The last five days were like a landscaping boot camp for me. My parents came into town to help me get the yard and garden headed in the right direction, and thank goodness! Having all the extra help was so relieving.
I'll be stacking the logs on their cut sides to create raised garden beds in my vegetable garden. I read about this method in Edible Landscaping With a Permaculture Twist. This book has been one of the most incredible resources as I plan out what to do with my five acres of property. This is my favorite beginner permaculture book I have read because gives you concrete step-by-step ideas on how to work with your land to deliver specific results. Most of the other permie books I have read are a little too "read your tea leaves" for me. I like actionable steps!
We've experienced a TON of rain over the last week, which helped settle the gravel in the soon-to-be garden. I walked through with a tape measurer and my garden plan to map out he first few raised beds. Below you can see the beginnings of my first raised bed. The logs are all fit snugly together to ensure that not too much soil seeps out when we fill them.
In order to build up healthy soil in these raised beds, I am going to layer organic matter, called "Lasagna Gardening". The first layer will be 2"- 4" of food scraps. The second layer will be a 2 " - 4" of straw and chick poop litter. The third layer will be 2" of composted manure. The fourth layer will be 2" of wood chips. The top layer will be top soil filled up to 2" from the top of the logs.
Eventually these logs will decompose, which is what I want! My hope is that in 2 - 3 years this entire sandy lot will be all quality living soil. See below for the first few stages of lasagna gardening!
This weekend also brought a tough lesson in raising animals. We had to say goodbye to dear Helen. The poor chick wasn't taking in any food or water for 24 hours and became far too weak. I firmly believe in quality of life, and Helen's was not a life that you want for a growing chick. I've had to say goodbye to a lot of animals over the years, but this one was not any easier. One of my favorite books is All Creatures Great and Small, a collection of stories that faces the harsh realities of caring for animals. This weekend brought me one of those glaring harsh realities, one that I know I will have to face over and over again as I continue this little homesteading journey. Helen was loved deeply for her few days.
Thanks for stopping by Green Willow Homestead! From chicken rearing to orchard planting, we've got our hands full and we love sharing what we've learned along the way. Follow along as we strive to live sustainably and turn these five acres from just property to a fully functioning small-scale homestead.
1. Joe Salatin
2. Rachel Carson
3. Wendell Berry
4. Temple Grandin
5. Sustainable Dish
6. Zero Waste Home
7. Allan Savory
Favorite Books of 2018
2. Bringing it to the Table
3. Holistic Management
4. The Small Scale Poultry Flock
5. In The Company of Women