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Kay’s Garden Update January 2013

 Happy New Year!

Kay’s 200 sq m Biointensive garden, designed to supply all the veges and grains for 2 people and to grow soil! (We’ve been giving away a lot too…)

I began weighing everything I harvest from my garden again this last month as I did last year. Last summer I discovered that in 6 months of valuing the vege I harvested I HAD SAVED ENOUGH TO PAY BACK THE TOTAL FINANCIAL COST OF PUTTING IN THE NEW 200 SQ M GARDENYee Haa, we have summer and things are humming…..

This past month, even though summer vege are not on line yet, (due to  very late cold spring),  I harvested $530 worth of vege valued at supermarket non organic prices, mine were obviously not only organic but also nutrient dense. As well as harvesting $530 worth of vege I also harvested enough high brix carbon and other material to make 3 huge compost heaps, which will feed my autumn/winter garden. Our oats had a brix of 28!

Lettuces 60 ( I gave a lot away)     @$2   $120

Peas 5kgs sugar snap                 @$20kg   $100

Welsh Bunching onions 21 @ $1:95 bunch  $40

Chives 14 bunches @$1:95    $30

Puha   8 bunches @ $3     $24

Endive 10     @$3 a bunch     $30

Beetroot 7 kgs @ $5 kg      $35

Early garlic   5kgs     @ $20 kg    $100

courgettes  first few no value

magenta spreen 6 bunches @ $3 bunch   $18

perilla 3 bunches @ $5 bunch       $15

daikon    5 bunches of 3 medium size        $15

coriander   3 bunches @ $3          $9

beans first few no value

                                              Total value $536!!!!!

I estimate I spend 1 hour each day watering   5 days per week, plus another 1 hour per day doing other things 5 days a week. That is a total of  10 hours a week,( plus help from Bob this month to add charged  biochar to  all beds that had not already had it added).

I only had enough of my own compost  this spring for the  heavy feeders section of the garden, so we added Nature’s Garden again  at recommended rates when planting.

From now on I think I will have enough high quality compost to compost every crop that goes in the ground. It has taken a full year of Biointensive practices top get to that point.

We have been so impressed by the beds that had fully charged biochar added that we decided to bite the bullet and add it to all beds at a cost of $2 a kg which meant another $400 for the garden as a whole.

We haven’t begun harvesting produce from those beds yet, so we will see the results as the summer continues. The growth and brixes are outstanding.

I planted kumara in containers as our soil is too free draining and double dug so tubers do not form . Creating a box filled with compost on top of the soil will work I think.

I am planting dry beans inside all of my rows of corn this year, trying a range of varieties . It’s not too late to do that with corn that is 30cm high already and not over  50cm. Two crops for the work of one! I planted 1 soaked bean seed beside each corn plant.

I can see I made a mistake planting my Delicata pumpkins 2 to the sq m they are growing so fast and huge they will take over beds each side, the soil is so good, same with the Buttercup pumpkins…. I should have stuck to my own advice and only planted 1 to the sq m!

We harvested our hulless barley and hulless oats this month, both look excellent but not weighed yet.

Summer grains/carbon crops are mostly a mix of Blue Aztec, Rainbaow Inca  and Kanga Ma , but also Proso millet which is large seeded, good to eat, and grows super fast. It’s a great time to plant that now. I’m also super impressed with Lambs Quarters as a carbon crop in beds where there isn’t time to do anything else. I would say they produce high levels of carbon faster than any crop I know.

I’m planting beetroot, Cylindrical and carrots, Yellow Austrian Llobericher  today for Autumn eating, also daikon and salsify.

I’ve been foliar spraying Koanga BioPesticide on my potatoes and tomatoes against the psyllids.

– Kay Baxter, Jan 2013

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