• Cara

Spring is Here!

Aren't we all glad to have melted away all the slush and have the sun on our necks?? This has to be my favorite season. But I know I say that about every one. :) For me, spring means a lot of manual labor. I yearn for the days of crisp mornings shoveling away.

We have been systematically taking out our grass to put gardens in their place. The funnest part has been coming up with reasons to create another bed. Here's my latest bed.

I sodded up the grass and created a bed on the North side of our fence (street side). I'm putting red beans along with either mammoth sunflowers or broom corn. (Probably broom corn. It's my favorite to watch sway in the wind.)

Fellow farmer, Jerome, checking the status of our Toka Plum buds.

Along with spring comes....COMPOST! We're prepping all the beds and will be spreading compost on them soon. Before we placed an order with our local compost company, Buzy Bee, we wanted to use the compost pile I started last fall. There were some successes, and some not so much. Out of the ~12 ft long pile, I pulled enough compost to cover my new bed. The not so success was the 2 ft of non-composted material on top. I realized the pile had gotten too large to process. BUT, we learned something, so even that hiccup was fruitful.

I refluffed the pile and in a couple weeks, we should have beautiful, black leaf mulch for a mid-summer pick-me-up for the garden.

Our new Hugelbed! Another fun spring project we completed. After taking down 2 trees in our yard to make room for our orchard, we decided to dig down where we were planning on placing a raised bed. After digging out about 2-3 ft, we placed the trees in the hole then covered with dirt. An easy way to add long term compost to a garden. It felt great to reuse the trees that were difficult for us to cut down.

"Hügelkultur replicates the natural process of decomposition that occurs on forest floors. Trees that fall in a forest often become nurse logs decaying and providing ecological facilitation to seedlings. As the wood decays, its porosity increases, allowing it to store water like a sponge. The water is slowly released back into the environment, benefiting nearby plants." - WikipediaSometimes wiki just says it so nicely. :)Soon I'll be posting individual bed pictures and the plans for each. We're going to have so much food this year!Btw, did you can "grow a row" for your local food pantry? Locally, we have the Hunger & Poverty Prevention Partnership of Portage County The HPPP-PC has a Giving Gardens program where they help connect willing gardeners to the resources they need to grow for our locally hunger needs.Shovel Happy!Cara
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