Friday, March 26, 2010
Like many of you I can't wait to sink my fingers into some dirt. I daydream about what I want to plant and what stage the plants will be in what month. I can visualize all the green sprouting forth from a little hard work, giving my family back in abundance.
At the moment one of my compost piles is in the center of my straw bale garden. Just waiting to be put to good use on this years crops. Over the long hard winter I filled it with all my vegetables and fruit scraps from my kitchen. Along with coffee grounds and hair from a few kids haircuts. I didn't put urine on it because well.......seemed kinda weird, but I'm sure my husband had the occasional late night stroll and may have contributed. Also when I've mucked out the rabbit pen his dropping have made their way to the compost heap. Currently I have two compost areas...One is as I said in the center of my straw bale garden border and the other is a movable huge storage tub that I put holes in so the rain etc..can drain. I use the storage container one for most of the rabbit droppings, lawn scraps and dead plants etc. I ended up with two compost areas because the straw bale garden border is near to the back door so the ease and convenience of just opening the door in the dead of winter and tossing the banana peals was to alluring to pass up. The problem is that I will have to shovel and rake it out before I start my no dig straw bale gardening again this year. Also I am new to composting and I didn't realize that seeds from say green peppers and cantaloupe etc..are not supposed to be put into compost because you might get unwanted plants. But I say what could be unwanted about a organic plant? but then again if your into the LOOKS of your garden and you ahve a row of say lettuce and a pepper plant appears in the row or you have beautiful zucchinis growing and a stay cantaloupe vine appears OH MY! not really!!! I might end up using that compost heap in it's own little area and see what comes from it. Maybe that would be a neat experiment to see what plants find their way to life from just a compost heap.
Anyhow...the last few days that's it's been sunny and kinda warm I went out to turn the heaps and WOW what beautiful black soil I found! I never thought I would get excited over dirt but this made my heart go pitter patter. I couldn't believe that bush branches, and fruit and veggies and rabbit Poo, hair, urine, coffee grounds would turn into something so rich and nutritious and repeat the cycle by feeding my upcoming plants.
When I first decided to do this straw bale garden it was on a fluke. Maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn't..and I didn't really care that much. I mean I remember planting a few sparse gardens over the years and they did great without much involvement once I planted them. Well something changed for me last year and will forever have changed me in the upcoming years. I found I really enjoyed the experience of gardening from the starting process through the composting "ending" stage and how it meant so much more than just getting something from it. It's for me about giving back to the earth too. About doing what the GOOD LORD meant for you to do. To tend something with your time and energy and respect it. Respect the fact that you can FEED your family, and you can replenish the earth as well.
I don't know. Basic's is what I'm trying to get back to. The simplicity in the world that is often faded out with sounds of electronics or a busy schedule. I want to sit down at the table and eat what I've grown with my children and husband. I want us to give thanks for having the ability of this great earth to provide year after year a harvest.
If you read my blog at all you might remember the post on chewys little chewers. Yes, I had a caterpillar problem and maybe slugs..Well I tried and it worked somewhat; using garlic water and dish soap. This year though I decided to add two live additions to eradicate the pest problems of the past. Our new additions are a pair of cute little ducks named Nitzy and Nori...the five year old name them!
Once your plants are established and of reasonable size you can have your chickens or ducks troll the area for any little buggy delights. I researched them and many people said that they will be hearty guards of your pottage as long as they don't take a liking to eating them. To prevent this you have to have your plants at a hardy size that can resist a nibble or two and still thrive. Also they will eat the grass and weeds! Well I am going to give it a try. Another plus is that they can share a larger pen with our mini-Rex rabbit. I might try it when they are older and see if they get along. In the meantime they are living in a storage tub, with a heat lamp in the bathroom and take the occasional dip in the tub.
PS: For less than twenty dollars I got two ducks and a massive bag of feed. Very economical!!! pestbuster!!!