our motto is: make a ruckus
This is mostly a picture post. Which should make up for the last post that was, admittedly, a little extra heavy on the words. These things happen when I’m my own editor.
Our plan for the garden this year is to have 14 raised beds that are roughly 30″ x 10 ft + a 50 ft asparagus patch + a hoop house. So far we have 5 beds built, 4 basically filled and a hoop house almost ready for plastic. I won’t bore you just yet with all the great things I think I’m going to grow in that space, I’ll save that tasty tid bit of mouth watering post for another day. Suffice to say, if you manage to make it out for a visit this summer, you will be well fed.
Right now our garden area looks like this:
I have an experimental planting of beets, turnips, carrots, tatsoi, and radishes under one of those windows. I just discovered today that the turnips have germinated!
Now each one of these beds is filled with rotting, decomposing organic material goodness. Almost none of it is actual soil. This next series of pictures I’m going to step out on a limb and call hugelkultur porn. It probably won’t make a whole lot of sense to you, or really even be interesting, but after seeing so many other people’s posts about their hugelkultur beds, I’ve been waiting for this day.
Each bed starts with a layer that looks like this:
When you come down with hugelkulturitis, as I have, all you see, everywhere you go, is materials. And I want them all. Just last week on our errand trip, I said nothing the whole way to town accept to mention a large pile of wood chips sitting in someone’s yard. I was jealous. A large pile of wood chips is a key gardening material that I do not have.
Next layer of the beds looks like this:
I am giddy about all the old rotting hay bales around here. Positively giddy. You should see the gusto with which I dig around in this goodness and pitchfork it into the tractor bucket. You should see the smile on my face every time I get another load of it delivered to the garden. Hank knows this is the way to my heart. I’m pretty sure he’s going to surprise me with another bucket full of some delicious composty stuff for Valentine’s day, maybe even another garden bed frame, and I can’t fucking wait.
So after the rotten hay goes a layer of cardboard as a safety against whatever grass seeds might have survived in the hay:
And then that gets covered with slightly aged chicken manure, which is heavy on the nitrogen, which is excellent for getting the wormies to work there way up through the cardboard and into the upper layers of the bed.
On top of these goes what other various materials I can scavenge from the surrounding area. In this case I gathered up what the chickens had been scratching through in the woods, which is basically a combination of pine needles and leaves. After I get about 8 inches or so of that on there, I call it done for now. It needs to rest and settle and age, the longer the better. However some of these babies will have things planted in them starting in the middle of March, if not sooner.