Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hay Bale Raised Bed Garden

This year our goal is to grow winter food for out chickens and to increase our own food yield. After some careful measurement we decided that part of our front yard would be dedicated to this new goal. Originally, I had planned to just buy sacks of good top soil and plop it on the ground and plant directly into the bags. Eventually, it would build up a garden spot. So, as it is explained in Mother Earth News.

Then after reading Maria Thun's Biodynamic Year and chatting with my Garden Guru I discovered that one could use old hay bales. Maria Thun uses oat straw in her green houses and my Garden Guru used hay bales from his pumpkin patch. I serendipitously was given six hay bales from my favorite coffee shops this weekend.

Biodynamic gardening is about creating a knowledge and closelness with the land. There is a self satisfying feeling knowing where things come from that go into the garden. The coffee shop I got the hay bales from is one of my work day retreats. The Owners are two of the sweetest, kindness and spiritually uplifting people I have met. I hope that positive energy is infused into the hay bales.

Viking Dad lined the hay bales along side the growing tire wall. The tire wall will become planter boxes too.

Viking Dad's scientific measurement. I couldn't tell him how big I wanted the holes to make and my sources have been rather vague. So, in true fashion I found a pot that estimated the size. "Here Honey, I want this big." Bless his heart he's used to my weird measurements.
Here he is using the pot to make his circles.

The First Hay Bale. This one was so full of mushrooms that we had to be careful cutting into the bale. But, just the rich future compost.

The first hay bale completed and filled with rich compost top soil. This particular bale was so soft we only could get three holes dug out. This bale will have broccoli. The second hay bale is destined to have corn and bush beans.

Maria Thun's The Biodynamic Year An awesome resource.

The page with the inspiration for the hay bale raised bed garden.

My Garden Guru name is Marshal. He is the other half of the dynamic duo of Cheryl and Marshal of Summer Past Farms in Lakeside, California. Check out their site and head and visit.

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