organic gardening

My Chickens Make My Compost

I have found composting to be a persistent challenge, and I have yet to successfully produce a pile of nicely composted material for my garden. Over the last 6 years I’ve tried the square bale method, the 4 cubic yard regularly turned on schedule approach, the enclosed 3-bay compost bin, and one of those plastic(…)

Time Constraints Force a Reevaluation of My Priorities and Methods

Farming has taken on a new seriousness for me, so I have violated my initial principle of doing everything on the cheap. This last summer, for example, I bought a 17′ x 28′ greenhouse. I did get it used, of course, for about 1/3 its new price, and at a third less than the seller(…)

Taking Stock, 2012

This blog has been neglected – there’s just no getting around it! As I posted last December, Hurricane Irene put a hurt on Vermont. I was immediately involved in local recovery efforts, and then became part of a FEMA-funded recovery program that lasted until late October, 2012. In addition, my mother-in-law – who lived with(…)

Learning to Use a Stirrup Hoe

I’ve gotten it into my head that I’d like to work my garden entirely without the use of power tools, this year. Now that I can get into the garden (the final snow melted away on April 24), I’m attending to the weeds and grasses. This is just my third year gardening, and last year(…)

Introduction to Soil Blocking

Soil blocking, on first exposure, was both easier and more difficult that I expected. There is a certain technique to settling the soil solidly in the forms that I haven’t quite mastered, so my blocks are a bit uneven. On several occasions I had to remake a set of blocks. There was also some tendency(…)

Keeping Records

For me, it’s important to keep records on what I plant and how well those plantings do. For one thing, I want to evaluate the entire spectrum of the gardening cycle as it pertains to each particular planting: which seed sources produce better germination rates and better transplanting success; which types of a vegetable perform(…)