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Future garden

 
pollinator
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Yep, it looks like a field/pasture/something.  But in a month or so, it will be a garden.  I just started raking weeds off and piling them on the downhill edge.  This garden will be 40' x60'  or so.   I'm ramping up production this year so I have extra food to give away.  I think our economic future is uncertain, and I would like to grow enough extra food to at least help some people with that basic need.  I will probably make one or two more areas this size devoted to potatoes and squash.  I have land and seeds for peppers, beans, squash, corn, and a few little extras.  I won't have time to do a lot to improve soil, but anything that does grow will help, so I may just plant it and add as much organic matter as I can until I run out.  I have some pretty big areas I can mow.  The mowed material will go onto the gardens and into the chicken area for more processing.
New-garden.jpeg
Future garden area
Future garden area
 
pollinator
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Trace Oswald wrote:Yep, it looks like a field/pasture/something.  But in a month or so, it will be a garden.  I just started raking weeds off and piling them on the downhill edge.  This garden will be 40' x60'  or so.   I'm ramping up production this year so I have extra food to give away.  I think our economic future is uncertain, and I would like to grow enough extra food to at least help some people with that basic need.  I will probably make one or two more areas this size devoted to potatoes and squash.  I have land and seeds for peppers, beans, squash, corn, and a few little extras.  I won't have time to do a lot to improve soil, but anything that does grow will help, so I may just plant it and add as much organic matter as I can until I run out.  I have some pretty big areas I can mow.  The mowed material will go onto the gardens and into the chicken area for more processing.



Beautiful, Trace. I've been thinking along similar lines but don't have quite the land. I've planted 10 chaya cuttings, knowing there's no way the two of us can eat all that. Would you do a you-pick-'em kind of thing? That's my only concern: not being able to do all the picking if I plant extra. I like the idea of putting out a Little Library type of thing to tuck veggies into for people in need to pass by and pick it up, but that doesn't solve the picking problem at the outset.

See how I'm already counting my chickens before they hatch? Last year nothing grew except the Juliet tomatoes! Still, we can try.

 
Trace Oswald
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Diane Kistner wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:Yep, it looks like a field/pasture/something.  But in a month or so, it will be a garden.  I just started raking weeds off and piling them on the downhill edge.  This garden will be 40' x60'  or so.   I'm ramping up production this year so I have extra food to give away.  I think our economic future is uncertain, and I would like to grow enough extra food to at least help some people with that basic need.  I will probably make one or two more areas this size devoted to potatoes and squash.  I have land and seeds for peppers, beans, squash, corn, and a few little extras.  I won't have time to do a lot to improve soil, but anything that does grow will help, so I may just plant it and add as much organic matter as I can until I run out.  I have some pretty big areas I can mow.  The mowed material will go onto the gardens and into the chicken area for more processing.



Beautiful, Trace. I've been thinking along similar lines but don't have quite the land. I've planted 10 chaya cuttings, knowing there's no way the two of us can eat all that. Would you do a you-pick-'em kind of thing? That's my only concern: not being able to do all the picking if I plant extra. I like the idea of putting out a Little Library type of thing to tuck veggies into for people in need to pass by and pick it up, but that doesn't solve the picking problem at the outset.

See how I'm already counting my chickens before they hatch? Last year nothing grew except the Juliet tomatoes! Still, we can try.



Sorry Diane, missed this until now.

There are some people down the street from us that make a big pile of ornamental squash every year for people to pick up for Halloween decorations.  I was thinking of doing something similar.  I may see if I can put a small table on  a friend's yard in town so more people see it, but I may start doing it just by word of mouth.  I thought about setting up a small table at our local very small farmer's market with a sign that said something like "Pay what you like", but I don't want to hurt the business of people with stands that make their living, or at least supplement it, with money from the market.  I'm just not sure yet how I will proceed.

In any case, here are a couple update pictures.  I only have a couple hours work in the first bed, it started raining before I could get farther.  I decided to dig out my paths, flip the sod, and pile it into the area that will be the beds.  I've never made beds exactly like this before, and I made a mistake right from the start.  I thought it would be easiest to dig half the path and flip it to one side onto the bed, and dig the other side and flip it onto the opposite bed.  It would work better on flat land, but this is sloped.  I would have been far better off to dig the entire path from the uphill side and flip it all downhill I think.  The chuck of sod and semi-clay soil are hard to flip uphill.  Lesson learned for another time.

The first picture is just starting out build the bed. The next is both parts of the path dug up and flipped onto the future bed.  Next, I minimally shaped the bed by chopping up the clods with a shovel and raking the top smooth.  Next are coffee grounds, and the bed with coffee grounds applied.  It's only the first bed and it isn't large.  This one is roughly 3 and a half feet wide and it's sixteen feet long.


Start.jpeg
Beginning the bed
Beginning the bed
Both-sides.jpeg
Paths flipped onto bed
Paths flipped onto bed
shaped.jpeg
Roughly shaped
Roughly shaped
Coffee-grounds.jpeg
Wheelbarrow o' grounds
Wheelbarrow o' grounds
grounds-applied.jpeg
Coffee grounds applied and chopped into bed slightly
Coffee grounds applied and chopped into bed slightly
 
Trace Oswald
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Added another bed today and decided to try another experiment.  I'm filling the walkways with really well-rotted punky wood.  I expected the wood to hold more water than will stay if I just leave ditches, and in a couple years, the entire area should be really beautiful soil.  I also find that raised beds have a tendency to dry out much more quickly than traditional garden areas, so this should help with that.  I included a picture of my "donor trees", the rotting trees I used for filling the ditches.  By the time I stopped today, the ditches were full.  I would like to add more to bring the wood up to the level of the top of the beds, but filling the ditches to ground level is the first priority.

Resized_20200426_115145.jpeg
New, partially finished bed.
New, partially finished bed.
Resized_20200426_115949.jpeg
Punk wood ditch-filler
Punk wood ditch-filler
Resized_20200426_122300.jpeg
Donor trees
Donor trees
Resized_20200426_121951.jpeg
Progress
Progress
 
Diane Kistner
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Trace Oswald wrote:
There are some people down the street from us that make a big pile of ornamental squash every year for people to pick up for Halloween decorations.  I was thinking of doing something similar.  I may see if I can put a small table on  a friend's yard in town so more people see it, but I may start doing it just by word of mouth.  I thought about setting up a small table at our local very small farmer's market with a sign that said something like "Pay what you like", but I don't want to hurt the business of people with stands that make their living, or at least supplement it, with money from the market.  I'm just not sure yet how I will proceed.

In any case, here are a couple update pictures....



Wow, that's a lot of work! Good job! I like the idea of using the pathways to feed off into the surrounding soil, so I'm going to be trying something like that, too. I can't dig like you can, though.

I like the idea of putting stuff out on a table in my front yard with a "take what you can eat, leave the rest for your neighbors" sign on it. I guess I'd need to get a few of those picnic table umbrella food-covering things to keep squirrels and birds off of it, though. But that's a thought!
 
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Hi Trace,

That is a very nice, big area for a new garden.  You certainly are ambitious!  Certainly more so than I am.  For such a huge area, your bed shaping looks very good.  That’s more digging than my back will allow, but if you can make a go of it, then more power to you.  BTW, I love the use of coffee grounds and the punky wood.  It looks like you have access to even more wood, is it your plan to make a hugel-ish bed?

Also, is it your plan to dig up that whole area?  If so, you have your wood cut out for you.  But you couldn’t have picked a better year to go really big on the garden!

Please keep us updated, this is a great project.

Eric
 
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What a great idea!  

You might arrange to give fresh produce to your local food pantry, if you have one. You would be less likely to compete with the farmers’ market and these services are getting lots of traffic!  

In our tiny town (pop. 690) the usually sleepy Food Shelf had 30 cars parked in front. A parking lot that holds 10 if everyone parks carefully and creatively. In very small Springfield, Vermont, my husband drove by the Food Shelf and thought there must have been 100 cars in line.
 
Trace Oswald
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Eric Hanson wrote:
Also, is it your plan to dig up that whole area?
Eric



That is the plan. I'm hoping to add a couple more beds this weekend.  I'm behind on these because I have another garden 65'x75' that I have planted with potatoes, onions, corn and I'm trying to get it fenced so I can get my squash in too.  I lost last weekend to rain.  I have too much clay in my soil to dig when it's wet, it just makes bricks.

Anne Pratt wrote: You might arrange to give fresh produce to your local food pantry, if you have one.



Anne, we do have a small food pantry here.  And that is a great idea, so thank you for that.
 
He was expelled for perverse baking experiments. This tiny ad is a model student:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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