- To grow & produce our own organic & fresh veggies & fruits
- To spend as little as possible & produce as much as possible
- To produce sufficient amounts to be able to give some away
|In Haiti, about 3" of topsoil which is extremely shallow|
Having said that, we are seeking to use all organic techniques (as much as we can control). There is some real significance to organics, not to mention it is a simple way of making yourself mindful of the 100's of 1000's around the world who must garden organically simply by their God given places of life (where access to synthetics is limited or cost prohibitive). So, we are using various meals (ie: bone meal, blood meal, etc) for nutrient inputs, as well as using a live composting method (or trench composting), where basically we are burying what will become our compost before it is decomposed, then covering it with our layer of soil. This expedites decomposition, since its already in the soil, nutrients will be readily available as it decomposes. This is a technique often used to re-establish top soil in areas where erosion has degraded top soil layers. As the materials decompose, they re-introduce micro-organisms to enrich the soil again.
We began with seed (organic seeds, to the best of our knowledge), simply because it is so much more fun to see entire plants come from something as small as a seed! Also, purchasing seed is much less expensive than purchasing pre-grown plants. Further, nursery grown plants are almost always produced utilizing synthetic inputs.
We sowed 19 different plants or varieties of plants. We have had about 90% germination rate, with only our cantaloupe & basil not germinating. We've sown more basil, &are going to sow cantaloupe again to see if we have better results. The repertoire of plants is as follows: basil, broccoli, carrots, cantaloupe, cilantro, green beans, green onions, bibb lettuce, okra, a generic hot pepper (not organic), Jalapeños, Bell peppers, radishes (a great little spice to a salad), spinach, summer squash, sunflowers (for fun and beauty), Beefsteak tomatoes & Yellow Pear tomatoes, and watermelon!
|1st half of the hillside garden, planted w/ 12 of the 19 plants|
|Extra green beans, lettuce, & broccoli|
|A raised bed for cilantro & basil.|