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 show the lower growing area below a young food forest.
Using the same untreated mulch pathing, I could extend growing areas. New contour rows burst with the green brassica vegetables.
Each row was fed with compost and dressed with straw mulch. The bane of many homeowners is fall leaves. It is a blessing to create leaf 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 annually.
Leaves transformed into compost means very few nutrients to purchase. Composting creates a top dressing and nursery potting mix better than any big box store.
Rather than creating new growing areas, I focus on expanding cultivated areas. 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.
Deers don't like getting poked in the face when eating greens. The stakes, in most cases, were small sticks from tree trimming.
By now, thick mulch paths are a staple of the property. It can rain torrents without any mud, splashing, or hard runoff. I found several sawmills that deliver truckloads of this clean mulch.
Despite deer, vole, and other pest pressure, I could put up a lot of vegetables. 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 always look forward to your success stories. Write with your questions.
This garden is in an urban space. It doesn't take up much space yet grows an abundance of fresh vegetables. You can do this.
If you want to get more from your small farm, homestead, or estate, … 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. To see if his insights are right for you, join our free newsletter.