Today I finished digging out the raised beds. We now have ~800 square feet of raised, double-dug garden beds which Tasha began planting today. Earlier in the week we opted for 18 tons of compost,

since we found we could get it pretty cheaply from a local quarry. We used a bit under half of it to add about 3 inches of top soil to the beds.

Our vegetable garden looks kinda Gilligan’s Island–the enclosure is made out of 10-foot high bamboo stakes.

We have a bamboo grove growing down near the pond, and the previous owner built it to keep the deer out of his garden. He wasn’t doing a whole lot with it, but since it was fenced in and since deer here are very numerous, we thought it a good place to start. From there, I dug 5 raised beds, 5 x 30-some feet each.

It was a lot of work but very satisfying. I’ve lost some weight and am starting to get a nice tan. I broke a spade and a pitchfork in the process–our Carolina clay is pretty tough.

Tasha renovated our partially falling-down chicken coop and we put in an order for 14 chicks, which we’ll pick up at the end of the month.

In the garden, she planted peas, beets, salsify, parsnips, chard, fava beans, spinach, and lettuce. She started another “experimental” plot too, outside the fence with some wildflowers and vegetable seeds from a couple years ago.

Today UPS delivered our vines: we ordered 50 varietals that have been developed specifically for organic/biodynamic wine production, most of them from upstate New York. The California commercial varietals we experimented with in Maryland didn’t do so well, so lesson learned there. We’ll be busy getting those in the ground this weekend and moving a couple of cherry trees that are where the shipping container housing our solar electric system will be. That’s all for now. It’s late and I’m tired. I’ll try to post more over the weekend.