planning for the 2014 season

January 14, 2014 DALE Uncategorized

 

Winter rains pound our caravan as we plan for the 2014 growing season, using the lessons taken from 2013.

Our “scientific” approach, to learning what pests and problems we shall have to farm with, was to grow a full garden in the natural environment of Elphinstone Mountain.

winter blog charts We created 29 (4’ x 12’) beds with 12” of top soil to run our experiment.

  •  Applied 600g of lime to each plot to begin balancing the PH.
  • Spread 4” of certified organic. compost from Salish soils.
  • mixed in a large amount of organic fertilizer.
  • Planted a large selection of certified organic seeds.
  • Weeded (a lot).
  • Discovered many pests eating leaves, grey mold and late season blight.

These lessons mean We shall have to be pro-active with weekly sprays of acceptable products to combat pests and molds for certified organic gardening. Choosing cultivators that have natural resistance to the challenges of this land will also help create a lush garden.

July hot weather, without rain, complete with regional district watering restrictions, made the 2013 summer growing period slower than necessary. It bolted most of the uncovered field lettuce and gave our winter seedlings a slow start.

The erosion from spring and fall rains taught us how we must terrace our land to conserve water and nutrients.

Using this base line information, we have the information and knowledge about RR#7 Farmstead to begin creating our sustainable market garden. The plants that thrived will be our focus for 2014.

One successful story is soybean; known for fixing nitrogen plus having deep roots able to bring nutrients to the surface. We kept seeds from both BJack jet and Hakucho and by using consecutive weekly plantings hope to have edamame for sale all summer. The soybeans and a hulless pumpkin are our first seeds for public sale.newyears morning

Using a bio-intensive approach, because of land size, we have been tracking our gardening practice as we attempt to improve our soil until it become sustainable.   Our plan is to have RR#7 Farmstead a certified organic farm within a few years.

 


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