I am not one to create from scratch, but rather build upon, fix, or recreate what is already in existence. Now in our second spring, we are in full force tackling the "big garden." At 1,000 square feet, the garden was several years overgrown, making it past due searching and salvaging anything that was left growing within. The remnants of an electric fence remained, leading us to believe deer are a problem - which we have learned they are indeed.
So, when we moved in the fall of 2013, we had the whole garden mowed to the ground and we cleared out the debris, using it to add organic matter to build up the southern facing slope-side as it dips into the woods.
The following spring we laid heavy duty black plastic over the entire space, securing it with heavy rocks. It sort of looked like a pond or river which was really cool.
The plastic held all season, and last fall we turned all of the hot, remaining nutrients into the soil and then planted winter rye as a green manure.
Once that snow melted this spring, we tilled in the winter rye and added close to two yards of organic compost from Grow Compost in Moretown, Vermont. Then I planned out the paths and built up the beds. I covered the tomato and pepper beds with more black plastic to warm the soil - portable hot houses are in the works for these veggies to grow up here on the mountain. A tarp covered the bed with the remaining compost to add when planting and the rest of the beds were covered with straw. Another bale remains for mulch.
Mitch is completing the electric fence as we speak. We purchased a new solar fence charger and are stringing up five rounds of wire - a few more are being added after this picture was taken. And I am off to plant!!!