Sunday, February 11, 2007

Eating Sustainably

We are getting the materials together for our garden, looking forward to the end of cold weather. The last spring frost will be close to the end of May, but we will have our gardening beds prepared before then. We start with cedar 4" x 4" timber, in 4' x 4' squares. We stack and screw these together 3 layers high, giving us a 12" deep bed. We then fill these beds with our special organic growing soil, which is as follows:

  • 1 bag of coarse vermiculite (4 cu. ft.)
  • 10 pails (2.5 gallon each) of sand (3 cu. ft.)
  • 2 pails of wood ashes and charcoal
  • 30 pails of compost (9 cu. ft.)

This 16+ cu. ft. mixture is mixed well, and will fill one bed. We then plant in the Square Foot gardening method per Mel Bartholomew. One bed feeds one person for a full season. Our well aged compost is a mix of kitchen and yard/garden waste, plus bedding from the animal pens, from the previous year. We keep an indoor worm bed in winter to process kitchen compost, and dump that container into the main compost bin after spring warmup. Next year when we have the new rabbit pens installed, the worm bin will go under the rabbit cages.

Additional reading:

Square Foot Gardening
The Humanure Handbook
Worms Eat My Garbage