Come do a bit of good healthy work, meet some wonderful people and share good food together. In this MeetUp we will be helping Ria transform some neglected areas of her back yard and turn them into thriving places for edibles. We will be basing our transformation on the "double-dig" method from John Jeavons. This is a way of digging down deep and preparing the soil with the all of the necessary nutrients that plants need to grow and keep growing. If all is done correctly and maintained this only needs to be done once, after this the soil never needs tilling- just add compost to the top. This maintains a healthy soil that is full of microorganisms, worms and everything needed for a sustainable garden. Depending on time we will attempt to transform two and perhaps even three areas of Ria's yard.
If possible please bring any of these items:
- TOOLS: Shovels, Picks, Spades
- Wheelbarrows- We have one but it would save time to have more.
- Gloves and hats
- Compost-- if you have any extra please bring some
- Some food items from your yard to exchange with other member (if you have any)
- Potluck item that either contains something that you have picked from your yard/urban farm-- OR -- something that you would like in the future to come from your yard/urban farm."
- If you do not have any of the above then it is OK-- just bring yourself and some good positive energy.
HERE IS THE PLAN:
Area one: We will fist attack a nice South Facing garden area in Ria's back yard. There is a planter box that will move over to Area two. We will then remove some unwanted ornamental and start digging. After digging down into the soil we will then replenish the soil with nutrient rich compost and chicken manure to replenish what has been lost over time. We will also remove some of the native soil and use this to mix with the compost for the planter boxes in area 2. This area receives a lot of sunlight and should be a great place to grow a variety of things like beans, tomatoes, peppers and more.
Area two:This section along the fence will host a series of planter boxes including the one that is now in area one. First we will dig down into the soil as much as we can do open the soil and allow the water to absorb in better. This will help with water drainage. We will then put the planter boxes over this area. The planter boxes will be filled with the excess native soil from Area One plus our compost and manure. Alternately, if the ground is soft enough we can just condition the native soil with our compost and manure and skip the planter boxes.
Area Three; As time allows we may give some new life to this shaded area along the back fence. Using the same double dig method we will dig down and add our soil here as well. This area should be great for growing greens such as lettuce, bok choi, arugula and more.
Here is what we do:
- We meet to help out a fellow host farmer
- We do some work, exchange ideas and learn something at the same time.
- We bring food from our gardens so we can share with each other the wonderful foods we are raising.
- After the meeting we all take home something that we did not bring.
1) A bit of work
As people arrive we will all participate in helping transform one of the three areas of the yard.
2) Demo and instruction
During the work portion we will have a short break out period to present some new material and gain some farming/gardening knowledge.
3) Pot Luck and Socializing
Finally we will all spend some time to socialize and eat the wonderful food from our gardens.
During the pot luck we will have time to discuss the following:
- Q & A about gardening/ farming. Anyone can ask anything about a gardening or farming topic for others in the group to give their insights.
- News and updates from our members: each member share progress on urban farming projects.
- Ongoing discussion on our Urban Farmers coop group.
- Crop Sharing-- Everyone that has harvested something from your yard please bring it and exchange it. Take what you DID NOT bring.
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Our goal is to bring our community together through safe and fun learning events.
We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming MeetUps.