Posted on January 22, 2012


It really rocks when random people from the neighbor hood go by on bicycles or while walking and tell us that we are taking better care of this place than is has been taken care of in years. People seem impressed that renters even want to care for a property at all, but definitely to the extent in the yard, I suppose since we’ve been out their composting, planting, building, and amending the soil nearly every day for the last 3 months or so.

Nate made a small raised bed to transplant our wildly growing tomato plants in over near the grape vines. We had built a trellis to tie the tomatoes to, but hadn’t actually separated the plants from their random sprouting plots, so it was nice to do that. I planted some borage and swiss chard in with the tomatoes so they could keep each other company. Speaking of the grapes, I have a hard time telling if they’re actually growing, but I know it’s colder this time of year (cold-er, maybe cooler, but it’s hardly been cold but a few nights so far) and they’ve been well protected from the one freeze we got and well watered for sure. Maybe I just have to wait until summer to see any substantial growth.

The more I read, the more I decide that raised beds are really the only way to plant in this sandy junky Florida soil – maybe because raised beds don’t use the sandy crappy Florida soil and it gives the soil underneath some time to re-nutrify and we can focus on letting that soil sit and gain some organic matter slowly while actually growing some edibles in the beds we create. I like the idea of growing right out of the ground, but run-off is a reality and it’s also a reality that we really want our stuff to grow and not just get washed away. We also boxed in our mustard greens since they have been growing very nicely, but seemed a bit exposed at the root and we didn’t want their health to suffer because of that. We need them for ourselves and for the bunny, who seems to love them just as much as buckwheat.

Nate will probably do the first butchering on his own, but I think he should open up a future butchering session as a Free Skool class so anyone else interested in basic slaughter principles can learn. Any takers?

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