The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Preparing Garden Beds

Raking no-till beds to prepare for plantingAs Mark puts it, once the gardening year really gets going, it's like riding a full speed locomotive --- good luck slowing it down or changing course.  I can already feel the gardening locomotive picking up steam, with 32 beds slated to be planted in March.  (We plan to plant about 125 beds of annual veggies this year, with the vast majority going in on our frost-free date in May.)

This week, Mark and I went over to our neighbor's house to collect some horse manure.  We sell the neighbors veggies, and they throw their peels and tops into a pile with their horse manure, which we then collect in late winter to put back into the garden.  Thursday I raked 11 beds, removing the weeds and working the half-composted manure and kitchen scraps into the soil.  It would be better to let the manure compost all the way, but at the rate of 2 gallons per 20 square feet or so, the worms make short work of any organic matter.  (I'd love to double up on my manure application, but those horses will only give me so much!)  Read more....



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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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