The Gardens

The new garden is all raised beds. Established December 2013.

These were the gardens at the old farm. It was very hard to leave them behind!

My first garden here went in this spring. We have nine acres but before Valentines Day the horses had run of all of it. For Valentines Day I asked my husband Rick to fence off a little over an acre around the house. In one weekend my beloved fulfilled my request and I was free to start playing. We already had established grape arbors, peach, pear, nectarine and plum trees in this area. The fencing would keep them safe as well as give me room for a large main garden, more fruit trees and herb beds (which I like to scatter all over).

I build the main garden one 16x16 square at a time. I found that this was a size I could complete in one shot and it allowed me to start planting the areas already prepared while preparing more when time and materials allowed. I waffled between raised beds and a modified lasagna method I had seen on  Paul Gautschi's Back to Eden film . BTW, I highly recommend watching Paul's film, it puts what we are trying to do in our gardens in a different perspective. Some of my sections followed Paul's no dig newspaper/mushroom compost/mulch layering and on some we rototilled, added mushroom compost them mulched.

Tropical Storm Debbie came to visit about a month ago and the foot of standing water finished off the things that were already on their way out (tomatoes, squash, carrots) as well as allowing the weeds to really move in ( I think seeds road in on  the waves of water) . I am getting ready to clean what remains up and get ready for fall planting. As I do so I am going to start converting much of the garden to raised beds but keep paul's methods inside those beds. In the paths between I am going to lay down empty feed bags before the mulch which will all but eliminate weeds in the paths.
On my way to school there is a Mobile Home factory that puts scrap wood and pallets out for the public from time to time. Lately they have been putting these lovely banded hardwood rectangles out, they are the perfect size for raised beds so I have been dragging every one I can home :) Salvaging and repurposing are the way to go anytime you can, it saves tons of money.

The photos that follow are the evolution of the garden and herb beds since spring as well as some of the  bounty it has provided. I have been able to all but server ties with the local grocery store thanks to its bounty, bartering with friends and our own meat supply.

Then TS Debbie came to visit and we had a foot of water in the main garden. Though we trenched it off the ground stayed saturated long enough that we had major losses.

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