My friend Steven Cornett just quit his job. He quit so he can start his NEW job…farming in San Diego on a quarter acre in his backyard.
“We’ve been using this simple compost system for the last 2-3 years and it has worked great for us. In fact, this is how we got our best compost ever. Our first attempt using this easy compost method produced hundreds of papaya plants that sprouted from the compost as volunteers. Papayas don’t normally like to be transplanted, but these plants did great probably because the soil was so microbial rich.
“Late August 2015 we cleared a small area in the front yard of forsythia and lawn and set it in motion as permanent raised beds. Two growing seasons later and it’s pretty wonderful to see how well it all broke down. Wood chips and chopped up branches and some clay soil and we have the ingredients to make some luscious beds that grow a significant amount of annual crops, perennial crops and nursery work.”
I’ve seen garden towers gaining in popularity over the last two years or so but didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to them because of concern about chemicals leaching from the plastic. Richard, a long time reader, explained how a whole garden of closely spaced towers would produce a huge quantity of food in a small area such as a backyard garden where space is often limited. Instead of using plastic, the planters could be made out of safer materials such as terracotta, ferrocement or metal at far lower cost.
“This is a partially underground greenhouse we use at Saddle Peak Farm & Vineyard to start, grow, overwinter, and propagate plants. This year we have tomatoes using the extra summer space, hoping they last until December. In this update, I show them off, as well as some dwarf citrus trees, water plants, and carnivorous plants (Venus Fly Traps and Pitcher plants). Enjoy!”