Saturday, April 25, 2015

It's almost that time of year!  Be sure to visit Humboldt County's various farmer's markets this spring through fall.  Arcata has been open all year long, and Eureka's will be opening in June, and Fortuna's in mid May.  You can find dates, times and locations here and here

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jamie's Biointensive Gardening

My friend Jamie has an amazing garden going at his Napa home  this year and he's been kind enough to share his pictures with me for my blog.  This is a picture of his gardening "bible".  How to Grow More Vegetables then you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine.  Written by John Jeavons.  John Jeavons uses garden techniques developed by Alan Chadwick.  This book shows you how to raise enough fresh organic vegetables for a family of four on land as small as 800 square feet.  John Jeavons is the director of Ecology Action, an environmental research and education organization formed in 1970.  He has helped revolutionize sustainable mini farming around the world.  Jamie has been using the guidance of this book since 1996.

Jamie's Garden May 2010
Jamie's upside down tomatoes.  These did well except for their tendency to dry out often and they got a bit of blossom end rot.  They produced some good tomatoes, but in Jamie's opinion it's better to grow them in a bed if you can.
Jamie's garden plan for this year. This year will be an heirloom tomato garden.  The Squash bugs invaded last year.  Turns out the only way to get rid of them is to not grow squash for a season.
Jamie used a Florida Trellis System in his garden last year.  You can see it in bed number 1.
Jamie's compost
Jamie's redneck greenhouse.  2X4's, wood screws and shrink wrap.  Looks pretty cool to me.
Sunflowers and Marigolds popping up
Double digging bed #1.  Jamie moved a wheel barrel of soil out of the way to loosen up 12 inches below with a garden fork. 
Compost to be spread on the beds

Move the soil next to it into the space and work back, shoveling 12 inches and then loosening, then you're done.

Composting the "green layer" of top of the rice straw (or wheat straw) and oak leaves.
Florida Trellis system - tomato plants will reach 6 feet or more.

April 10th 2011 bean sprouts popping up. Below the beans are Burpee's American Giant Hybrid Sunflowers, Burpee's Golden Cheer sunflowers, burpee's mix marigold and some standard marigolds - pest defenders.

Organic fertilizers.  Crushed granite, oyster shells, blood meal, bone meal, fish meal, alfalfa meal, rock phosphate and 2 cubic foot bags of "Bumper Crop"
from Van Winden's.  A scale should be used and the LaMotte soil test should be used to see where one is at as far as soil nutrient balance before adding organic fertilizers.
Flat design from How To Grow More Vegetablese
Jamie's cost breakdown.  The Shallow flats cost $9.46 each.  The deep flats were $10.17.
 Beans almost ready for transplant, sunflowers and marigolds and tomatoes sprouting.  Cleared area to plant sunflowers, intending to use the sunflowers for the beans to climb. Below is Jamie's mix.  Equal amounts of compost, bedding soil and a bit of sand to keep it loose. He also used a slow release fertilizer since this spot isn't as nutrient as his beds.Jamie used old arrows to mark location of his sunflowers.  They are spaced 24 inches apart. Beans to be 8 inches apart.  Flats waiting for transplants. And 30 1 gallon containers to go into beds.  10 varieties, 10 per bed, 3 beds.

And Finally - Jamie's pole bean set up, since the sunflower/pole bean plan isn't going to work, because they're "antagonists".  It's better if they climb up a companion plant, like corn.  He's using a horizontal wire and strings running down to the beans here. 

So there you have it - Jamie will be doing his transplants tonight in the light of the full moon.  I'll be following his garden throughout the season, especially since I can't grow my own this year, so check back to see Jamie's successes. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring is here, really it is

It's a wet one here in Humboldt

It may not feel like Spring is here in Humboldt, and in many other parts of the country right now, but Spring is here, I have found signs of her arrival.  Really, it's true!  Look!

The salmon berries are starting to bloom!  Yum!  Now if I can only beat the birds to the berries.
 A poor little soaked daffodil
 I'm not sure what these flowers are, but they tell me spring is here

 Wild onions - it smelled delicious here.
 The blackberries are budding.
 Lupin - not blooming yet, but they will soon enough

If you look around - the signs of Spring are everywhere - before we know it we'll be complaining about the heat.