It’s been a while and for that I apologize. When I started this blog I said I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of it. Well, life reared it’s ugly head and got in the way but I’ll do a short post here to show that we haven’t been laying back. We have lots of big things in the works here on the OKA and the weather is fine for working this time of year so stay close there are gonna be more regular posts now.
When we find horn worms on Off Kilter Acres we have a very good way to dispose of them. In a sadistic sort of way it brings me joy to give the birds a fat juicy treat.
I spotted one of the good guys while I was out walking the garden this evening. I have recently seen herds of baby grasshoppers and a few Japanese cucumber beetles so these guys are more than welcome. We started out the summer with lots of beneficial insects but over the last couple weeks they seem to be declining since the hot and dry weather has really set in. So in turn, I have been planting lots of Continue reading
I woke up this morning like normal, took care of the normal morning business and filled my mug and proceeded to head out for work. As I am making my way to the truck I notice a large pick-up truck with a tank of toxic gick on the back blow past my house. I wondered out loud what was up with that and Ma tells me, yeah, there were quite a few guys along the ditches with back pack sprayers on when I took Fish Taco to work this morning.
Sorry that it’s been so long since I posted last but this is the busy time of year for being in the garden and making the magic happen. As far as that goes, the sheet mulching that we did is working like a champ the garden is not doing so well and I think it has to to with the soil that I used when I planted. In combination with the soil I mixed up and used we have also had a really sort of wet chilly spring. Now, I’m not griping after the last 3 years we welcomed the cooler temps and moisture. Anyhow this post is going to illustrate how I plan to remedy my soil woes by making the most kick ass 18 day compost in the manner that Geoff Lawton teaches on his Permaculture Soils DVD.
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.