Friday, March 26, 2010

Growing the garden

My garden is way too big for one person, even with all of the canning, pickling, fermenting and freezing that I do.  But it is really too small to support my market basket business, as well as to offer a variety of fresh organic produce at the Farmers Market and Purple Porch Co-op.  So I put Androo to work.  He took off the sod, which went into the compost pile.  Then I brought down the big rototiller.  Earlier this week, Clay and I turned the compost pile by the milk barn and brought the scrapings from the bottom of the old pile down to the new strip of garden.

It's 4' x 100' - 400 square feet of new garden space.  That will grow a lot, once it is brought up to speed with the rest of the garden.  It needs more compost, but I don't have any that is ready and meets organic standards.  Getting my compost piles up to organic specifications is high on the list this year.

There was a pile of mostly composted grass (no manure of any kind in it) from last summer, and we threw that onto the fresh strip, then I brought down the rototiller again and worked all of that into the new soil.  Now we will let it sit until any weeds emerge - about two weeks, depending on the weather.  After the new and very tender new weeds emerge, they will be easy to remove with a shuffle hoe.  Only then will it be ready to plant.  I don't expect a great crop off of it for a year or two.  We will have to mulch it heavily as the plants grow this year, and hopefully we will have some really good compost to add in the fall.

Androo put in a hard day taking off the sod.  Here he is, hard at work.   At this point, the new strip of garden was at about about a fifth of the total distance.

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