Hard to grow without good soil! This past week, we finally got to dig our shovels and hands into a little bit of earth, prepping our chicken run and greenhouse for our first plantings!
Like chopping wood, there is something I find incredibly satisfying about the act of shoveling. It’s a great work out, and I find it frees my mind to really focus. I often think, “I could be anywhere in the world right now – and here I am shoveling compost.” This is usually then followed by the thought, “I love my life.” Urban agriculture: all the perks of the city + a healthy dose of dirt, sweat, and sun.
Some great lessons about soil after a little hands on work: there are no absolutes when it comes to soil, and I’m finding it’s very much about feel. The ratio of compost/organic matter to dirt, clay and loam totally depends on where you are, what the climate is and what sort of plants you plan on growing. For us – the soil we’ve gotten donated for the most part has been quite sandy, so we’ve been wheeling out a lot of processed compost to enrich the mix with wetter, warmer organic matter.
Healthy soil is the foundation of any good garden, and in an urban setting, community keeps cropping up as another major asset to getting a garden off the ground (wow – talk about a pun-filled sentence). As Urban Adamah continues to grow, more and more folks are taking notice, and coming by to offer their help and ideas. It’s been incredible to be working alongside community members who have stopped by on their days off, or who just happened to be walking by and wanted to chip in. People have donated shovels, wood, pipes, soil, urbanite (i.e. reclaimed concrete) – even a table saw, which we’ve been searching for since the beginning! It never ceases to amaze me what magical happenings follow upon mentioning to folks that we are working on an urban farm.
When the soil is healthy, the plants are healthy. When a community has a place to stick its roots, it has more of a chance to grow. And when gardens start to grow in cities, whole new possibilities for connections emerge.
Tomorrow: we get crackin’ on some portable palette beds. Until then,
P.S. Did I mention we have a pretty good time?
P.P.S. Shirtless snowshoeing and perching on freshly built roof beams – Sid is a man that just can’t be stopped.
P.P.P.S. In case you were looking for it, here it is: