Gardening is something I have never done on a scale that amounted to much. Growing up in the city, I believed that fruits and vegetables grew in the supermarket. I wonder how many kids today believe the same thing.
However, as we have transitioned to a fully plant-based diet, having access to a ready supply of nutritious options is going to be huge for us. We have limited organic options near us so growing our own is critical.
So this weekend, we finally committed to getting it going. We remembered seeing a documentary last fall about a guy named Paul Gautschi in Sequim Washington who is the envy of all of the gardeners around him. He had limited water from his well so he had to get creative with his gardening plans. Despite this limited resource, he grows the most amazing produce. It's all organic - and it's the most abundant and beautiful yield I've ever seen. You can watch the documentary, Back to Eden, free online and I highly recommend it. Just scroll to the bottom of the page at the link I provided where the authors provide free streaming.
The basic premise is that a good garden is all about 'the covering'. Paul's recommendation is to watch creation and follow it. By doing so, he suggests leaving the ground alone and just add to it, in the same way nature does. He suggests a good organic compost followed by wood chips. The wood chips are to be comprised of about 90% needles, branches and leaves that have gone through a chipper or tub grinder. He is not suggesting that you use bark, shavings or sawdust. Given that actual wood chips are an organic material, you can be assured that they have not been dyed, treated or processed with additives or chemicals. He recommends finding a tree trimmer in your neighborhood and offering a dumping site in your yard.
We plan to implement his practices and we are hoping for the best. The fence posts are up and the fencing should be completed by this weekend. At that point, we plan to pick up our compost layer (organic chicken manure mixed with straw) and covering (wood chips). I am sourcing the wood chips now so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good supply.
We are hoping to be planting by the end of the month. Again, given our location, timing will vary on what can be planted when but it will be fun to experiment and see what we can do. I've got rhubarb coming out my ears without intervention so if all else fails, we know we can become rhubarbites!
I'll take pictures along the way so you can see our progress and learn from our mistakes. In the meantime, we are open to ideas, suggestions and hearing your gardening stories. Let us hear from you!