Sunday, 11 March 2012

Spring Weather!

Groundbreaking for our kitchen garden.

The first tentative days of spring are upon us, and we're moving as fast as we can to get our garden established. The last frost date is still some ways away, but before then we have a 25x35 ft patch of sod to pull up, and soil to mix. Our soil is heavy clay, so we will likely need to add a bit of sand and some manure and compost to make a more veggie friendly garden. A rototiller would make this work significantly easier, but we haven't got one of those, so we'll have to work with what we do have.

We staked out the perimeter of our garden, strung guide strings around it and began cutting the sod. There's still a lot left to cut, but we've begun.

Run Free!

The chickens are not yet laying, as they reached maturity a bit late in the season last year. Today we let them free-range for the first time since winter fell, for some sunlight and a meal of early bugs. Mr. Tailfeathers there was getting mighty frisky, so with any luck, spring will soon catch up to the hens as well. It's time to order spring chicks, and we'll be doing that next week.

Greenhouse Frame

We had hoped to build our greenhouse today, but the wind was a bit too blustery and the baby a bit too needy to stretch the plastic over the frame. The frame is a salvaged swing set, and the shelf is a rolling garage door panel (also salvaged) The top portion will be covered with heavy greenhouse plastic, and the space under the shelf will house our composters (built from reclaimed tires - not pictured). The frame faces south, and occupies the northwest corner of our garden. 

All in all, a productive and encouraging day and a welcome respite from the winter.

All work and no play...

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Time to Gear up for Spring!

It's been a long time since we've posted. Our winter has been unbelievably unlucky, and the bad luck has kept us hopping from one crisis to the next without much time for blogging.

Fortunately, things seem to be starting to look up and we're excitedly planning our garden for this year. We're new to all of this, so we're frantically tapping all the resources we can. This plan was drawn using the free trial version of Mother Earth News' garden planner with information from many, many resources. The quick reference guides we used extensively were The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It, by John Seymour, and this chart on Wikipedia.
Plants in this garden plan were arranged, to the best of our knowledge, to benefit one another, and help keep pests under control. It is very much a work in progress, however, and constructive criticism and advice is more than welcome!

Without further adieu: please check out garden plan v. 1.