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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEM curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the straw badge in Gardening.

Now that you're through the Sand badge, it sure seems like you need an actual garden of your own to grow in.  You can get a fair amount of food out of a small garden space.  Especially if you focus on higher value crops like herbs.  Let's create a small garden!



Sheet mulch garden establishment video for a fresh site:


Another general video on beginning to garden:


Minimum requirements:
  - At least 100 square feet of growing area
      - Paths and infrastructure don't count
  - Starting from lawn or untended ground (grass, weeds, etc)
  - Short fence to keep out rabbits
  - Can be:
      - Hugelkulture
      - Keyhole
      - Raised beds
            - No plastic or treated wood
      - Wide permanent beds in the ground (preferred)
      - Narrow rows
  - If soil or growing mix is added it needs to be organic or better
  - Mulch paths with heavy mulch that is organic or better (wood chips, straw, boards, etc)
  - Mulch beds with light mulch that is organic or better (chipped leaves, grass clippings, straw, etc)
  - Tilling is permitted this one time to establish a garden space
  - No hydroponics or aquaponics

Provide proof of the following as pictures or video (<2 min):
  - The area you're starting with
  - Garden halfway created
  - Show that any added growing mix, soil and mulches are organic or better
  - Garden complete with measurements of growing spaces
  - Rabbit fence
COMMENTS:
 
master gardener
Posts: 2603
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
961
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Approved submission
Provide proof of the following as pictures or video (<2 min):
 - The area you're starting with
 - Garden halfway created
 - Show that any added growing mix, soil and mulches are organic or better
 - Garden complete with measurements of growing spaces
 - Rabbit fence

I'm going to take a crack at this as the first person to submit for this BB. I will attempt to cover all the bases but I can clarify more if needed.

I did some digging in my photos and found that I started this garden in 2020 when I took over the property from my family.

The soil in the area is incredibly rocky, and rumors were that there used to be an old building back here that burnt down. To avoid too many surprises, I decided on wide raised beds. I utilized cardboard/brown paper as a smothering layer under the beds before adding materials.

I assembled the beds and filled them with locally sourced compost/topsoil (Linked privately with BB certifiers). I utilize cover crops, chop and drop, and semi-finished compost I make on site as garden bed mulch. I utilized ramial chip mulch from an arborist friend that he brought as well as trees from my homestead for the paths. I found that we had enough leftover board wood for a smaller bed that I decided to dedicate to asparagus and added it in a year later.

I did a year without a fence and found that the deer in the area thought the all you can eat was pretty neat. The local rabbits also took a keen interest in having babies in the raised beds. My fiancé and I took charge and put up some fencing around the perimeter of the garden and made a gate for entry. This removed the animal pressure dramatically. I utilized some 1x wood that was meant for staking and found that I could staple/secure the fending to it rather easily. Hindsight, I would of utilized beefier wood because they have a tendency to break if too much pressure is put on them. I do have plans to upgrade this fence when I do another garden expansion hopefully this upcoming year.

Current Garden
Six Raised Beds - 4'x12'x1'
One Raised Bed - 4'x10'x1'

328' Total Growing Space
Garden1.png
My backyard when I got my property. Its a long rectangle.
My backyard when I got my property. Its a long rectangle.
Garden2.PNG
Rough cut 2" pine from a local sawmill. Creating six 4'x12'x1' beds.
Rough cut 2
Garden3.png
Beds Assembled
Beds Assembled
Garden4.png
Local Compost
Local Compost
Garden5.PNG
MORE COMPOST (and Ramial wood chips)
MORE COMPOST (and Ramial wood chips)
Garden6.PNG
This is showing the bed filled, as well as a bonus 4'X10'X1' bed we made with extra wood
This is showing the bed filled, as well as a bonus 4'X10'X1' bed we made with extra wood
Garden7.PNG
Where we are now. Peek the bench :)
Where we are now. Peek the bench :)
Garden8.jpg
Bonus Picture - Rabbits prevented access. Fences/Gates work!
Bonus Picture - Rabbits prevented access. Fences/Gates work!
Fence1.PNG
Closeup of Rabbit Fence. We put a twine along perimeter for sight.
Closeup of Rabbit Fence. I put a twine along perimeter for sight.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
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