Hey and welcome to Day 2 of the Food Security Series! Are you ready to get growing? Today, let’s keep the ball rolling by prepping our area and gathering necessities.
Gardening Heroes – Food Security
One of the heroes of gardening success, and one of my favorite parts, is the mighty seed. We order most of our seeds, but we do check the seed rack at box stores.
We shy away from seed companies owned by the makers of a famous chemical weed killer, which shall remain nameless. Personally, we prefer family owned and those that are not mainstream. Why? Because there’s just something patriotic about supporting small business.
When we first moved to the farm, I was eager to get planting. It didn’t matter that it was almost June! Picture a typical grassy yard and that’s what we had. We used shovels to dig a shallow trench thru the grass, flipped it over and planted. This wasn’t the ideal gardening situation I’ll admit, but that little garden did pretty good.
I said all that to drive home this…You don’t need heavy equipment to garden. A few handheld Garden Tools and you’re set!
Nupla RP2L-E 2 Ergo Power Round Point Shovel, Hollow Back Blade, Ergo Grip, 16 Gauge, 48″ Long Handle
Show time in the garden calls for one of the great garden teachers, Ruth Stout. If you’ve read our blog, you know we’re huge fans. And here’s why, you set up a gardening system with hay mulch which improves your garden year after year. The kicker for us was finding hay that hadn’t been sprayed or fertilized. It took us months to locate a source.
My sister tried the Ruth Stout method last summer and loved it. She said it was the best garden she’s ever had! This really activates the soil life. Pull back the hay to the soil surface and you will see earthworms on top of the ground!
So, let’s get busy with the hay! Layer around 3 feet of hay all over your garden spot. Let it sit until planting time. Rake back the hay to sow seeds or transplant starter plants. Make sure hay surrounds each plant during the growing season. The mulch helps keep the ground around the plant a happy temperature, holds in moisture (less watering), and feeds the soil as it decomposes.
There are other materials you can use for mulch. I’ve seen some in the South use pine needles, you can use leaves or wood chips. We’ve tried leaves and wood chips with unsettling results. Leaves took too long to decompose.
Wood chips need to be aged before applying to the garden. The chips will draw nutrients out of the soil as they decompose, and eventually release them back into the soil. We, like many of you probably, don’t have time to wait on slow decomposing mulch. We need to grow now! On the other hand, some people have great success with wood chips.
Let us know what you’re mulching your garden with this year!
To get more growing content check out our more Free Food Security Series below! Share this with others and help spread the word that anyone can grow food.
Check out Day 3 of Food Security Series!
Shaun & Alisha