Things have been busy around the homestead! As I mentioned earlier, we are putting in permaculture beds as yet another attempt at a successful garden. We are digging (by hand, I might add!) a rather large raised bed. We will dig the bed about 2 feet deep (and 4 feet wide), fill it with bulky organic material (branches, shrubs, downed trees) and mound it up to about 5 feet tall with a mixture of compost, sod and soil. Because our soil is compact clay, we are having 12 yards of screened loam brought in so we can top our beds with good, humus(y) soil.
|Digging the bed|
|One large bed that contours to the north|
|The sun trap (before paint)|
Another addition to the homestead are two fruit trees. We have tried fruit trees numerous times in the past, to little avail. This time, after much research and reflection, we decided to plant the trees on a swale, just above a ditch. We dug a large hole out of the side of the hill and filled it with permaculture goodness. After filling the hole with branches and shrubs, we turned the sod upside down in the hole and filled the hole with compost and amended soil before planting the trees. After putting the trees in the ground, we circled them with rock, both to provide heat (in the form of solar gain) and to provide extra stabilization to the roots to compensate for the wind. We are very hopeful that these trees survive our harsh climate and poor soil. The trees overwintered, outside, at a nursery about 40 minutes south of our home, so we think that with the proper care they may have a fighting chance!
|Preparing for the fruit trees|
|Adding organic material|
|Sod, upturned in the bed|
|Adding soil and other amendments|
|Newly planted apple tree|
|More raised (culvert) beds|