Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Far Field

Josh has plans to eventually grow a large amount of food in the open field above the orchard at the far end of the property. About a month ago he measured and mowed a 2100 square foot area on the hillside, then gathered and sent soil samples to UMass Amherst for testing. The results came back this week, and their recommendations are quite fascinating (to me at least). Our soil is apparently slightly acidic, and needs more phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. UMass Amherst's organic growing recommendation is as follows:

Well rotted manure and dried blood (what?!) to replenish nitrogen
Rock phosphate or steamed bone meal to replenish phosphorus
Wood ash for potassium

We already have two piles of old brush set up on the hillside for burning & will spread the ashes into the soil this winter to replenish the potassium. The remaining elements we'll have to purchase at a farm & garden center.

It will take some time to prepare the soil and get garden up and running, but we are hoping to plant next spring or the year after if all goes as planned.

↓ View from the top end of the field.
↓ Burn piles
↓ View from the bottom of the field. Our small orchard is at the bottom of the hill and the large garden will be planted in the space above.

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