Saturday, October 29, 2011

Growing our Garden

We have been learning some great things lately.  I can't imagine spending my evenings watching TV when there are so many other things that can be watched to grow in knowledge of things that really matter.  Anyways, one evening our family sat and watched a great documentary on gardening by.  Check out the video at Back to Eden Film to see what you can do to make your garden soil rich in nutrients and your produce filled with nutrients as well.  

So, finally after our camping trip and being busy about with other things, we were able to spend some time getting our garden ready for next year. I will try to explain after each picture what the process was, but I do encourage you to watch the video and gain for yourself the knowledge that you can attain about this new concept of gardening. 

 The first step is to lay newspaper down over top of the area where you want you put your garden.  We increased our vegetable garden area to take up our wild flower area.  We moved our flowers to a new location in hopes of growing flowers to sell for bouquets next summer.  We'll see if that happens.  We have plans, now we'll see when they come to be.  : )

 After the newspaper, you are supposed to put compost and then mulch.  But Jonathon did some reading on what others did and some just left out the compost and did extra mulch, because that's what they had available.  This is exactly our situation. 

 Thank you to friends at church for letting us borrow his dump trailer and to my dad for letting us borrow his truck.  We did have to do some hand shoveling but the truck and trailer sure made the first part easier.  Jonathon hauled whatever mulch he could from a tree cutting service.  They had a skid loader there that they allowed him to use to load it into the trailer.  That was a huge blessing!

 Load after load he brought and dumped.  The children loved playing on the piles!

 The beautiful fall colors are beginning to fade, but they are still pretty.

 Day 2- spreading the mulch.  We were quite sore after the first day of getting the papers down and getting mulch shoveled on to keep the paper in place.  This is a big garden.  I encouraged Jonathon to borrow the neighbor's tractor to finish out the job just to spare his back from more pain.  I certaily didn't want him pushing it and causing back problems again.  Neighbor's tractor was a huge blessing also!

 The children didn't stop enjoying the piles of dirt.

 My little photographer wasn't scared of that tractor.  I liked this picture because she got a small area of where we put straw instead of paper.  I've been cleaning out the cow's barn and just throwing the straw and manure over to the chickens pen.  They scrape through it and clean out all the bugs.  Well, I had read that you could also use straw, so thinking that we wouldn't have enough newspaper, I asked Jonathon if I should go scoop up all that straw.  I had 2 loads of that and got it spread out on the garden and the chickens loved finding all the bugs that had settled in underneath it in their pen.  What a feast of bugs they had!

 Still not tiring of the climbing and fun being had!

 Josiah enjoying the dirt.  A boy's favorite place!

 The final spreading.

And the final project all done!  Ahhh, now that looks great!

So, now we begin figuring out what all we are going to plant since it's a much bigger area.  I'm sure we'll be able to fill it and use or sell what we have.  Remeber those old wheels we were playing with earlier this summer?  Well, we are hoping to turn that into a garden cart to sell produce off of.  It's almost finished.  Just needs a roof and some shelves built in and it will be ready.  But I think that at this point, we'll wait til spring. 

Once it's done, we'll sell what we can, and we will post on our blog here what we have available from week to week.  Hope you will all stop by to enjoy the fruits of our labor from this fall.