Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Garden, pt. 1

We have begun work on the garden. The garden that will save me... that will nourish me.. that will keep money in my pocket. Very little of the farm is flat. It is a vast green, seductive undulation.. mother earth.. a fertility goddess crafted of soil. Because of this I need a kind, thoughtful way of doing raised beds. I don't want to build the beds over and over so had hoped for a miracle and retaining wall block. The lottery ticket didn't win and no one accidentally unloaded a truckload of block in my yard. So, I decided it was time to get creative. I have opted to go with the lasagna method of gardening and to build up the ends of the beds, so my lasagna doesn't wash away. My solution was to build a retaining wall of the soil itself.

The method is the same as the pioneers used in building their sod houses, except in my case, I am sure that I haven't displayed the same amount of proficiency. The garden bed is marked and the edges cut with the shovel and then gone under with a straight edging shovel. The turf slab is lifted and inverted (grass side down) and stacked as you would a concrete block so the seams are staggered.

So far, so good. We have gotten a little bit of rhubarb and asparagus planted. They seem happy

With luck, we will get around eighty tomato plants in. A couple of corn patches. Strawberries. Various herbs. Beans, both pole and bush varieties, green and yellow. Beets, which will be canned both pickled and plain. Snow peas. Onions. Sweet potatoes. Carrots. Every good thing that I can think of.

We have had to rely on the local food pantry lately. Much of the food is donated as it is past it's sell by date. While I am thankful for what I have been given, I dream of fresh food. Veg that burst with flavor and juice. Tomatoes eaten in the garden and warm from the sun. Carrots that are sweet and that don't .... well, bend. I am anxious to get my oven built outside and to bake bread that tastes like how a good bread should taste...not some tasteless white cellulose.

I will take care of this fertile earth and I am hoping that it will take care of me too.


1 comment:

  1. Having your own garden makes such a difference! So much better than store bought food... Another way to do a "retaining wall" would be old hay or straw bales. They don't have to be good quality, so should be free and can be used for mulch/compost later. A great blog about farming ishttp://farmama.typepad.com/

    Best wishes! I will be out of the office for the summer, teaching in the field and assisting at the Parelli Campus. You can always find me on Parelli Connect or by emailing me at info@petrachristensen.com

    Have a good summer!

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central