In early March we started digging… the soil has been an interesting combination of sand and silt. The area that will someday be a food forest used to be a horse paddock. After clearing the land we were eager to get some plants in the ground. Tractor Supply in Leesburg and Eustis donated peach trees and apple trees to our project. Bonnie plants sent us a gift card to purchase plants and soil we were able to purchase some peas, squash, okra, blueberry and blackberry plants.
We used a german method of planting, with the soil type we were concerned with root rot and we wanted to ensure proper drainage for our plants. Each area was dug extra deep, we filled the bottom with limbs from trees we cleaned up earlier this year. We added the smaller twigs to the top. We had seen this planting method when we visited Eden Gardens in Jacksonville and we were excited to try it.
Once the logs and twigs were in place we added horse manure and pine shavings from the horses that live next door.
Top soil and plants were next and mulch added to the top . Our plants seem to be really happy in their new home. It’s been encouraging to see the plants take root and grow!
This first little section of plants is special to us. We probably got ahead of ourselves and planted a little to soon.. have I mentioned we don’t have water yet? So our watering methods have been… let’s say creative. I’ll save that for our next update but for now it has been so fun to get our hands dirty and start putting together ideas to open the farm to students in the fall of 2022.