Earlier this summer, we started solarizing our new garden expansion. Basically, we plowed and tilled up the next section of hay field that’s going to be next year’s garden and laid a bunch of tarps over it. The tarps prevent weeds and hay from re-growing there all summer long. The basic idea is that all that summer sinshine heats up the ground under the tarps and fries all the grass and hay underneath. It also prevents a buttload of cursing next summer when we’re trying to weed. So the tarps were all spread out and so we waited. And waited. And waited. But now it’s time to pull off the tarps and see if this whole solarization thing actually worked, then we’re fixin’ to get our fall garden started!
It pays to plan ahead (hopefully, with actual money!). And that’s why we’re planning ahead for next year’s garden expansion! Right now we have a 75′ x 100′ garden plot, but we have lots of room to grow. If we’re going to sell at farmer’s markets, shared CSAs, local restaurants and chefs and feed ourselves we gotta expand. However, were going to take baby steps to do it. We wanna learn to crawl before you learn to walk. Besides, the more we learn about farming the more we realize that we don’t know noth’n!
After we got the wood boiler installed and part of the house rehabbed (the upstairs needed a new kitchen and the downstairs was transformed from one huge open space into an apartment style living quarters with a utility room) the next step was to make the garden. Our property has three large hay fields so we took a section of one field and planned our garden area. Deciding on the space was pretty easy. One hay field is too far from the house and another field has our septic system underneath it. The remaining hay field turned out to be the perfect place for a garden; it was flat with a gentle slope for drainage, across from the fresh water springs, next to the chicken coop and also viewable from my kitchen window.