Ok so here is the beginning of a lovely new season of growing in our new location! We are loving Kamloops so far and I am particularly excited because this is an especially good climate for growing tomatoes and melons and things like that. It gets nice and HOT in the summer! Anyway, these are the first few beds we've been working on.
One fun story is that since Mr. Forager's new job (the reason we moved) is at the Church down the street, we've been in contact with several awesome people who are full of great advice and also skills. I asked one man if he had scrap wood lying around that I could use to make some raised beds. He said he might and that he would get back to me. Later on I got home one day and found these super convenient boxes made for me! We are using them upside down because they weren't going into the ground very well. It doesn't really make that much of a difference. I suppose we can cut off the stakes if they get in our way, or I can use them to tie plants up to or something. Either way!
Anyway, my favourite method for filling up my boxes is to use a combination of lasagna gardening and hugelkultur techniques. I was particularly excited because I got to use up some of my Christmas tree to fill the boxes and that enabled me to use much less soil, and I won't have to dig or till the boxes since all the layers will break down.
This time around (as you can see in the photo below) I used a layer of newspaper first which I then soaked so that the weeds and grass below won't be growing into my nice beds. Then I spread a thin layer of steer manure (you can use any kind of fertilizer, really). After that cut up branches of my Christmas tree, and then another layer of manure. After that I spread out some straw and helped to fill in some of the gaps that the branches created so that the top of the soil would be more level. After that another layer of manure, and then finally a nice thick layer of compost. My favourite thing to use is Sea Soil which is very awesome and rich in nutrients.
For more information on "Lasagna Gardening"
For more information on Hugelkultur