In previous years, the garden has been left pretty quiet over the winter.
However, THIS year, we have new sources of compost to move, and financing for raised beds!
So a handful of intrepid volunteers have labored on...


Frank and Paul cutting lumber for raised beds
Bringing more lumber
Teens from University Congregational Church
assembling raised beds under Frank's supervision
Another team applying
linseed oil
Frank, Paul, Kinley, Aline, Mathias and Kathy
met under the high tunnel
on a rainy day to finish assembling the beds
...including painting on the linseed oil,
and trying to keep Kathy's dogs from licking it off.
Using brains as well as brawn -
using the farm cart to move the beds
Positioning the beds
On three different days, Aline, Paul
and Kathy layered compost in the beds
We did young compost, under Olympic Organics compost,
under Ardelle's aged compost.
(Aline calls it "tiramisu layering".)
Then, despite the late date,
we added cover crop.
Then we tilled where we had been running the tractor.
(Check out how well last Spring's heavy application
of newspaper mulch has tilled in!)

This coming Spring, we will have an outdoor place to plant early crops, no matter how wet it is!

Thanks to ShareNet board, for helping finance the lumber; to all the folks who have been supplying compost;
and to all the volunteers who helped to assemble the raised beds!
SPECIAL THANKS to Ed, who did the initial planning, and to Frank, who finalized the design and supervised the work.


We are particularly working on soil improvement in the high tunnel and the big patch.
The veggie patch also needs annual amendments (because we are taking a lot of nutrition out of it)
but the high tunnel was leveled to the subsoil when we built it,
and the big patch also had its topsoil removed when the land was graded for the vineyard
so we are industriously trying to replace what was lost and perpetually improve on conditions.
But it's a good-sized space, and it's in use.

We have, for a few years, been getting loads of horse and mule manure from Ardelle and Roger.
This year, Woodside Stables has provided us with quantities of wood-pellet-based stall cleanings
which we have set to composting, adding lime (at Katherine's suggestion)
and yeast mixed with molasses (at Clark's suggestion) to speed up the process.
Olympic Organics and Verns Organic Topsoil also donated a total of 15 cubic yards of compost last Spring.

This winter, Linda, a neighbor of the Giving Garden, offered the production
of her compost bin on an ongoing basis.
Some of it is aged and ready to use; the rest is a good-looking mix of straw, chips and manure.
As part of our winter chores, Aline, Brenda and Kathy have been cleaning out Linda's compost bin (7 truckloads so far.)

Aline and Brenda loading up Maia's truck at Linda's place.
Putting compost from Linda's alongside the
wood pellet-based compost from Woodside Stables.
Working on improving the high tunnel soil
with a mix of older compost from Linda
and Olympic Organics' "slow release" compost
Aline unloading compost (a euphemism for
mule manure) from Roger's place.
(Thanks also to Roger's neighbor, John,
who uses his tractor to load the truck
at Roger's end.)


We are always trying to grow something in winter, and always fighting off varmints.
Between wind damage and varmints moving in, we do not close the ends of the high tunnel.
This is the second year we have put a low tunnel under the high tunnel
to keep some greens going slowly in winter, and provide an earlier Spring crop.

Brenda and Ameena transplanting
chard in mid-Fall.
Aline and Paul assembling the low tunnel
(and Aline weeded the low tunnel out in Decemebr...)
A row of garlic takes over where a
row of peas grew in summer.
(The other pea rows have cover crop.)
Two-year-old horse manure added to where
Romaine lettuce grew last summer.

And there will be more to come...