The Humble Beginnings of Nelson Acres

My lifelong dream has been to be a farmer. I have been researching and reviewing organic and sustainable methods for a couple of years now, and am now trying to put some of this into practice on my 1/2 acre preparation of the day when I can make that dream come true. This blog is going to be my place to document, share, and follow my successful and unsuccessful attempts as Nelson Acres moves closer to reality.

15 April 2011

In the beginning....

15 Apr 11, Location: home sick.
This is an interesting time for me.  I had big plans for this spring, but here I am too sick to do all those things, so I am instead going to start this blog.  I do think this will be a great way to capture my initial attempts at organic gardening, so it is probably best that I can not continue to put together my raised beds.  But let's catch up to today...
About 25 Mar, I had my Miracle Gro Organic potting soil, two trays of fifty peat pots, and had gotten my packets of organic seeds.  I began filling each peat pot with the potting soil, and then set them up in the little greenhouse cases I had gotten from Home Depot.  Shortly, they began growing.  The majority of the seeds were from Southern Exposure, but I did have one package of Martha Stewart Organic Sunflowers.  Ultimately, I ended up with four trays of fifty, with multiple veggies, herbs, and flowers for the Butterfly/Hummingbird garden I built last year.  Some of these are of course Autumn's, and she is very excited about her contribution. Most started growing in very short time, some even outgrew their peat pots. Luckily my mom brought me some of my grandmother's pots to use, and the plants have pretty much soared in those.  I just started hardening them to the outside climate a few days ago, and they are doing fantastic.  It helps that I'm home because I can pay them so much attention.
I also had decided against tilling, and am instead utilizing the Lasagna Gardening strategy.  This is in part due to the heavy clay soil I have in my yard. I ordered three raised beds (also from Home Depot), one a 4'x4', another 8'x8' (driven by my desire to do corn), and the third a ridiculously expensive but very pretty ornate one that resembles a flower when looked at from above.   The topsoil mixed with compost arrived today.  I have been trying to get the gardens put together, but alas, this illness didn't let me get as far as I'd like, so I am now resting from that.  But once they are together, I'll put cardboard and newspaper down on the bottom of each garden bed.  This is supposed to reduce the ability of weeds to pop up.  I had hoped to add straw as well, but in my current state something had to give.  So friends are coming to help me this Sunday to move the topsoil/compost mixture into each garden, as tomorrow it is supposed to rain heavily. 
I have such a variety and so many are really doing well, so at this point I'll point out the ones not doing well, mostly herbs: thyme, oregano, feverfew, chamomile, peppermint, and a few of the others.  Borage and Chevril are the only ones really showing up right now.  I have put in some more seeds as of yesterday and we'll see if the next batch will appear. 
I am zone 7a, so planting time is somewhere between now and next month...most seem to recommend planting next month (after mother's day), but I may go a little early as the plants seem ready.  We'll see how that goes. 
Well if nothing else, I need to get a tarp over the topsoil so it won't all drain away tomorrow.  I'll add more in the next few days as to how the making of the gardens go. 

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