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Yardwork is hardwork

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This weekend was the first weekend in months that the weather hasn’t been horrendously hot or rainy, and we haven’t had other obligations (weddings, visitors, birthday parties, etc), so despite the fact that the two younger children were sick, we spent the entire weekend at home, working on our major yard renovation.

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Along with a lot of other yardwork, were able to mostly complete a sheet mulching project in the backyard – we put in an 18 x 22 ft veggie bed, using lots of boxes and packing paper (10 sheets thick) from our move.

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Here you can see the mulching clearly – a layer of weedy soil, simply covered up with a 3-inch layer of chopped, dried bamboo mulch (Permaculture principles state that it’s best to use what you have on-site, and we have TONS of bamboo we are slowly ripping out.).  On top of that we sheeted mulch with cardboard or stacks of packing paper, carefully overlapped to smother the weeds.  Then, composted cow manure is added on top of that.

After we add the final layers of straw/hay and compost, and topsoil, it will have 4 4×18 ft mounded rows with 18-inch mulched paths between the rows.  One or two more weekends, and we’ll be done – just in time to plant garlic, leeks, shallots and a few brassicas for the fall!

After a long time spent playing at busily gathering leaves and things for the compost, Little Hen went to an un-touched part of the yard, made a little nest in the middle of the “prairie”, and took a nap in the sunshine.  She was pretty tuckered out from all her hard work!

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For more on permaculture, I highly recommend the DVD, Establishing a Food Forest,  anything on Powell’s new permaculture bookshelf, and connecting with your local permaculture group.

And since our garden isn’t actually growing anything yet, you might like to visit  Mom in Madison, Garden Mama , Green Thumb Mama, A Little House by the Big Woods,  and Little Red Caboose to see the bounty of foods and flowers other mama’s gardens are yielding this summer.

2 Responses to "Yardwork is hardwork"

  • Hi Angela

    Andrew has read most of the permaculture books and we prepare and plant this way too. We have also added our earthworm farm to the whole process. We grow the most amazing vegetables and fruit. I am really looking forward to Summer to have everyone helping along .

    Happy weekend to you
    Warm regards
    Suzanne

  • Love that last photo. 🙂 We did the sheet mulching out front to get rid of the grass and will ikely do it again for more raised beds. So awesome that you have a local group for support!

    ~Tara

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