Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gardening with the seasons Part 2 Summer

Summer is often the time when all your hard work of the winter and spring is being rewarded. It is a time when at last if you were a real back to the land homesteader abundance was in your pantry. Everyday you go out side and harvest all those perrenial plants that are just getting ready to flower like your oregeno, calendula, or french tarragon- Oh wait I just lifted the long arms of the tarragon and there it is the life force that is growing so much of my soil for me--- the Fungi. It reaches up through the wood chips just to where the leaves of the plant are meeting the ground. It is all fluffy and white-- But I think Why do you come up like this???? to the plant that is alive- and not dead like saprophytes like???? And it dawns on me that it is because of two main reasons that I can think of 1- just under those green leaves is just the right environment - nice and humid- just the right temperature for the fungi to thrive. 2- the mycelium is feeding the plant directly and the plant is exchanging(through its stem and not only its root hairs) nutrients to the fungi as well. The Garden Giant seems to need companionship with live plants to be able to efficiently perform its duties as a saprophytic. So try and get this idea in your head of my setup---









the green stalk you see here is the stem of my tarragon plant. notice the mycelium growing on and around it.


this is a picture of my greenhouse front side with newly transplanted tomatoes
 

I have a greenhouse approx. 35 feet long by 18 feet wide. the walls of the greenhouse are straight to ensure complete growing room on the sides. I have three rows lengthwise with a split in the middle row halfway for a path- the rows are approx. 1.5 feet wide.
When I started this green house from lawn i first put down cardboard. note** I made this in the early spring. After the cardboard I used wood chips that were from one of my pruning jobs. Deciduous of course. I layed these chips almost a foot thick. This was all inoculated with the spawn. I then made my trenches in the chips where the beds were to be. I lined these trenches with cardboard and newspaper (this is to prevent the soil from escaping into the chips- to cradle it in place). Filled them up with the soil that i grew on another site and voila I have a new garden. The top of the soil was soon covered with a layer of steer manure.
Can you now see the plan that i have??? My plan is to grow my food as normal in soil with the addition of the mycelium growing through the cardboard and tapping into the roots of the plants and exchanging nutrients. Every year that passes i put more wood chips in the rows and the fungi just keep eating them. This makes a great environment for tons of worms. Now i have over 1.5 feet of beautiful black earth!!!!! Thank You Fungi!!!
Some of the advantages are Superior water retention, Crop side soil creation, Symbiotic relationships between plant and fungi all resulting in amazing plant growth and health.

It is July and two weeks ago i just finished eating peas in my greenhouse that were planted last fall in October. Now it is full of tomatoes, basil, peppers and eggplants. My herbs are all around the edges and vines of squash are trailing out the windows. It is really a complete jungle ecosystem. A true pleasure to be in with everything working in simbiosis - Just as Nature Intended

Now off to my locavore movement.....

Tawha from Gibsons

Billy from Wilson Creek

Our Wednesday Farm Gate Market in Roberts Creek BC
  These are some pics that i wanted to add of our wednesday market on the coast. It was started a couple of years ago by some volunteers of the One Straw Society. It has now grown to some 25 or more venders. Great space with all focus on food. No craft vendors sorry this is a local food hub with classes and gatherings of mostly like minded individuals.
This is what summer is about for me- growing and growing and growing!!!!


Next post will be regarding the use and benefits of ramial wood chips and your soil

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