Today’s post topic was inspired by one of my fabulous readers. She has been following The 104 Homestead for a bit and trying out some of our ideas. Recently she wrote to ask me if I’d considered Hugelkultur. I had no clue how to even pronounce it (it’s German), let alone what it was, so I set about reading. I love a good project.
When you eat from your garden, you are eating what you put in your soil. Keep pesticides and synthetics away from your garden. Try these organic options instead. Most are as effective (if not more so) than their commercial counterparts.
Growing produce is very similar to baking a cake. Fresh, high-quality seeds are like fresh, high-quality ingredients. But much like a sub-par oven can ruin a cake, sub-par soil can ruin your crop quality and harvest quantity. Improve your soil and you will improve your growing experience. So where do you start? Test your soil. Then it’s time to start repairing with these organic amendments.
Black gold. It’s essential in the garden. Most choose the bovine poo, but there are many options to choose from, each with their own unique benefits. The question is, are you managing your manure in a safe way? Are your foods still safe to eat? With scares on TV about foods being sold that were contaminated with things like E. Coli. many people are now wondering if manures are safe to use in the garden. Less and less commercial farms are using manure in their operations. Should that be telling us something?
Much like peas and carrots, chickens and gardens belong together (though maybe not occupying the same space). Chickens want to work. They want to dig and search and scratch. Why not put natural behavior to work for you? Discover why you should move your compost bin into your chicken run and how to safely compost with chickens.
There are a few things you should be doing now to have a fabulous garden next year. Here is a handy checklist of all the things you should be doing to prepare your vegetable gardens for spring. The more you do in the dead of autumn, the less you need to do during the busy spring months.
Does your soil turn rock hard and crack in the summer heat? Or perhaps it is composed of hard clods of dirt that are almost impossible to break, or is a sandy dust that easily blows away? If so, you probably have a case of damaged soil. You are not alone in this problem, as a large majority of North America’s soil has been damaged by poor agriculture and construction practices. Take heart though, because repairing damaged soil is not incredibly hard or expensive to accomplish.