So the new herb beds in the back meadow were prepared, mulched and covered with weedmat over Winter.
A further 4 tonnes of organic manure were delivered and this time, due to new fencing and wider gates, we could get it into the back meadow: still had to shovel and wheelbarrow it onto the beds though. Needless to say, we’re now eyeing up second hand tractors, as being an osteopath, I know we are heading for back problems without one.
Fortunately the meadow has wonderful soil with a very thick organic mat of grass and plantain. It hasn’t been touched for nearly 60 years and has a wonderful feeling of nourishment to give our herbs.
With the luxury of hindsight (and advice from everyone in our village who walks past the meadow) we should have prepared these at the end of the summer and let them rot down a lot more – but we’re so green, have a very limited budget and we were so busy. Learning from our mistakes is tough but rewarding when we get it right!
So, we hired the rotovator to break up rotted organic top layer and manure. We allocated the worst wet and windy weekend and went to work shoveling more shit and breaking up the beds.
It’s the first week of March and it will be hard work to complete for April, due to our limited time. Our two gardeners Nick and Karen are back on the scene now and then we are ready to go with the new herb beds.
We plan to grow Calendula, Chamomile, Echinacea, Lavender, Yarrow and a lot more. As always, any advice and suggestions are welcome.
Finally: What about the biodynamics I hear you ask?
Preparation 500 will go down over the whole property in early April. I have to say, I’m getting that same feeling as I did with our farm in NZ. The small holding is starting to feel like it’s a single organism, taking its first gentle breaths as it wakes up to Spring. This is SO exciting.