Thursday, January 24, 2013

Garden Plan 2013

Before starting this post, I looked back at the Garden Planning 101 post from last March and couldn't help but smirk at the picture of the garden layout I had created for last year's rooftop garden. The actual plan turned out MUCH differently!

Not only did many of the initial plants keel over from high winds, but being the first year of our garden we ended up planting most of our items based on donated plants we received - so I couldn't really choose what we were planting.  This year, I still received a LARGE seed donation from Seed Savers Exchange, but did so before planning out the garden.  So I was able to more realistically estimate spacing and plant capacity, while ensuring that I included the seeds we actually had!

We are still looking for more donations, so please contact me if you are able to support us with a few more seed packets, seed starting soil mix, or planting mix.

I am excited to announce that we will also be expanding our planting area this year.  In addition to the original four planting beds we are also going to be planting in the L-shaped garden bed on the east end of the garden.  Last year, this bed was home to grasses and other water-catching plants; but many did not survive the first year, so we will be using that space to increase our vegetable/herb production.  Also, we will be utilizing the remaining earth box planters which we recycled from Future Green in 2011.  These will be reserved mainly for the Children's Gardens - including a salad garden, square foot mini-garden, pizza garden, and some culture-specific gardens for the World Lunchbox curriculum.

View the full 2013 Garden Plan here

Friday, January 11, 2013

Agricultural Inspiration III

Here are the final words of wisdom from Wendell Berry as written in, "Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer." For the first two installments, see my previous posts: Day 1 and Day 2.

By the excellence of his work the workman is a neighbor. By selling only what he would not despise to own the salesman is a neighbor. By selling what is good his character survives his market.

Let me wake in the night
and hear it raining
and go back to sleep.

Don't worry and fret about the crops. After you have done all you can for them, let them stand in the weather on their own.

If the crop of any one year was all, a man would have to cut his throat every time it hailed.

But the real products of any year's work are the farmer's mind and the cropland itself.

If he raises a good crop at the cost of belittling himself and diminishing the ground, then he has gained nothing. He will have to begin all over again the next spring, worse off than before.

Let him receive the season's increment into his mind. Let him work it into the soil.

The finest growth that farmland can produce is a careful farmer.

Make the human race a better head. Make the world a better piece of ground.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Agricultural Inspiration II

As promised, here are the next set of musings taken from Wendell Berry's "Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer."

Beware of the machinery of longevity. When a man's life is over the decent thing is for him to die. The forest does not withhold itself from death. What it gives up it takes back.

Put your hands into the mire. They will learn the kinship of the shaped and the unshapen, the living and the dead.

When I rise up
let me rise up joyful
like a bird.

When I fall
let me fall without regret
like a leaf.

Sowing the seed,
my hand is one with the earth.

Wanting the seed to grow,
my mind is one with the light.

Hoeing the crop,
my hands are one with the rain.

Having cared for the plants,
my mind is one with the air.

Hungry and trusting,
my mind is one with the earth.

Eating the fruit,
my body is one with the earth.

Let my marriage be brought to the ground.
Let my love for this woman enrich the earth.

What is its happiness but preparing its place?
What is its monument but a rich field?