Fall garden work

I’ve not been able to get into the garden the way I want these last few weeks. Instead of having a weekend to work on stuff, I’ve been picking away at the fall garden chores in 30-minute nibbles, often before work

I’m finally seeing the progress I’ve made in these little bursts of work. All the dead summer plants have been pulled out and composted. Those beds have been manured. The hardware – growing cages and the like – has been put away. Much of the remaining pile of plain dirt I bought over the summer has been distributed out. The new 25’x25′ garden has been sheet mulched. It could stand another layer of straw and another layer of manure, but it’ll be ok if I don’t do anything else with it this fall/winter. The stakes for the greenhouse have been set so Rich (my neighbor who can do anything and has all the heavy equipment and raw materials I need to garden) can plow me a level base this weekend (and I’ve called him and set that up, finally).

A big part of last night was realizing that a lot of the garden could be “done,” and that I can let myself off the hook for a lot of the things that “could be done.” I just decided not to do them this fall. Gathering coffee grounds for compost? A great idea, and I’ll do it someday…but I don’t have to do it right now. Another layer on the new bed? Would be nice, but 18″ of straw and horse manure is probably enough to be getting on with. Terra preta in the back? Well, that charcoal’s not spoiling any time soon…it can wait. That was a good feeling. What with all the consulting, and work, and blogging for Eat Local Eat Natural (which is moving into chef interviews, and so a lot more scheduling needed), I’m feeling really crunched for time.

All that’s really left is to move the last of that pile of dirt into other beds and spreading the last lump of manure onto that spot, so it’s got some fertility and not just dirt. Once the greenhouse is up, I’ll have Rich bring another load of manure – some for inside, and some for the back strip. Easy. Hmmm, and I should get some seeds started for transplanting to the greenhouse…and build some hanging planters…but that’s pretty quick, and fun, too.



  1. Melissa said,

    October 16, 2008 at 8:01 am

    For the Coffee Grounds, you could grab some at any Starbucks.

    I need to find a source of manure. Anyone have recommendations in the Westlandish area?

  2. Emily said,

    October 16, 2008 at 10:51 am


    Do you have access to a truck or trailer? I know a couple places offhand that give it away and will even load your truck for you, but they’re all in the Scio Twp/Dexter area.

  3. Bryan said,

    October 16, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I imagine you could take a case of beer to a nearby dairy farm, etc and they’d be happy to ablige.

  4. Melissa said,

    October 17, 2008 at 7:33 am

    I will have a truck this weekend and otherwise, have trash cans etc. Could you email me offline?

  5. Melinda said,

    October 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I hear you completely! It is tough to balance work in our own gardens and communities with working to spread the word and make enough money to survive…

    Our garden has suffered for my other work, and for the construction going on around it (my parents are renovating their house). : ( But, I have high hopes for the spring, and I’m enjoying finding local food sources here. So, it all works out!

    It sounds like your garden has beautiful soil!

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