Monday, February 6, 2012

New Garden Project & Back to Eden Film

This weekend was very busy for us (the entire family), as we started a new garden project between the house and barn. We have known for some time that we were supposed to use our property to supply not just fruits and vegetables for us, but to also use our gardens and experiences to teach others.  We started here with 2-acres of bare land and have worked with raised planting beds,  have a variety of fruit trees and had several traditional vegetable gardens over the years. As part of our experiments/projects we built a greenhouse, started a hydroponics system (made with barrels), and are researching and planning on an aquaponics system using fish - we are looking at the fish being tilapia that we could also eat.

Last week Lynda came across an online site that had a video of a like minded man who lives and gardens in Washington state. After watching the video we were excited about trying his gardening techniques as one of our projects. We ordered the video (although you can watch the entire video free on his site) and started our newest garden project. The site for those of you who are interested is:

The main concept of the "Back to Eden" project is to use cover (wood chips) over the soil.  We started Friday with Kevin and Cameron using our chipper/shredded on a pile of tree trimming we had. We realized that our project was going to require much more than we would produce in a single day of chipping and decided to go to a local wood recycling center and purchased a truck load (1 cubic yard) of wood chip compost material. 

The process can be seen in the following photos:  The pile of wood material, the conveyors and chipping machinery, and the compost.

The next step was to clear the area where we would garden, removing any large weeds, oh and of course Lynda taking the time to paint the fence between the house and the barn that is the back of the new garden area.

After prepping the area we then soaked old newspaper and laid that out over the ground. After the paper was in place we then dumped the compost material on top of the newspaper. The newspaper helps to kill off any weed seed that may be on the found surface and will break down quickly. 

While all this work was going on the girls (Hannah & Lauren) enjoyed racing around in the Barbie Jeep and then pulling olive leaves off some of the trimmed branches.  The olive leaf is used for making a tea that helps to reduce cold/flu/sinus symptoms.
The weekend ended with the blessing of a beautiful sunset!

Today (Monday) Lynda screened compost from one of our composted areas and added this to the garden area.  We then had an early "date night" what the kids call our trips to Lowes and Home Depot! To pick up some wood chips (not bark) and some fencing supplies to keep the dogs and other critters out of the garden.  More pictures to follow after we have time to work on the project garden later this week.

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