Last Thursday the latest addition to the OKA herd made her grand entrance. Some of you who have been around or know us personally already know that Ma and I have a rather weird sense of humor. Continue reading
I made friends with a guy from down under, a fellow permie and an aficionado of all things nitrogen-fixer. We’ve made a couple trades and this go round I ended up with some varieties that are going to be questionable at best for the climate here on the farm. Continue reading
The last few days I have been getting my chop and drop on. Continue reading
That’s right it’s round and we didn’t fall off of it or anything we’ve just had a really weird and exciting winter. Never fear though, we are back and in top form. We will be ramping up the posts because we are going to be ramping up the projects here on Off Kilter Acres.
Late last fall our internet started acting wonky for lack of a better word. One minute it would run fine the next it was Continue reading
I saw these Rooter Pots a while back and thought I might like to give them a shot. I made the purchase and then researched them. I didn’t find much on them so I hope that’s not a terrible thing. They are basically a special built tool for air layering. I have tried with a plastic bottle and I have tried with plastic Continue reading
Hugelkultur is an old German concept/word meaning “hill-culture”. Wood is buried under topsoil (either in a hole or right on the ground) and as it breaks down, it holds lots of moisture and provides sustained nutrients for plant growth.
We’ve been wanting to try some Hugelkultur mounds at some point but I have had a bit of an eyesore that has needed dealt with for a while see in May of 2011 we decided that we wanted to get a few paw paw trees. Continue reading
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.