Monday, March 23, 2009

Beets for Obama

All day I've been thinking about that South Lawn garden. A little over 1,000 square feet, what a grand thing it will be. But no beets. Obama is not a fan of beets. And I'm sure he has had ample opportunity to taste them in the most fabulous ways in the most fabulous of restaurants.
In honor of that up and coming famous organic garden, I've been potting on little beet seedlings, hoping that it will all work. seedlings and Michelle's vision. I know that people are sitting up and taking notice. Look!! They're turning ground!!!
Imagine what fun the White House kitchen and garden staff are having right now!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Seed starting afternoon

We had a great afternoon at Sue's house starting seeds with CSA workshare friends. We demonstrated the soil blocking technique that Elliot Coleman talks about in his books. Best of all, we started a worm composting system that Sue had researched and learned about from friend Andria Lisle.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thinking about the living soil, reflections on wounding a toad with my BCS tiller

This is turning out to be a promising growing season for us. First, we have a possible 5 interns. One such fellow, Paul Oliver, is visiting almost every week and cranking out some serious dedication to the soil. He's been hauling horse manure from the local stable as well as our stable and lurking in the back alleys of Savannah Tn collecting huge sheets of cardboard that the local furniture stores throw out. If you wonder what this is all's called lasagna gardening or better yet, sheet mulching. It is the organic gardeners reason for living! Building soil fertility and at the same time conserving water and eliminating weeds.
When you till or plow your soil with either tiller or tractor, you destroy the soil structure, killing it's animals and it's ability to sustain growth. Most old timers these days plow, disc and till the soil to a powdery mess. When you use permaculture ideas you should be able to reach down and take a handful of your soil and it should crumble nicely like a rich chocolate brownie, hopefully with a couple of worms falling out. So when you choose a no-till method, your options are to lay biodegradable materials down like newspaper with soy-based ink or brown cardboard and mulch with spoiled hay, wheat straw, wood chips or leaves. Then all you have to do is pop a hole in it with a trowel and sink your little transplant right down in there. Happy plants don't attract mean old pests. Ladybugs maybe!