How you gonna plant in amongst all that straw? What’s all that straw for anyway? Kick back a minute and I’ll tell you all about it. Ok, if you have been following our blog so far you’ll know that under all that straw there is a nice thick portion of newspaper and under that is a whole bunch of beneficial soil organisms. If you didn’t know that then you might want to go back and check out our previous post. (Breaking of Tradition – Soil of Life)
Last year we planted our first ever in ground garden. Prior to that, I had only grown “purties”. We were lucky enough to have a friend come over on his big ole tractor and till our garden spot for us in no time flat. We were so proud of the results, while the soil was rocky (a trait common here in northeast Oklahoma) it looked good and was nice and fluffy. We planted our seedlings and seeds in the traditional manner with anticipation of the bountiful crops we were going to reap. Despite our attempts at irrigation (we set up a t-post sprinkler system), the soil became rock hard, and the water seemed to just roll off and right out of the area. The drought and over 40 days of 100+ temperatures did us in. I think we harvested 2 pounds of green beans, 3 peppers and 1 head of broccoli total. In short, the entire thing was a complete failure. We wanted to feel more secure about our future food security and health. We decided it was about time to begin researching alternative gardening methods that required less water, promoted soil building, and would demand less overall maintenance than the traditional gardening methods we had been taught all of our lives. It was time to break the tradition. Time to stop destroying the soil by digging and plowing and turning it over. We discovered Jack Spirko, and The Survival Podcast as well as Geoff Lawton, and his teachings on permaculture. We had found our inspiration, and determined that we will have a sustainable garden in the end. Thus began the months of planning and preparation for our Kitchen Garden.