Another title of this post could be, “How to Make a Perfect Worm Proof Barrier.” Sadly, worms really need to be part of the whole composting process. To not invite them is like, not inviting Jack Nicholson to the Oscars. It makes no sense. Worms need to be at the head of the table for the feast, in fact, they are your guest of honor.
In searching the land for composting materials, I was really happy to clean out the barn and add all that old hay. I think it would have been ok to losely layer it on top. Unfortunately it was the second layer after the cardboard. With the winter snow and frozen water it made a perfectly impenetrable mat, a giant bouncer at the end of the red carpet that got his orders wrong. “Sorry sir, you’re not on the list.”
I spent two days digging the muck up, pulling the frozen mush out and retossing the beds. Normally you wouldn’t do this, but they were smelling foul. I think they will be fine in a few weeks.
“You know, the tomato that’s from your garden tastes very different from one that isn’t. And peas – what is it like to eat peas in season? So we want the White House to be a place of education and awareness. And hopefully kids will be interested because there are kids living here.”
– Michelle Obama on the Whitehouse Vegetable Garden
“hyperlocavore.com,” which blends bottom-up collaboration with food production. It’s an example of peer-to-peer agriculture, and it’s a pretty neat concept. The founder of hyperlocavore wrote to me, saying that she thought this was a pretty “worldchanging” idea. I agree. Check ’em out.”
What is a ‘hyperlocavore’?
A hyperlocavore is a person who tries to eat as much food as locally as possible. Growing your own is as local as it gets!
What is ‘yardsharing’?
Yard sharing is an arrangement between people to share skills and gardening resources; space, time, strength, tools or skills, in order to grow food as locally as possible, to make neighborhoods resilient, kids healthy and food much cheaper!
Why would I want to set up a yardsharing group?
Yard sharing is a way to connect people who love to garden, people who love healthy fresh food and people who have yards! Often people who have yards have little time time for a vegetable garden. And sometimes gardeners have trouble finding soil to garden in because they rent an apartment! Sometimes older people lack stamina and are socially isolated, finding younger people to partner in growing food together works wonderfully for all. There are all kinds of reasons it makes sense.
Yard sharing works for:
- apartment dwellers
- busy parents
- older people
- tree huggers
- cheap bastards
- farmers lacking land
- land holders lacking farmers
- people sick of leaf blowers
- curious kids
- folks with a disability
- people who want to get outside more
- people that want to eat better
- people that want to eat cheaper
- people who want to make their community resilient
- people who like their food super fresh
- people worried about peak oil
- and maybe you! (if you’re not on the list – send me a note!)
Yard sharing cuts down on greenhouse gases by limiting the travel time of fruit and vegetables to your table.
Yard sharing is a great way to connect with your family, friends and neighbors!
Yard sharing helps you eat more veggies!
Yard sharing can be a workable solution for people with physical limitations who want to eat better and more cheaply.
Yard sharing is an excellent way to teach children about food and biology!
Yard sharing is a great way to get cheaper produce to older people on a fixed income!
Yard sharing helps you get enough vitamin D from sunshine!
Yard sharing is a way to avoid pesticides and other chemicals on your food!
Yard sharing is a fun activity to share!
Yard sharing helps to create independent local food systems that are less sensitive to the price of oil.
And nothing tastes as good as food you grew yourself!
Who can yard share?
Anyone! If you don’t see a group for your area just create one! Then send invites to people in your neighborhood, your friends and
their friends and maybe you will find someone willing to start with you!
OK, Sign me up! No! Wait, is it free? Yes? OK, Sign me up!
This post is part of Fight Back Fridays!
hyperlocavore.com is a free social network here to help you form a yard sharing group with people in your neighborhood, a group of friends, a community restaurant and it’s neighbors, members of your family, faith communities or new friends made on hyperlocavore.
You may not want or need as much insulation as I used. It’s very cold where I live. It is not a thing of beauty and was build strictly to function as a place to start plants and extend our very short growing season. It hides in our garage.
So far it has been a constant 58 degrees inside the greenhouse. I have started only cold friendly plants. It likely gets a bit chillier when the lights go off.
Shelf with 5 shelves $50.00
8 LED grow light panels $240.00
Roll of sheet plastic $12.00
2 Power strips $10.00
2 Timers $14.00
1 Thermometer $ 2.50
Total: About 331.50 (plus tax)
Time of useful life. The only element I expect not to last for at least 10 years are the LED panels.
Things I had on hand:
some lattice panel to
keep the barn cats out
- LEDWholesalers on ebay.com – 2 orders – 900 LED Grow light 4 Red + Blue Hydroponic Lamp Panels. They have a few negative comments but for the most part they get 5 stars.
- My shelf was a bargain apparently. I can’t find these very cheap online.
- Make sure the timers are the grounded type (three prong.)
- The power strips plug into the timers.
- The LED panels go into the power strips.
1. Assemble shelf per directions that come with shelf.
2.Test all of your panels. You may need to send them back and it’s easier to do when they are not attached.
3.Attach LED panels to undersides of each shelf. (I used cotton cord and staples because it will be easy to remove panels if they go bad.)
4.Use zip ties to attach power strips to the back braces of the shelf.
5.Set timers for the amount of “daylight” you want. People differ on this. I have mine set for 14 hours. We will see how this goes.
6.Plug all panels into the two strips.
8.Make panels of bubble wrap to cover 3 sides of the shelf. (I used 2 layers.)
9.Staple the bubble wrap panels from the top shelf.
10.Use duct tape to close gaps in panels – Do not seal the whole thing up – plants like air. Stay away from PVC plastic.
11.Make plastic sheets into panels that will cover three sides of the shelf
12.Staple them also from the top of the shelf.
13.Use duct tape to close gaps in plastic sheet panels.
14.Create 4th panel – door. Cut plastic the length of shelf. Use a layer or two of bubble wrap. Duct tape edges if you like.
15.Staple door to top of shelf. Use clips to keep door folded open when working with plants.
16.Cover top with blanket for insulation in colder areas.
17.Use string to attach thermometer to easily visible spot in greenhouse.
18.Fill with trays of seedlings.
19.Water and wait.
Check the site for more reports on how our seedling starts are doing.
Need help in the garden – or need a place to dig? Consider yard sharing!
If you are like me you try a lot of new things. You’ve been through all the seed catalogs and your seeds are making their way to you right now. You’ve probably over done it again in your enthusiasm. You have saved seed from seasons past. You have seeds from failed experiments! You have enough extra to get one newbie gardener going!
This is how it works. All of you veteran gardeners out there, I’m talking to you! I just mailed four six newbie gardeners enough extra seeds for all of them to have lush edible gardens this season!
Pick a newbie gardener on hyperlocavore.com and send them a mix of various seeds, flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables to help them get growing this season! It took me about an hour to do this for four different people.
What’s in it for you? Well, the pleasure of giving of course! I just mailed four six gardens and I cannot wait to see how my fledgling gardeners grow.
To the newbie gardeners, I can’t guarantee you will wind up with a seed packet in the mail. I can’t guarantee that you will be sent your favorite fruits, vegetables or herbs. If you receive something you do not intend to plant I only ask that you find someone in the seed swap forum who would like to plant them, and then send them on. This is an experiment! Hopefully a fun and fruitful one!
Whether you are a newbie gardener or an experienced grower sign up for The Great Let’s Get Growing Seed Share! It’s free. All I ask is that you share your gardens and your experiences on hyperlocavore.com and pay it forward.
Be sure to check out Fight Back Fridays!