Making Good Garden Soil

A garden is only going to be as good as its soil quality, which is why we gardeners are obsessed with building better soil. Many of us are not blessed with perfect soil where we have planted our gardens. We also do not have the luxury of an endless gardening budget, allowing us to bring… Read more »

Use Those Leaves

Piles of leaves under bare trees are becoming a very common sight in our cities at this time of year. Large black plastic bags filled with with leaves tend to follow this trend. As Spring approaches in a few short months, some of these same people will be running out to garden stores to buy… Read more »

Big Time Composter

I have been learning a lot about various composting methods over the last few months, mostly from my volunteer hours at the Urban Farm. I personally use both a bin compost system and vermi-compost system (i.e. worm-composting) on my own little urban homestead, but for major operations I was introduced to the “earth tub“. This… Read more »

Simple Compost Bin

Ladies and gentlemen, we have compost! If you are going to keep urban chickens, maintaining a good composting system is pretty important. We clean our coop out once a week by raking out the old straw and laying down new, fluffy straw. The old stuff needs to go somewhere and it is filled with fabulous… Read more »

Preparing the Vegetable Beds

During a break in the rain showers, I spent an afternoon outside turning compost. We have one of those black dome compost bins that we fill and turn throughout the year. The food trimmings combined with the used straw from the hen house make the perfect combination. But after three years of composting, I have… Read more »

Saving August

The month of August in our garden means produce bonanza. This year I vowed to preserve the bounty better than years past. There have been three books on preserving that have been constant fixtures in our living room, where I thumb through recipes planning how to make the most out of our garden. In case… Read more »

The Great Sheet Mulching 2007 (Part III of III)

Okay, I am tired of sheet mulching. I am going to pretend this is the final chapter of the project, but in reality I still have another load of wood chips coming this week so I can finish spreading a more presentable mulch material over our brown, soggy leaf layer. I think the neighbors would… Read more »

The Great Sheet Mulching 2007 (Part II of III)

I knew I would be doing all of the sheet mulching alone this weekend. I also knew the weather forecast was rain all weekend. To say I haven’t really been looking forward to this weekend would be an understatement. However, I had two gigantic heaps of wood chips on our front yard and someone had… Read more »

The Great Sheet Mulching 2007 (Part I of III)

Our plan is to sheet mulch our entire front and backyard. We want to eliminate all of the grass in our yard and replace it with fruit bearing trees/shrubs and beneficial insect attracting plants. Here is a quick recap of why we don’t want grass: Labor intensive – I want to spend my weekend leisure… Read more »