We dug about a thousand pounds of potatoes, about right to feed us for a year, but a poor harvest for the space. We try to grow corn on newly-turned sod, but it just turned out this year that the new beds needed to be potatoes, so we planted a lot, knowing they wouldn’t make very well. We’ve added some rotted horse manure to one of the beds and sown it to pintos, at about four times the conventional planting rate, for green manure. With such close spacing the beans may just be spindly, but pintos germinate so darned well in the high heat of summer (when other things, like the winter spinach plantings, refuse to budge) that I wanted to see what would happen. The beans we put in after the oats and peas were cut came up thick and fast . .
Building fertility into an acre of clay soil is uphill work. We put one bed in three in green manure, and harvest animal manures when we can, but more needs to be done. We’ll be planting buckwheat in the spring . .
September is Mother Earth News Fair Seven Springs, something we look forward to every year. So many people thinking about food and soil! We’ll present twice, once on micro-multi-species grazing, once on non-electric captured water systems. Hope to see some people there!