The house we are transforming into our main garden site essentially used to be a residential garbage dump. What you see on the video gives you a brief idea of the state of the place, though in all truth the place has only improved over the last couple months of us being here doing LOTS of cleaning and construction.
The reality of our situation is that we have a lot of work to do to get our home and garden in order, so this year we have started early on many fronts, one of the most important being that of composting.
After observing the site and speaking with the land owners, it is clear that we have soil amending to do. I am still looking into local soil tests, though the more I look into using mushroom mycelium, compost, and bulk organic matter as integrated strategies to amend soil, the more I relax about it all too.
We can amend the soil that is here, and we will also import around 10 yards of new soil to grow in, leaving only our mid and deep rooted perennials to eventually access the existing soils and allowing a significant buffer for the soil rehabilitation to occur below our actual growing medium. Eventually most of the garden areas here will be covered in up to a foot and a half more organic material, compost, and soil than is currently here.
So, here is a quick clip of us making a compost pile. We celebrate at the end with a little garden music after we got the pile done pretty fast.
In the video, you can see the loads of lettuce which we added to the compost. I went and set up a couple compost pick-up agreements with local restaurants and a local grocer, and the lettuce was a big bonus from our grocer client; we ended up eating TONS of it before we had to compost the rest.
Leaves which we harvesting last year through our leaf raking service provide the main carbon base of the pile. To bring in nitrogen and other minerals, we added some manure from our chinchillas, egg shells, general veggie scraps, and coffee grounds. Over time I will add in some wood mulch and more manure to this pile too, and once it warms up enough outside I will also add some of our Red Wiggler worms from the indoor worm compost.