Gardening is something everyone can do, and one of our goals when we’ve saved the farm is to help people garden more.
We designed our kitchen garden with a ripple pattern so that we can extend it into the front lawn/field when we have saved the farm, and have a yard share, (which is different than a CSA, but we hope that it will also encourage more people to join local CSAs.)
Four of our kitchen garden beds are submerged hugelkultur beds, and don’t require watering to grow vegetables.
(Keeping the chickens from scratching up the mulch and scarfing up all our greens? That’s another matter! The expanded garden will have a low fence to reduce chicken shenanigans.)
The outer rim of the expanded mostly-annual-vegetable garden (interspersed with perennial herbs and a variety of pollinator-attracting flowers) will be raised hugelkultur beds, which should not only be easy to work with for people with mobility issues, but will also help prevent the berry drive from washing into the front lawn.
We are currently building a modified chicken tractor to fit between the ripple-shaped beds, so that our chickens can help keep the pathways nicely weeded, and the surprise chicks can get some safe outdoor adventure time.
We’ve already been having seed swaps here, with open-pollinated and heirloom seeds. So far they’ve been rather small affairs but we intend to expand that practice and make it an early February tradition. (Hopefully the gentleman we spoke to recently who’s growing Glass Gem heirloom corn will attend!)
One of the many, many exciting things about the gift economy farm that we’re starting is that there are so many things to experiment with and share. From building solar dehydrators, to experimenting with colonial-style hotbeds, to testing different methods of making biochar, and on and on — it is our hope to help people become enthusiastic about gardening, and to encourage people to grow useful plats, and support other local growers, commercial and otherwise.