Our land is .2 acres; it sits between a paved road and a small river. It forms something the shape of a kitchen knife without the handle, and the handle end is on the south side. The land has a slight grade to it, slanting from the road to the river.
The south end and widest portion is largely shaded by established apple trees on the neighbor’s side, and there is a lot of shade from the trees on the river bank. The northern end of the property receives the most sun, but is sometimes shaded by the barn. We have placed our first sets of gardens on the northern half of the property, outside of the shaded portion where the barn sits.
One bed is a 6×6 standard raised bed, and the second is the new woody bed added this season. Right now the 6×6 is the only bed that is working. This year in the 6×6 bed, instead of rows we are trying some square foot gardening. This is already more enjoyable than row cropping, we can add the kids in to a greater level. Instead of having to say “no that doesn’t go there” we can say try it, see what happens. I like the idea of having them excited, and experimenting with growing food.
The first woody bed is in a location that will need some soil building. It is located over sandy fill that we used when we took down an old out building. I am confident that with the right amount of manure, perhaps some top soil and a bunch of mulch the bed will be just fine by next season. My plan is to add 5 more woody beds this season, with hopes that they are ready to grow full tilt for next season.
The next 5 woody beds will be situated where the top soil is of a better quality. Those should be able to be planted this season, and yield food. We also have a fairly good sized deck that is in constant sun most of the year. I am going to put some vertical grow systems there, and perhaps experiment a bit with upside down growing


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