How to surprise yourself and trick your audience into thinking a back to eden garden sucks.

I am sorry I haven’t provided an update in a while. Things have been kind of hectic adjusting to a new role in my career and trying to get my house situated for a new roommate situation. The job is improving. At first I was stressed about whether I was qualified for the  new role. I started to learn the ropes and am slowly gaining confidence and comfort. One of the things that has been difficult for me about changing jobs is that I spent the last 2 plus years earning and proving myself to be a valuable member of the team and culture. It is disconcerting to have to start that process over again.

Some things I miss are socializing, the structure of working for a larger organization, (if you can call 7-12 people large) and the perks of working in a shared space occupied by tech based companies. (Basically free happy hours, parties and opportunities to get exposed to some of the best things Denver has to offer it’s residents through community building events). I’m getting used to the solitude that working remotely affords and the freedom to run with my duties while not having to worry about being micromanaged. But I do crave more interactions, we are after all, social beings, are we not?

This is odd to me since for the majority of my life, I’ve chosen the lone wolf route, in work, in play and in much of everyday life. I guess working at rentbits exposed me to a more team oriented environment where I developed a certain level of social comfort I hadn’t experienced before. It is surprising to be quite frank.
What I enjoy is not having to commute anymore, and all things related to it such as paying for gas, dealing with road rage and ruining my already questionable vehicle with added mileage.

One of the reasons I picked a remote position, was to be able have mobility. I didn’t want to be stuck in a situation because my job demanded I live in a particular place. You never know what opportunities may present themselves and if my lifelong dream of living in the mountains became an option, I wouldn’t think twice about relocating.

On to the topic at hand! A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about being slightly disheartened about the way my garden had turned out. Things have changed and my sentiment was premature. Once the temperature increased, it was like some sort of force took over my garden and spawned new growth- “hulk style”. It seems that once the roots penetrated through the mulch into the rich soil beneath, the plants simply exploded with vitality and burst with buds at every juncture of their being. I braced myself for the coming flood of food that I wouldn’t know what to do with!

I do have some interesting insight I’ve recently gleaned from which type of mulching method produced the best results.  In the areas where I placed a thick layer of straw beneath the wood chip mulch, the soil seems richer with a higher propensity for retaining moisture. There could be a couple of reasons for this, one it was less aerated than the woodchip and more compressed. Straw also favors bacterial growth (which is what annuals or vegetable plants prefer) and woodmulch favors fungal growth. Once the woodchips have enough time to break down, the bacteria move in to digest what the fungus has left as a byproduct of decomposing the raw material. So it seems what I did was provide bacteria with adequate supply of food while fostering a fungal dominated substrate right over it.

This would be most advantageous because once the bacteria has completed digestion of the straw, it can move up into the woodchips that would have at that time, been partially digested by the fungus to start working on digesting the material there. This is a great revelation! It will determine my plan of action this fall in preparation of the garden beds for next season. I will alternate straw and wood chip mulch filling in each garden bed and top it off with a thick layer of compost where I plan to directly sow the seeds. It will offer alternative sources of fuel that are decomposing at differing rates to encourage both fungal and bacteria decomposition and hopefully provide the roots with a matrix to inject their roots without the risk of becoming dry or nitrogen deficient. Now, as for where I am going to source this material, well, that is another story. I am running out of space as to where I can store large piles of mulch or bales of straw. ?

To be continued….. P.S. I got chickens!



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Cocozelle

Cocozelle

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash

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Onions and Leeks

Onions and Leeks

Collards, Kale plant on left is solo

Collards, Kale plant on left is solo

Never ending supply of squash!

Never ending supply of squash!

Buttercup romaine, the best variety I've grown yet

Buttercup romaine, the best variety I’ve grown yet

Kholorabi

Kholorabi

cabbage, I don't mind if the bugs have some too

cabbage, I don’t mind if the bugs have some too

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the middle island

the middle island

front garden rows

front garden rows

my skyscrapers are growing fast!

my skyscrapers are growing fast!

front squash

front squash

I've never seen squash plants as vigorous as these

I’ve never seen squash plants as vigorous as these

Front yard is out of control

Front yard is out of control

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