Friday, March 2, 2012

UFH February Challenge :: Soil Building

Part of the deal when we decided to move here was to try to grow as much of our own food as all the veg we could ever consume, so that not only could we try to save $$$, but so that i won't have to step in a grocery store again.

What? A girl can dream, eh?

Since we've only just moved in to the place a month ago, our priority hasn't really been the garden just yet--especially since Moose and i are recovering from surgeries for skin cancer (remember your sunscreen friends!!) and we are still trying to ready the other house for sale. 

However, knowing that Spring is right around the corner, i could just die if i don't plant something.  And for that, we need to start building our soil up, eh?  So isn't this challenge perfectly timed then?  It's that like poke in the rear to get us thinking in the right direction anyway.  Thank you Annette and Joshua for that!

Especially timely was siting a compost pile.  After a month of throwing food scraps away, i can no longer bare the guilt of one more banana or onion peel in the trash! :) 

So, we came up with a list of things that we required of a compost pile:

1.  Easy access from the garden, kitchen, and chicken coop.
2.  Something that the chickens can access as well, so they can add a little goodness to the pile.
3.  Something that was out of the standing water that collects around here in the heavy rainstorms.
4.  Someplace out of view of our neighbours.
5.  Someplace close in proximity to the greenhouse and the garden.

We decided on one of the former alpaca shelters for now.  Just out the back door is the girls' coop and a series of fields segregated by fencing.  We've opened up the fences so the girls can free range.

First gate past the coop is the shelter where we're keeping the compost, for now.  To the right of the shelther is a large gate that will allow us access by tractor or wheelbarrow to or from the fields just behind the gate or the greenhouse there on the left of the picture.

We even started our pile with some alpaca surprise. :)

At our old house, the girls had such a great time rummaging through the pile, that we figured we'd continue the tradition here too.  They love the kitchen treats and some of the veg patch thinnings.

Maybe at a later date, we will move the compost out into the garden itself.  One thing that makes me nervous is that the compost may attract wild critters in such close proximity to the girls.   However, i would want to construct a nice looking compost bin, so our neighbours up the hill from our wouldn't have to look at that mess. 

Another thing we have on the "to do" list is sourcing fertilizer or components of.  Hoping that the feed store just down the street has something that will work.

* * *

Have you heard about the Urban Farm Handbook Challenges?  PNW Authours Annette Cottrelle and Joshua McNichols have designed an ingenious series of monthly challenges, related to topics in their awesome book, that draw each of us closer to self-sufficiency.  There are varying degrees of participation, yet much to be learned from not only the authours, but the participants as well.  If you are interested in learning more about a more sustainable way of life, please visit their website called Sustainable Eats and sign up for the challenge.  Or just follow along.


  1. Your hens look really good. I love your green world, ours is drying up I even worked outside without a coat today.


  2. Dropping by from the UFHC to say hi and check out your February challenge. Loved seeing your girls, I really miss having my own chickens.


Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!