Gardening and Composting

This past weekend was Father's Day so I wanted to brag a bit about all the hard work my hubby does around here.

Mr. Viever and I knew we wanted a garden this year- a big one, not a dinky 1 ft by 4 ft plot that we had back in CA.  But here we have the added challenge of bunnies, moles, voles, and all sorts of other creatures that will find our garden to be a feast.  So we decided on a raised garden that we will then have a temporary enclosure around in attempts to keep out the critters.  Here's what it looks like so far.

Mr. Viever decided on cinder block for their durability also those little holes in the block, excellent places to either put warming sources for those crops that like warm or planting plants that help keep other pests at bay without having them take over the actual garden.

Building the raised bed-  This spot was next to a tree that our landlord allowed us to take out as it was mostly dead.  It has superb amounts of sunlight and is close enough to the house that with a long hose we can water it, if needed.  First we dug out the plot that we were wanting to use pulling up large rocks and filtering out the smaller ones.  Once we had the plot mostly mapped out we then took a leveler and leveled out where we put our first paving stones.  Then went down the metal mesh we are using in hopes that the burrowing rodents STAY OUT!  The mesh is held down by those first paving stones.  Next was our first layer of cinder block which is what is pictured above.  While the kids and I were visiting their grandparents, Mr. Viever put the second layer of bricks but I have yet to get a new picture of it.  Now that the second layer of bricks is in place we are supplementing the soil that was already there with store bought soil amendments as our compost is not quite ready yet.

Now onto the compost!  Mr. Viever has been wanting to have a compost set up for awhile now.  I don't know how many blogs and youtube videos we've read/watched on the subject.  I think our four year old has even come to request compost videos for his "show with Daddy."  In any case, Mr. Viever bought some plastic mesh from our local home depot (which these days is feeling like our second home) and made a container out of it with zip ties (very technologically advanced system here!).

For Mother's Day I made an arrangement through our local buy/sell/trade Facebook page for a partial load of compost/manure to be delivered which ended up being a major building block of our compost.  We had been collecting wood from around our property and chipping it and collecting our grass clippings as well all for the purpose of putting them into the compost.  The last ingredient if you will to our compost was our kitchen waste which we have been setting aside and doing bokashi treatments to.  In theory the bokashi compost is ready to go into the ground but with our ever present critters we wanted those items to break down further so into the "big" compost they go too!

One thing we were worried about was getting our green to brown ratios correct and so this first turning of the compost was enlightening.  We did get steam coming off of the pile as we turned it so we must have done something right!  I tried getting a picture of it but it's so hard to see in the photos....   We also decided that some of the larger wood chunks needed to be broken down better so we spent the afternoon "processing" those while the kids napped (our little helpers become too helpful sometimes).

So that's what's going on here in the garden.  Mostly all due to Mr. Viever's hard work and research.   Thanks hunny!

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