Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Saturday, December 11, 2010

trench and mound for vegetables

offline, one place i learn about farming/agriculture and general good practices is Krishna from Solitude Farm in Auroville.

online, one place i learn about gardening/composting and general homesteading action is One straw- Be the change
not only is the title a source of interesting appeal, but the content of Rob's blog is up there.

inspired by Krishna and Rob, here is the trench and mound system of vegetables/fruits growing.

the exact details of the logic and biology/chemistry is best read on rob's post.

the bed mounds are approx 3 feet wide and they are lined with trenches are 9 inches wide and 6 inches deep.
to start, the bed area is loosened with a shovel.
then, the soil from the trench is heaped onto the bed area.
after adding some fertility vide compost, ash, rock dust etc, the beds are smoothed out by hand.

then comes the wood chips which fill up the trenches.
rob uses a chipper, while we use our heavy sickles and knives to chop up wood.
this wood came from over 25 trips and 10 hours of scavenging the neighbouring areas for trees that could be pruned and overgrown woody shrubs.
and over 10 hours of chipping them into tiny pieces.

for this particular bed, we used amrut jal to dip these woody pieces - certainly infusion of microbes into the system will aid in speedier decomposition.

the pieces are then dropped into the trenches

and the trenches are fully covered with mulch.

finally the beds are mulched and then planted.
our first beds are growing tomatoes, kidney beans, brinjal and we plan to add cluster beans.

extending this idea, we have another parallel bed exclusively for greens.

if you noticed, these beds are smack around our banana and papaya mini-plantation. these trees will grow and enjoy the water and fertility around them and their shade will be a welcome relief for the vegetables.


Vanessa said...

Need advice.
There was this person (parent0 I met at school while picking up Shreya. When I said I am from India, he asked me If I wanted a Curry leaf plant. i said, Ok. He got it for me the next day. He has a yard and a green house and fertilizers and well, A green thumb. I have never had much luck with growing any plant in my balcony.
Whenever I tried in the past, the plants wilted and died. Now I am in a awkward position because someone gave it to me. And I am sure he will ask me one day about it. I don't want to tell him that the plant died :(
This is like a KG question for a post-graduate probably. Tell me what (other than watering) could I do to keep it the way it is. That too in the winter ahead when we get down to freezing often.

csm said...

mulch heavily.
cover with plastic sheet.
send to a greenhouse.
if in pot, keep inside house.
if these dont work, regrets.

do not take such gifts in future.

and use email.

Vanessa said...

Hubby said the same thing "Don't accept such gifts." :(

I considered e-mail, but then,
1. It was not a personal matter.
2. Some other reader could benefit from your answer/ chip in with own suggestions.

Sorry if you think it was wrong.

I'll try and do my best to keep it alive until April at least. After that it should be easier. Hope so! Thanks for the suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Looks Great! Keep up the fantastic work!