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June 13, 2014

Plants

The forest garden is coming along nicely.

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Work has started on 3 more rows. They each have their rock retaining walls (so that each terrace can be leveled off somewhat). And we’ve put a bunch of branches and manure just uphill from the rock walls for longterm fertility and water retention. The whole thing is also fenced off, with orchard netting and electric fence, as we will soon be moving the chickens in there. We plan to do a compost (and insect) tractor in the rows, so that the chickens can help improve the soil (more on that at a later date).

As for the first row, it’s doing well, but it’s about to explode. We’ve been having very hot (110 degrees) days, with no clouds or breeze to cool them off. All the plants, in the orchard and garden, have been looking a little wilted during the day, but they perk up in the evening and morning. Thankfully, the deep watering system in the orchard and wicking beds in the garden have prevented evaporation, so at least the roots can keep cool. The only ones to really suffer have been the potatoes that we planted out of a wicking bed, of which we’ve had several casualties. The wonderful news though is that it has started raining. We’ve now had rain for three days in a row and the temperatures have dramatically reduced. Although we still get a high of more than 100 degrees, it’s no longer staying that temperature all day long. The clouds build a little after lunch and they dump about 5 in the afternoon. It’s awesome.

 
So, with rain season here, we are about to plant a bunch more stuff, both inside and out of the orchard and garden.

We have also dug holes and set up an irrigation system for some trees around the barn area. We want to use trees, whose leaves and fruit can be eaten by animals, and that will provide shade and protection from the wind (mulberry is a perfect candidate). Maybe we’ll get around to that next week.

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