October 11, 2010

Planting a garden

Work has begun on Korinji's food and medicinal garden. The garden site - a southeast-facing, gentle slope above the future residence, has been marked and cleared. It's a unique spot. Most of Korinji's land is rocky, forested ravine with clay and sandy soils. The garden, though, has a thick layer of nearly black, loamy earth. Apparently this layer is the remains of cow manure and hay deposition over many years that the spot was used for pasture by a local farmer. This history also means that our garden location is already open and sunny.

Eden Roemer, a Korinji supporter and volunteer, has begun designing the garden. Here's some more information from her:

The planning has begun for Korinji's vegetable and herb garden! The design is a fusion of the French poterage (or kitchen garden), the traditional Midwestern vegetable garden as well as other aspects that will further define and refine the layout.

What is exciting about Korinji's garden is that it is deeply rooted in the theory and practice of companion gardening. Simply put, this means that the placement of each plant is specific to its particular needs as it relates to growth enhancement, nitrogen giveaway, and pest-controlled ecosystem. Companion gardening is a type of organic and sustainable farming that is not new - just an art that has been more or less abandoned as a result of the use of pesticides.

As this new paradigm of self-sustainability evolves an awareness that is more self-aware and connected to the earth, Korinji will lead by example through the creation of its own independent food source that is environmentally friendly, self-sustainable, and constructed in harmony with its natural surroundings.

There is a saying among farmers that what a garden needs to grow is a little "loam, light, love and luck." Given the intention, energy and passion of the Korinji volunteers (not to mention the amazingly rich, nutrient-dense Wisconsin soil) there should always be an abundant harvest.

For more on Eden and her work, see her site Raw Earth Living.

Just now while posting this, I've received word that another of our supporters has been buying up purple coneflowers (echinacea) with the plan to over-winter them in her garage and plant them at Korinji in the spring. Wonderful!

Now we just need to start planning the bees we'd like to keep...