After quite a bit of talking about it, and last year’s false start, a Home Garden is suddenly in place in one corner of the field. The idea is to have a small demonstration veggie plot, to encourage people to grow at least some of their own stuff in whatever space they have. Why? Well, it seemed like fun. Located by the farm stand, it would be an extra little attraction to farm visitors… Just a thing worth doing… Anyhow, last year, I staked out a section, but didn’t get too far in planting anything in it, a couple of tomatoes and a few potatoes… This time around, I’d been chatting with Shannon, who has a lot of permaculture-based ideas, from reading and interning, so I asked her to plan it out. The final design was done really quickly earlier today (it was a busy month…), it’s more a freeform, jumbled garden with a permaculture flavor: all annual veggies, no rows, lots of interplanting, a herb spiral on a mound (a mix of annuals and perennials), an anti-pest barrier of alliums (onions and garlic chives) around the perimeter, and three little keyholes, which are dugouts that you can kneel in to garden within reach around you, as an alternative to working from paths. At about 10’x20′ (3x6m), it’s fairly small. One cool thing: the home garden layout is entirely unlike the rest of the market garden, which is all flat, linear and grid-like, lots of rectangles and squares and straight paths. Now, we have a deliberate elevation and CIRCLES! To make the mound, I dumped a few buckets of compost using the Kubota compact tractor, and raked it into shape. We then added stones for the spiral, and Erin and Mike dropped in and helped plant it out, using odds and ends of transplants and also seed, with Shannon directing. The rough plan is to have Lynn and Raechelle develop and tend it over the season (Shannon leaves tomorrow after a solid month in the field).
At just over two acres of veggies, the tiny farm is really small by most any modern agricultural standard, and starting up a MUCH TINIER space is its own private…thrill for me. It’s so…opposite! ;) It’ll be interesting to see how Home Garden 1 turns out as the season rolls along! Any way you can, getting your hands dirty is what it’s all about… (Guest photos: top by Shannon, below by Erin.)