R Ranson wrote:Good for you, practicing your forever skills in a tempory place. So many times I've seen people come to farming/growing food with zero experience and expect it to be all sunshine and rose coloured tomatoes. Like hell it is! Do what you can where you are. Improve the soil. Learn how to do everything wrong. In the end, the place is better than when you started and you know how to overcome that hurdle in future. Show 'em that you care in spite of it being a rental property.
Thank you! The first few replies from when I originally posted this weren't totally grasping the idea/being as constructive as I would have imagined. But since then, people's reception have evidently increased, as I haven't checked this post in a couple months.
First and foremost, I have excellent news; the change in the top soil is happening!
Wood chips are breaking down quickly and covered in mycelium, bugs are abundant, the newspaper is totally broken down, the grass layer is nearly gone and can easily be punched through with almost no effort. The sub soil is still quite beige, rock-laden, and granular. However, seeing the progress I am unquestionably convinced, and prepared to vehemently defend, the miraculous nature of this practice. There is no doubt that deep, rich, quality topsoil is simply a matter of time. Not
doubting it, and actually seeing it happen, are two different things. Belief, and witness, are equally powerful. Once the spring rolls back around the entire area will be much easier to work/oxygenate/remove rocks/perhaps double dig.
I feel like the one major drawback to this ideology, actually has nothing to do with the practice; but everything to do with the delivery of the information. We tried it because we saw multiple reports, that you simply could
. Just plunk down some newspaper, compost and woods chips and never lift a finger. I feel like this method needs to come with a heavy disclaimer: "This should only be done in late summer/early fall, it takes a very long time/don't even attempt this without a year in between.
" It should be called "patient planting" not "lasagna gardening." However, that's obviously not quite as catchy for marketing purposes, so the chances of that are quite slim.
It's shaping up that we will probably be here through next summer, so round two is even more exciting than round one! Knowing our space, seeing all the life that can come from such a tiny area is so wildly fascinating and empowering. Very excited to continue to the process. Or, let the process continue, as it were.