May 11 2008
Thank you very much for your donations, Geralyn and Ian!
The process is about to take a new major step for me. From July and on I’m actually living in the great outdoors 100% self-sufficiently (I hope). Will not tell exactly where, but it’s a place of great many resources. I have been down there now starting a garden, since I probably will need that the first years until my skills are up to feeding myself completely off wild food. When making my garden, I’ve used sort of a mix between Native American “three sisters gardening” and Ecology action’s “grow biointensive method”. To manage to do all this in my limited timeframe I used modern tools. The soil I’m growing on haven’t been in use for crops for about 150 years. In case someone interested I’ll post a little bit more about the process I used here:
1. The thick mats of grass were removed and piled onto the compost pile (background of photo).
2. The composted sheep manure was spread ontop.
3. I double dug the beds, with extra depth (about 50 cm). The potatoes were planted in the upper part of half a bed. Some beds also had fish and prawns incorporated into the upper layer as extra fertilizer (three sisters gardening style). The idea is that these release nutrients slowly. I do however because of this live in fear of foxes and badgers digging up my garden.
4. Sunflowers, corn, kohlrabi, carrots and peas were sown.
5. The whole area was watered several times over several days. This is a very dry, sunny spot, so the upper few inches are prone to drought. However, I think it’s unlikely that the lower part of the beds will ever dry up since rainfall in the area is quite substantial.
6. The beds + some extra, for later expansion was fenced in to prevent game and sheep from destroying my crops. About half the garden (plus one brother) is showing on this photo. The current size is approximately 350 square feet.
List of the things I have currently sown in my conventional garden (not my forest garden, which I also have started):
- Great Burdock
Many more are to come, yarrow and a few other species grow around the edges. Recommended books about three sisters gardening and the grow biointensive method can be found here.
A few aspens had to (and more still has to) be felled in order to give the garden full sun. Conveniently enough, the bark goes off easily now and it will make the waterproof layer of the roof. Aspen makes excellent firewood too. The bark is currently weighed down with rocks to prevent it from curling while drying. This bark can also be used for buckets such as the one in the picture.
However, the main reason for me going down there this time was that I was to work on the local agricultural/ecological high school. I’ll write more about that later.
I’m closing applications for the second course, since there doesn’t appear to be adequate interest in these courses. There are currently 2 more places left on the first course.Regards
Get my book "Traditional Trout Fishing: Fishing for Survival in the North (Volume 1)