We’ve been working on our new garden beds for the last several months. Kirk built these three raised beds using barn wood- these are floor joists from the second story. Though the boards have some damage, they are so thick, they should still last another 100 years!
We considered having topsoil brought in, but ended up using what we have here. Kirk scooped up soil outside of the barn, which was mostly made of old barn waste (manure + whatever else was in there years ago). Later I mixed in sand, which we also have in streaks throughout our property. Lastly, I added most of the layers of straw bedding from the ducks’ A-frame shelter, which had been composting since last fall.
I rototilled all this in. A lot of rocks ended up coming with the barn waste soil, as I think that manure was on top of what was originally a rock driveway; and in some places, we dug a bit too deep when scooping it up. So, we hand-picked as many rocks as we could. It looks pretty good, I think it will perform well.
We’ve planted peas, beans, artichokes, carrots, parsley, cilantro, brussel sprouts , green onions and lettuce. Many things are sprouting already. We plan to add some potatoes too. Kirk has also been making some terrace gardens on the hillside, and those contain tomatoes and strawberries.
We also plan on putting in a corn patch on top of the pen where the sheep stayed during flooding and lambing. We need to rototill that first! We’re keeping an eye on our neighbors, the Stockers, to see when they plant their corn. Ed Stocker, aka the “Corn King,” takes the temperature of the soil before choosing when to plant. He says that if you plant before it’s warm enough, the corn seeds just rot in the ground. They haven’t even plowed their corn field yet, so they must think it’s a ways off before it’ll be warm enough!