Friday, August 14, 2009

it's a dirty job but someone has got to do it

the pack mule days continue as i haul compost all over the yard.

the raised vegetable beds and fruity-veggie planting areas on the east and south side of the house have their fair share of compost. the raised veggie beds are soon to be teaming with micro-nutrients and beneficial organic communities all the better for the veggies and seeds soon to go in for the fall. the planting areas along the east side of the house serve as growing spaces for citrus trees, papaya trees, comfrey, an apricot tree and a pear tree as well as various beneficial bug attracting flowering beauties and colorful chards.

the beds on the south side of the house are those new beds i put in and lined with brick this past spring. they are now home to black-eyed peas, hops, pole beans and the last cucumber vines standing. the hops have been growing slow and steady - compared to brother's vines, they ain't nothing - but we'll see how things turn as the temperatures cool a bit.

i have got the perimeter of one of the two live oaks covered and now i'm working on the area around the second live oak. i am half way there. this is the area where i have been practicing varied permaculture techniques with sheet composting since spring. i'm hoping this space will soon serve as another fine planting area. it's a spot that during winter receives a great deal of sunlight and in the summer dappled bits. i'm thinking it will be a nice spot for wild flowers and possibly various lettuces, kales and chards. in the past this very same spot around the oak has been home to cracked hard clay where even the toughest weeds would not grow - we'll see if my efforts turn this clay into friable happy soil.

i'm thinking i may move a bee hive into this area next spring in the case i expand to three hives. it's a good area, sheltered from the tree with south east expose and far enough away from the neighbors and street not to bother folk. and if the wild flowers and such prove positive and very good space for thriving pollinators.

then it's off to the back yard orchard area where i'll dump compost around each of the fruit trees. i'm thinking i may dump a load or two in the chicken run to up the soil's microbial activity and give the girls something extra fun to do - good for scratching.

i am taking care of where i dump the compost freshly dug from the inner part of the pile as it is super hot in temperature. so hot it burns my hands. this stuff is live. i've had the garden fork working as my trusty assistant each day. this is the good stuff. not a bad thing. the compost will need a week or two resting in each area before i plant in. the heat of the stuff may prove too hot for germination and/or it will simply compost the seeds planted making the planting efforts moot.

work and wait and work and wait and work and wait - so it goes in the garden.

time to get back out there. it's a dirty job - but the kind of dirty job i like - this dirty job improves the soil by leaps and bounds and the payoff - good eats, happy creatures and healthy soil the good ole' natural way. this time no socks - just shoes - as you can see above, they get dirty quick.

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