A cooler weather is coming, winter is around the corner. In the fall season garden cabbages and broccoli lead the way. Here's a tour of my 2015 fall season garden.
Extending Abundance with Contour Beds and Compost
You will grow more with nature than against it. My land here is not level. The back lot is covered in old growth trees with heavy erosion all around.
Finding growing space with ample light is difficult. These two pictures are of a lower growing area below a young food forest.
Using the same untreated mulch pathing I was able to extend growing areas. New contour rows burst with green of brassica vegetables.[EDITOR: Raised bed image may be duplicate with Spring 2015 update.]
Each row fed with compost and dressed with straw mulch. The bane of many home owners is fall leaves. For me it is a blessing to create leave mold and compost in bulk.
Use The Space You Have Before Creating More Growing Areas
The more you get from the space you have, the less work you'll need to maintain it. I had a deal with neighbors to remove their leaves. A local coffee shop provides nearly 2,500 pounds of coffee grounds over the year.
Leaves transformed into compost means very few nutrients to purchase. The process of composting creates a top dressing and nursery potting mix better than any big box store.
Rather than creating new growing areas, I focus on extending areas already being cultivated. This means less walking around the acre property.
Many Lessons Learned About the Property and Surrounding Environment
You'll notice many stakes in the garden. My property has very heavy deer pressure. They had already eaten several apple trees.
Turns out deer don't like getting poked in the face when eating greens. The stakes in most cases were small sticks from tree trimming.
By now the use of thick mulch paths is a staple of the property. It can rain torrents without any mud, splashing, or hard run off. I found several saw mills than can deliver truckloads of this clean mulch.
I was able to put up a lot of vegetables despite deer, vole, and other pest pressure. This experience inspires my PEST MANAGEMENT GUIDE, plus other valuable lessons.
How was your fall season? It's almost time to prepare beds for next year. Write with your questions, I'm always looking forward to your success stories.
Justin Hitt is a Permaculture Design Consultant with more than two decades of experience with organic gardening. He teaches the practical application of critical thinking, entrepreneurial ecology, and homestead management. Practical insights for practitioners, estate owners, and homesteaders.