium Probiotic Pickled Onions|
A new addition to the Protective Diet Homestead series. With a set-it-and-forget-it meal in the Instant Pot, we set off on a field trip to local Walipinis. Julie Marie demonstrates her garden seed saving system and showcases a Protective Diet style hostess gift.Class URL: https://protectivediet.com/lessons/class-317-walipini-field-trip-watermellon-harvest-and-seed-saving