I mentioned in my last post a “research” theme in my time spent keeping a baby alive. Gardening! For some full disclosure, I have a garden primarily full of weeds. I wish I had a lovely garden where I spent hours cultivating beauty, bee/insect happy plants and delicious food. Wouldn’t that be lovely? But for me, when sleep deprived, recovering from carrying a baby, birthing a baby and feeding a baby there is so little energy left some days I wonder if I will ever do anything else ever again.
Finally, in time for Spring the little Xanthe started sleeping a little better so we have finally made it into the garden! I EVEN started some seeds! (I’m actually pretty amazed that happened.) In the last few weekends, my chooks, Kylie and I have enjoyed getting out and having a good dig. Quinn has directed and Xanthe has been swapped around to the parent not covered in dirt.
I wanted to approach the garden a little more methodically from this spring. Previously we have managed some basic vegetable growing, but its results have been pretty disappointing, which has led me to decide to give bio intensive methods a try. It involves cultivating and growing awesome soil with clever strategic composting and planting. One “double digs” the bed to help create loose nutritious soil more quickly (which is where we grab a Kylie because I managed maybe one and half beds before conking out). We also use soil tests to figure out what to feed the soil as you go.
This year we have started with the double digging, I have added what I have on hand for nutrients, sheep pellets, compost and vermicast. You can get this other stuff my plant guru’s recommend, but haven’t got around to ordering it yet. We now have a bed or two planted out, a few more ready to go and a few smaller ones ready for us to dig over for the carbon crops to the side of the house.
My main source of information and inspiration is the amazing Kay Baxter at Koanga Institute. I have huge amounts of admiration for what she and her crew are doing and wish I could just start all over again and go live there for a year back when I had no kids! Now I have little ones and we love where we are, so won’t be going anywhere. Her videos on Facebook are GOLD, I have her gardening guide and brought a few handbooks, they are all fantastic. So head on over to visit if you want to see what I’m talking about. She takes live chats (you can watch later) on Facebook too.
This summer I am focusing on just growing in the beds we already have, but by the end of this season I hope to have a better idea of how to completely re-jig the garden, so the vegetables get more sun, its easier to take care of and just grows us food more efficiently than it has done previously.
I also want a jungle/natives garden room out front and flowers to pick for vases around the sunnier side… but thats another phase of the garden overhaul.