Thursday, May 27, 2010

Project Summer

Summer is just peeking around the corner here in the snow capped mountains of Utah. It's still a bit chilly - a bit unusual for even Utah this time of year (it actually snowed a little this last Monday, which was a record for late snow fall). But today it is finally in the 70's. And the Earth is starting to really show off her full beauty. I came out this morning to a full array of not just buds but flowers. Beautiful, vibrant flowers!I've been working on a project to get my garden ready this week. It's from the square foot gardening method (developed by a native Utahn and something they are starting to implement in the far reaches of Africa to get the most out of food crop abundance there as well).You just make as many 4x4' boxes of wood as your garden area can handle, then lay down weed preventer to cover the ground under the box and mix in 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost or manure to feed the plants. You can find it all in your garden store...or if you can go to the city dump they should have a compost section where you can get stuff fairly cheap. Mine was only $30 for a whole trailer worth of ground up and composted materials (people's old christmas trees, etc).My parents, roommates and friends all helped me empty about 2/3 of the composted dirt that was in this truck by the time I took this pic. It was a lot of work to build boxes, empty compost, mix ingredients and plant everything, but if you do it right the first time you have soooo much less work to do in the years to come (less weeds, needs less water, greater abundance of food, etc).I still have to plan out more than half the boxes (and I'm building a garden fence around the perimeter so the chickens won't eat my stuff - they and the bunny are in jail till that gets built in a week or so).
Oh, and bunny dug this great big hole to China in my backyard. That's the other reason she's on lockdown at the moment.
So far I've planted:

Square 1
  • Red bell peppers
  • Green bell peppers
  • Yellow bell peppers
  • Armenian cucumber
  • Artichoke
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Flaming red lettuce
  • Green loose leaf lettuce
  • Brandywine tomatoes
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Peas

Square 2 (the herb section, unfinished)
Rosemary
Dill
Parsely
Purple sage
Chives
Cilantro
Lavendar

Square 3 (more veggies, unfinished)
Brussel sprouts
Beans

I have four more squares in there to decide what to plant in them. I want one for just strawberries to spread out in, one at least for growing cutting flowers for bouquet arrangements and one for root vegetables like carrots, potatoes and onions. That one I need to make deeper than the rest.

But even with what I have right now, plus the eggs from the chicks and the apple and plum trees, I won't need to go grocery shopping all summer long :)

1 comment:

abby said...

I envy your sustainable life style.