Today was a busy day, out getting some winter hay for the poop machines, more to get next week as funds become available, for those of you who don’t know The Nymph and I are both currently doing distance courses, Mrs Nymph is studying an Advanced Diploma of western herbal medicines while I am studying both a Diploma in interactive Gaming and Mobile phone apps and a Diploma in permaculture. As such our money comes from the government, our goal as we have said is to do away with money altogether (as much as reality will allow). So our budget is very tight, after major expenses are laid out (we live off of $150 a week for grocery/meat shopping) we are left with almost nothing, so we buy as we can and save for what we cannot buy outright week to week. A long explanation I know sorry :), So we were able to afford bales this week, on the arrival back to the homestead Mrs Nymph pestered me to do more work (I swear its a conspiracy). Either way the day was good after a morning shower or two, and the kids were put out to pasture to stop the “cabin” fever that happens with all children :). We decided it was time to get our raised bed filled with soil, but soil for us is diminishing and the soil on the property isn’t the best for growing, also the clay just under the half a foot of topsoil is almost pure clay strata (great for our upcoming projects) so we decided to put into practice a lasagna style raised garden bed to minimize our soil use, this will also provide good compost for the garden bed as it decays and decomposes down, I have pictures for you today of how we did the layers and a brief description. So it will sit for a day or 2 for the top soil we put on to settle and then our other practice run is a 3×3 planting method to maximize our range of plants in a smaller area. As the lasagna decomposes the level will drop but the best thing about this is once the veggies have grown we can turn what we cannot eat over into the layer and top up, creating a rich no tilled soil for continued renewable gardening. With out further adu.
So we added cardboard to the bottom to stop any weeds and such from growing through, not necessary as its on rock but always good practice.
And the Poo going in, about 60 ltr (3 x 20 ltr bucket)
The finished layer of Poo, now the poo layer is important as it is this layer that adds the Nitrogen to the decomposing process.
Next comes the Carbon layer, in this case our carbon is straw/grass hay, It is used to stop flies getting into the poo AND to provide food for decomposition.
Didn’t take a pic of the straw in on the first layer but its there 🙂
more poo and straw sorry I should say Nitrogen and Carbon layers
the layering continues
last layer off Poo (Nitrogen)
When the last layer of poo (nitrogen) is placed on you must always place a layer of carbon on top, never leave the nitrogen layer uncovered as this will attract unwanted pest, also the nitrogen layer will not decompose at a sufficient rate. So our last layer of carbon will be newspapers soaked with rainwater.
On top of this is our own soil mixture, which incorporates, sawdust (old) Manure (old/seasoned), sand and the second grade soil we got delivered
The last bucket for the evening, we will need to make another batch of soil in the morning to fill the last of the bed up
and here we are at the end of daylight.
Now over the next 6 months this will decompose and lower but all the while getting more nutrient rich and much much better, this will also turn into its own soil, no tilling will be done in this bed, also a note on the nitrogen layer, this does not necessarily have to be straight manure, it can be leaves, grass, kitchen scraps, green scraps and fresh green weeds minus the seed heads of course. Hope you have enjoyed this post 🙂 and here are some random pics
This is us The elusive, Satyr and Nymph and behind us the “shack” we are currently living in until we finish building our house
The little trou……. I mean well behaved children 🙂
The last piccy is of Mrs Nymph and our tomato Tree