Thursday, November 26, 2009

Farewell to Sandi !

Our time with Soil for Life has come to an end ... for now. We are so thankful to Sandi and Michael for all they have taught us. One of our home gardeners hands Sandi a gift basket as we say goodbye.
Here we are ... the Woodwind Circle Home Gardeners, eagerly waiting for the big food garden on the Circle to begin. Next week we will be meeting as the Food Garden Steering Committee, to begin planning.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Raised veggy bed

Ready to plant. A raised bed is convenient if you have bad soil (or no soil!)
Finally add top soil.

Add a layer of straw and manure. Repeat the wet and straw layers.

Add a layer of wet, organic kitchen waste like peels and rotting vegetables, tea bags and coffee grinds.

Start your raised bed with a thick layer of cardboard and / or newspaper. Cover with dry, brown materials like sticks, grass cuttings, leaves, straw, egg shells, egg boxes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Natural fertilizers and pest control

We now know that there are many, cheap ways to care for our plants. Fertilizer Tea can be made by soaking manure (horse/cow) in a bucket of water (use an old orange bag) for 2 weeks. To use it, we need to dilute it first (quarter bucket of tea, three-quarters water) and then water our plants with it. The same method can be used with compost, seaweed and comfrey leaves ... even weeds!

Pesticides are fun to make! Try making this garlic spray: lots of garlic (about 10 cloves, slightly crushed), a quarter cup of grated sunlight (or other pure) soap and steep in 1 liter of boiling water. When cool, spray on the leaves to keep insects away. You can also add some chillies and / or onions to this mixture.

Egg shells make a rough ride for greedy snails and are sure to discourage them from getting near your plants if you crush them and spread them around the base of the plant.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

A pumpkin patch is so easy to make! One spade depth into the soil, we begin with layers of dry materials, compost, straw/manure and earth, shaping the patch into a nice rectangle which stands about 10cm above the ground when finished. Into the sides of this patch are pushed a few pumpkin seeds, which will eventually trail all over the garden if they're not restrained! The patch is finally covered in sawdust and watered. The top of the patch can be used as a seed bed too!

Vermi Tea anyone?

Earthworms are our best gardeners, we are told. They work 24/7 aerating the soil, providing us with vermi-compost and vermi-tea... not to drink of course, but to give our plants an extra-nourishing drink! Michael from Soil for Life shows us how to set up a wormery, or worm farm. Did you know they have a special diet too? Oh yes! they can't eat any strong tasting things like garlic, onions or acidy foods like citrus fruits.

Our first produce!!!

We are all excited that the radishes are ready to be harvested!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Farewell to Sarah!

We say 'so long' to Sarah, who has become our dear friend during her time here with us. She flies back to Denmark on 6th November, but promises to be back in 2010! The children of the Circle gather around her to say good-bye. We will always be grateful for her enthusiasm and willingness to help us at Woodwind Circle!