Saturday, June 11, 2011

creating together . . .

Homesteading requires a bit of ingenuity.  Ingenuity that includes everyone's ideas and help.  When you want to do things around a farm, and you have no BIG equipment to work with, it definitely takes great ideas.  This idea that we came up with today is going to be logged in as our GREAT idea for this summer's garden row making work.

It all started with the "different" plan to not till the garden.  A permaculture thing.  We needed to create some beds to plant in and to direct sow some of the seeds for this year's garden.  And with the garden made mostly of clay, and chock full of weeds, we had a big job ahead of us.  A few times the thought of just tilling it up again seemed like the best thing to do.  Instead, we went on with our plan to leave the soil as is so it can begin to heal and to become a fertile place to plant.

The garden was first mowed really low, then we brought in a layer of composted manure and then some sifted dirt on top of that.  We used a screen I made last year for composting, and added a support structure/row making tool to it.  After we shoveled in a layer of compost, we went to the barn pasture to get some of the dirt out of a mound that a friend dropped off last year.
 Shoveling rock filled dirt into the handmade sifter
 Sifting the dirt to get the big rocks out
 Dumping the rocks into a pile for a later project
Then part of the sifting tool is multi-tasking as a row making sled (something I might have to patent)
   Dirt is filled in
 And the Gator pulls it to make an exact 24" row complete with leveling it off
 The row to the right was our attempt at making a row without our new homestead tool.

Today we got three rows done relatively easily and we were all happy that our new multi-tool worked so well.  During the loading of the compost and the dirt, the children and I talked about what was and was not working with our new equipment.  And after each dirt load, we dropped by the wood shop and I made minor adjustments to the row maker having it work even better than the time before.  Thanks to all the valuable input.

Since our efforts were a success, we all had FUN shoveling compost and dirt because we were thinking, laughing, and spending some great time CREATING together.


LauraT said...

Genius! Let me get this straight: you added composted, sorted and sifted dirt on top of the weedy, clay-ish dirt? I'm assuming you added enough rich dirt to make a depth appropriate for root growth for healthy plants? I know you thought this out and I'm sure it will work out great. Just curious....

Kallie said...

You might be on to something! You really should patent your idea. Lots of people are moving in the compost gardening direction to give their soil a rest. I would buy one! Tell Ildi I am a fan of rows as well! It looks really great and the best thing about it is that you all worked together!