We’re still harvesting carrots, spinach, lettuce, beets, winter squash, peas, chard, and collards from our kitchen garden but we’ve also cleared out old plants and began placing cardboard over the soil and then topping it off with the great fertilizer from the brooder. The brooder, where we raised our broilers up until 3 weeks old is filled with manure layered in sawdust. This is a great resource. Chicken manure is a source of nitrogen for the garden. The cardboard covers weeds and helps stimulate the growth of worms. You can also use newspaper. Ruth Stout’s book, “Lasagna Gardening” is a fabulous resource. Cardboard is one of the best resources for building soil in kitchen gardens. It breaks down nicely after winter. You can do many layers upon layers. When our compost is ready we will eventually use it to cover the manure from the brooder.
We also encourage as many leaves as possible in the garden as the leaves mulch and feed the soil too. I’m always a bit broken hearted watching neighbors haul away leaves to the dump in the fall. They are a “free” source of biomass, not a nuisance.
Our days are filling up with social events now that our season is almost over. I took great pleasure relaxing at “Hot Springs” farmer’s market this weekend listening to Michael, Wyatt, Don and Cathy play a variety of music. Life is feeling a lot less hectic these days, allowing us to appreciate our beautiful community and the kind hearted people that surround us.