Sharing the surplus

One of the ethics of permaculture is to “share the surplus”. This could be in the form of giving away or trading extra green beans, making a monetary donation, or lending a hand on a big project or myriad other things. Saturday at Fiddle Creek Dairy (try their yogurt!) a group of folks came to help install the zone one gardens  along with the farm’s owners Tim and Frances following the maxim that “many hands make light work”. Frances worked on the design with a fellow permaculture friend and then we tweaked it a bit as it was being installed.  The design is for raised beds on contour thereby creating more edge, following the pattern of the land, slowing the water down as it comes down hill, and extending the growing season. Stacking functions!

The plot has been gardened before but needed a makeover as the pioneer species had covered the soil along with grasses. This required multiple passes with a rear tine rototiller earlier in the week as well as broad-forking (using Rebel Garden Tools’ broadfork) and pick-axing the deeply rooted grasses, burdock roots, and clover roots up so the beds could be laid out. An A frame level was used to find the contour lines on the undulating land.  Once the beds were shaped and raked,  rich composted cow manure  was added. The paths were mulched with plain brown cardboard and wood chips, which were also produced on site.

As the work was winding down, a much needed thunderstorm rolled through the area bringing the blessing of rain. We gathered for well earned, delicious milk shakes made with home made ice cream and milk from the Fiddle Creek Dairy Jersey cattle. Soon the beds will be planted with a profusion of annual vegetables and a variety of perennials to provide the family with hyper local, fresh abundant organic food.  The work was physical, the weather warm and sticky, and we were all sweat soaked and dirty. What a great way to build community, spread permaculture, and make new friends! This is how we do it…

Raised beds on contour top dressed with compost.

Raised beds on contour top dressed with compost.

Frances broad-forking the soil to get out the weeds.

Frances broad-forking the soil to get out the weeds.

Composted cow manure generated on site.

Composted cow manure generated on site.

Christina and Helen processing cardboard to mulch the paths with.

Christina and Helen processing cardboard to mulch the paths with.

Frances and Darrel mulching the paths.  As the mulch breaks down, new soil is created.

Frances and Darrel mulching the paths. As the mulch breaks down, new soil is created.

Christina shoveling dirt to make a raised bed.

Christina shoveling dirt to make a raised bed.

Dillon Cruz using he A frame level to mark out the contour lines.

Dillon Cruz using he A frame level to mark out the contour lines.

Strike a pose flag man.

Strike a pose flag man.

Anne and Heidi putting in a shift.

Anne and Heidi putting in a shift.

Shaping a garden bed.

Shaping a garden bed.

Moving strawberry plants to a new location and digging for the raised beds.

Moving strawberry plants to a new location and digging for the raised beds.

Advertisements

One thought on “Sharing the surplus

  1. Pingback: Sharing the surplus | Livin’ the domestic life–permaculture style | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s