In this post:
Under the Covers on Soil Health
The Perfect Gift Idea
What do you do when its early December and it feels like early October in the gardens? Spread compost! This mild weather has given me a luxurious window to prep the gardens for next spring. This work includes spreading compost and adding soil ammendments to balance the nutrients & micronutrients, as well as mulch any exposed patches of the garden.
Why do I want the garden covered?
When soil is left bare and exposed the sun and wind can rapidly dry it out and break down complex carbon structures which help hold moisture, nutrients, and support life in the soil. This means soil life has to dive deeper, into moister ground, to stay alive, or it dies.
Similarly, did you know that a large portion of the sugars plants produce (by means of photosynthesis) are pumped out directly into the surrounding soil! Why would they do this? Because, like us, plants can only thrive if surrounded by a supportive community. Plants effectively feed microorganisms around them with sugars in exchange for the work these bacteria, fungi, and bigger critters do for them – mostly breaking down nutrients into plant-available forms.
So, I spread compost, mulch bare soil, and take pride in the large blocks of the gardens that are covered in living green plants, be they oats, peas, daikon radishes, rye, hairy vetch or borage. And of course, there are a few living plants to feed this years’ winter CSA members, mainly fresh spinach and kale from the protected environment of our four greenhouses, where we can harvest fresh food year round.
I am also busy planning for 2016. Applications for interns and apprentices are starting to flow in, seeds orders are being made, and crop plans are coming together.
The Perfect Gift?
If you are looking for the perfect gift to show your significant other (or yourself!) just how much you care, consider a share in our Summer CSA… 5 months of high-vitality produce grown organically, by hand. Share members get full choice in what veggies they take home and will be gently nudged to try new delicious crops they may not have had before, like Kohlrabi (pair excellently with carrots and spinach!) Not only an investment in local, sustainable agriculture, but it can also be an investment in your health!
Have a great few weeks and enjoy the last breathes of autumn before winter officially rolls in,