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Sunday, February 22, 2015

The soil will thank you

A glimpse of the chicken moat (currently ducks only). Conditions are very droughty, so we are doing the summer routine of carrying a bucket of water from changing out the duck pools to each fruit tree -- labor intensive, but the water does not pump well when full of duck "snortle" and we just can't pass it up. In summer we run comfrey and weeds through a blender (not used for food) and add the green slurry to a tubful of "duck water" to give the trees and gardens a boost. 

There are two new plum trees this week so we are making sure they get two buckets each. The little tree in the netting tube is a pawpaw, which are said to be hard to do here. I'll be keeping an eye on it. Deer fence is at left on the property line; across the garden fence at right is the garden, with a raspberry patch along the fence.

Bed making is ongoing, as I'm good for at most two a day. This is not what permies expect to see in a garden, but for reasons we have to keep this area mostly free of perennials, so it's treated as a rather traditional veg garden, with some polyculture, such as Three Sisters.

After a bed is completed, I like to dress it a little smoother with a leaf rake ...

...then rake out the paths. Although the paths and beds are the same width as measured when made, the beds tend to crumble into the paths a bit, which is fine; the rake will establish the actual width of the path with one pass. Now, and not until this is done, do we really know the size of the beds and paths, with the beds slightly wider. It's great when your tools can establish the sizes and distances; one goes back and forth much less when doing maintenance, and the soil will thank you for that.

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