It has been a while since working on at the farm felt like an act of actual farming. Now that we have a fenced area and easy access to water we wanted to get it into production as quickly as possible. L has been sprouting trees from seeds and prunings we have both been collecting and they need a place to grow unmolested by our deer friends. She also has gobs of seeds from previous plantings and the “flowers” in seed form I gave her last Valentine’s Day.
Mirroring the cistern the circle ran into our big compost pile… so a lot of the back fill needed to be done by hand. L needs to ice her back today. The cages at the bottom of the garden got pulled and we are looking forward to our big fruit tree order coming in the next few weeks.
Waterlogged alder goes in the bottom of the shallow trench. This is sort of a instant-mini-hugel bed. They need to be deep enough for small tree tap roots . The wet logs should help keep the soil moist during our dry summers.
We have no shortage of windfall alder at the farm slowly decaying on the forest floor and giving back it’s wealth of nutrients. I adore the smell of rotting alder but sometimes the logs and big branches get in the way, so I push them together in piles to use for just this kind of reuse.
Masonry string using the cistern as the center point made easy circle making. You might see the board with our nail in the center over the cistern. The next outer circle will be an arbor for kiwis with raspberries on the inside. This photo is pointing south, so we will have made a little sun trap. The two center beds with tall asparagus and artichokes will provide shade from the western sun on the eastern bed, the nursery. We may need to add a little shade cloth on our nursery during the summer to help mitigate sunburn. The western bed is slated for hot weather plants like tomatoes and peppers for now. We’ll “observate” to see how things work over the next season and iterate.
When it is all done the path will wander past the cistern and pass under the big kiwi arbor. (Can’t see it? It is in my head still, big as life.) It should look nice and have a pleasant “reveal” as we walk through to the lower gardens.
Liberal sprinklings of chicken manure. This will be slow to combine with the carbon… but should work eventually. The sod we separated goes leaf side down next. More nitrogen and organic matter for our little plants.
While I was out scouting for wood I also ran into this interesting fungus. When I first saw it I thought it was hoar frost. When I sent my pic to Facebook friends one person figured it out… The rare and elusive Ice Flower or Cotton Candy Ice. It was everywhere on the forest floor. This little guy is about 6 inches long. Mycorrhiza are so important to healthy trees so I’m happy to bring a little of our forest into contact our plantings.
Next week, transplanting trees, moving raspberries, and staking our the kiwi arbor. I like having a plan, (thanks to L.), and I like how the space is starting to dictate how we use it. Organically.