Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tilled, Sowed, & Ready for Garlic!

Heidi-ho Everyone,

Much had happened in the last month-ish as your dear blogger is gifted in the fine art of procrastination. The dear leaders of the Garden project both execute things very quickly and have been giving yours truly increasingly urgent hints to get this post up. Alas, they don't have the login information so they had to wait until the motivation found me... But here it is, finally.

More than a month ago we had a big load of compost delivered from Dan Bair at Peck Farm out in East Montpelier. They have an awesome corn maze, hay rides, and the best Honey Crisp apples in the world. Dan also has a lot of compost that he was willing to share with us.

There's Dan in his neighbor's bucket loader (at least I think that's what they're called... scoopy thingy works too).

Thorsten's neighbor, Justin, who owns a gigantic dump truck, offered to transport the compost from Peck farm to the Garden for us. Which was wicked nice of him! Here are some pics of compost loading.

We took ALL of Dan's compost (THANK YOU DAN) and it filled that gigantic truck about halfway. 

Here's Dan, Justin, & Roger discussing the compost haul.

Then it was off to the Garden to dump it...

in one long strip down the middle of the garden.

Here's Justin in his dump truck.

On September 23rd we tilled all of that wonderful compost in and then sowed some "green fertilizer" to add some nitrogen and nutrients to the soil. They've sprouted and are growing nicely despite being snacked on by turkeys.

Stay tuned for a post about how we need poop and garlic for the Garden and possibly some pic of the tilling in action!

Until next time...

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Post Zero - Let the Garden Begin!!!

This is post zero for The Garden at Crossroads, which is like "patient zero" except with veggies instead of zombies.

First, a little background...

Roger and Heather Boissonneau from Barre Evangelical Free Church have been wanting to do a community garden that would feed the Christian community in the Barre-area, bring the Bible-based churches together, and teach gardening and preserving skills to any who wanted to learn them. They were trying to figure out how they might find some land to do this, and there was no obvious answer... until Heather was checking out the AMAZING VBS decorations at Crossroads and noticed that they had a surplus of lawn. She mentioned The Garden idea to Pastor Thorsten, who loved it, and twenty-four hours later we had the approval of the elders at Crossroads!

Within forty-eight hours we had a 24' x 28' greenhouse, quail poop (yes, that's literal, not a weird euphemism), and a tractor offered for our use. And now we have compost, seeds, plants, more manure, a dump truck, and a person who is ready to till! This is before we have put out the official word! When things come together so quickly and easily for a project that is devoted to serving God and helping His people, Pastor Neal from BEFC says, that this is where we see God doing what only God can. It's encouraging!

SO, the first thing that we HAD to do was make a logo:

Actually, we didn't have to do that first, it's just that Heather is a graphic designer so she wanted to make The Garden look all official-like. There was no avoiding the logo being close to the top of the list, it was inevitable.

What everyone else thought we needed to do first was to collect some information, make some decisions, source some materials, and get some people on board. Fortunately, those are the people running the project, so the real "first things list" got done.

Now, we could stake out the bed, which we did on Saturday, September 1st.

Here is the lawn-surplus waiting to become The Garden at Crossroads. Roger and Heather are fans of Christian farmer and author, Joel Salatin, who asks the question "Why don't the churches that have gigantic lawns use the space to grow food?" Why indeed? That's an excellent question that, thanks to Thorsten and the Elders at Crossroads,  we're answering in the affirmative - "WE ARE!!!"

The executive decision was made to make the garden 50' x 100' because 100' is the length of the tape measure... because 50' x 100' is easy to remember... because it's 5,000 square feet and Jesus fed the 5,000... because reasons (there isn't one it just sounded good, okay?).

Roger and Thorsten are having a discussion about the VAST trail that runs through the property.
They decided NOT to put a pond in the middle of it. You're welcome, snowmobilers. 

The first stake being placed...

Heather is standing at one stake and Roger is doing is Vanna impression 100 feet away at the other stake.

Two of the stakes were in this (more than) 100-foot strip of weeds:

AMAZINGLY, Phil was there mowing the lawn and he determined that he could knock those right down for us right then! Here are Phil and Thorsten getting the mowing done...

And one long, mowed strip of future garden...

Phil, mower extraordinaire, and Thorsten

Phil was kind enough to discover a lovely (sarcasm) groundhog hole, presumably with a groundhog that we are going to have to evict.

Pondering the groundhog hole... I have a .22 that might help.
I'm guessing it's a big one.

We will have the opportunity to do some preventative pest control. At least we know where the hole is. Groundhogs are super-cute until they eat all of your lettuce.

Ta-Dah! The garden, staked and mowed and ready to be amended and tilled! 

You can sort of see the stakes.

Finally, we will close the post with an artistic photo of one of the stakes. I don't know. I just like it.

Next up is adding some compost and poop, running a tiller over it and seeding it with a cover crop of buckwheat. OH! and we're going to get some garlic planted too. The buckwheat garden will rest over the winter and come spring we'll broad fork the nicely rotted buckwheat into the beds, along with any amendments we may need (we're getting the soil tested too), and we'll be ready to go!

Would you like to donate something? If you know of a source or are a source of well-rotted (not horse) manure and if you have garlic that we could plant, we will gladly take it! Write it down, folks, this may be the first time a project has asked for donations of poop and garlic

Stay tuned! Pictures of the tilled garden will be coming very soon! WOOT!!! We are on our way to a produce-paradise!

Tilled, Sowed, & Ready for Garlic!

Heidi-ho Everyone, Much had happened in the last month-ish as your dear blogger is gifted in the fine art of procrastination. The dear lea...