Since my last post over a year ago, my efforts and results have been quite pathetic. At the end of last year, in a 20 x 40 ft garden, I believe that all I had to show was an eggplant and a half-grown green pepper. My efforts this year have not gone far this year either, but I still have time.
According to the chart for planting, I can still plant some beets, beans, summer squash and cucumbers. In the first week of August, I can plant peas, radishes, spinach, and turnips. All of these are relatively easier to grow, but that could still be easier said than done.
So far, I have planted some potatoes and onions, and they seem to be doing okay, but I won’t really know until I pull them out of the soil.
My desire was to, as I had in the years previous, sheet mulch the whole garden. There is a leaf pile a bit far from the garden, but close enough that I could wheelbarrow it over. The idea of sheet mulching is to make things easier, but given the size of my garden, and the fact that I did not have material dumped at the edge like I had previous years, it quickly became impractical. Just thinking:
*Ideally, sheet mulching is 18-24 inches
*My garden: 20 x 40ft = 800 sq ft
*Volume required: 800 sq ft * 1.5-2 ft = 1200-1600 ft^3
*Wheel barrow load: 2-3 ft^3
*1200-1600 ft^3 / 2-3 ft^3 = 400-800 loads
*5 minutes per load * 400-800 loads = 30-70 hrs of work
What was I thinking!?
I suppose I’ll keep mulching a few plants, especially the potatoes, but I need to just do some old fashioned digging and planting.
I’ve started some summer squash seedlings, and would like to also start some cucumber seedlings as well. I would also like to plant a couple rows of beans and see where that goes.
What I really need to focus on is gearing up for the first week of August, because I am not sure whether the other plants will fail or not. This is my last chance to do things diligently.
But I need help. I have worked on a farm, but I still don’t have the experience of growing things start to finish. If I can have some people who can help me along, that will be great. I have some ideas, and I’ll see how they pan out.
While this does not exactly fit with the philosophies I want to practice, it will still go a long way. After all, I can only do what I can right now. My goal of having a garden that nearly grows itself with minimal effort is far off. For that I really need my own land. Right now I have to use the garden I’ve got. Though it’s too remote, and the City tills the soil against my will, undermining some of the philosophies I want to test, the garden does have a lot of space, with a lot of sunlight and water, in a relatively chemical-free area. This will be a start in feeding my desire to be relatively self-sufficient with food, by giving me basic experience in growing my food.
I also need to see what I can forage. I will look into that and write about it shortly. As for my eating habits… I cook occasionally, and that always feels great. But I still need to experiment with eating simply, and raw. I should also cook most of my lunches. In the long run, I want to move out, or at least have the necessary independence to live the lifestyle I want. Fortunately, what I can do in the meantime is quite substantial.