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This is a new edition I'd like to start on the blog. Gardening! I'm really quite new to it but we believe so strongly in being self-sustainable, getting back to nature, growing your own food, and eating healthily so I decided it was about time I started these posts. I'll be sharing photos and our gardening experiments and will hopefully inspire you to grow your own garden too! :)
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We started planning and getting our beds together this week, it's been a fun and busy week! Cory is awesome and went out and got the plywood and built the beds last week so we were all set to get the rest going this week. We went out to my dad's garden centre (Dig, at the junction between Nelson and Castlegar), as I mentioned a couple days ago, and got our manure and sea soil. We're starting from scratch this year which is quite the venture. It's more work initially but it's also nice getting to start from scratch because you can make sure your soil is super rich, not sandy, and free of weeds--which will mean hopefully less maintenance one the food starts growing because we won't need to weed as much.
Cory took a permaculture course a couple years ago and so he learned a lot, although there is sooo much to know and learn and experiment through experience when it comes to gardening, it really is quite the little adventure. He's teaching me anyway, because I know practically nothing. It's exciting. From our last two years gardening, I can say there is nothing more rewarding then getting to see your little seeds grow into food and eating veggies fresh out of the earth. Truly amazing. Nature is amazing and absolutely under appreciated in our high-technology society. It's nice to get back to the earth, back to what we should be doing.
I'm going to take a moment just to say that everyone should do what they can to grow their own food. Even if you don't have a garden where you are you can get creative. For instance, at our last place we weren't allowed to have a garden, but we found garden space from Cory's boss who had space they weren't using which we were able to take over. There are also community gardens you can contribute to and benefit from. You can even have little windowsill gardens and grow some greens. And if nothing else you could be sprouting and getting fresh greens every week that way. Do what you can. People are amazing and there are always options out there when you seek them out. So seek them out.
Anyways, back to your 2013 Garden!
We have garden space at the front of our house where there is a ton of sun exposure and soil already there for us, but it's small for all our needs which is why were built three more garden beds in the back. There used to be a hot tub in that space so it was already free of grass but there was sand that we first needed to dig out, so we did that. We also dug up the grass because you don't want grass beneath your garden beds or you'll get a ton of weeds. Because there wasn't much for weeds in the grass in this area we were able to turn the topsoil upside down and reuse it for a layer of our garden bed which I'll get to in a minute. For our largest bed we are experimenting with hugel-culture, a method of layering layers to maximize the soils' richness and water retention. Of course, like I said, I'm just learning, and Cory sort of knows what he's doing so this bed was a combination of cultures and is a bit of an experiment.
So, the layers…
Cardboard, rotten logs, upside-down topsoil, compost (with lots of wormies), straw, manure, sea soil, straw (to make everything else break down faster and to use as a mulch).
The logs were hilarious to get. We walked down the highway to the woods and found all these fallen logs. We used Cory's bike hitch trailer thing and carried them along the highway the few feet back home. We felt like real hippies and couldn't help but laugh. Good times. ;) It was also fun playing in the straw. See, gardening is fun! ;)
Cory finished off the second bed yesterday, while I finally did some work work… and took Lyla out of a walk to watch because it was such a beautiful sunny day. The second bed was a simple hugel-culture of cardboard, straw, compost, manure, and soil without the logs. We still need to finish the last bed and add some manure and sea soil to the front beds to make them richer, and the straw for mulching.
We haven't started seeds yet but will be starting our indoor seeds this week to keep inside until they are ready to be transplanted. It's almost time to plant some greens as well. Although the sudden dump of snow today may tell us otherwise. We are planning on doing hoop houses, or at least one, in the large bed as a greenhouse as well which will mean an earlier start. We're close the lake so we loose the snow and frost soonest and get a ton of sun exposure so we're pretty lucky.
Well, that's all for now! This is a long one as there was a lot of work in preparing the beds. Looking forward to sharing more! Send me links to your gardens and what you're up to this summer for eating healthily and growing your own food!
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