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Forging Ploughshare Garden
Forging Ploughshare Garden
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Moberly, MO, US
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

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Established Beds

Project: Forging Ploughshare Garden

Posted by Michael Vang over 1 year ago

On Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, I laid out paper and spread used coffee grinds on the paper. The CEO of the FP asked if we should go to Lowes to purchase some cow manure seeing how it was difficult in sourcing manure locally. (We have the connections.) The following day, I was helping another member lay down mulch and compost for his garden. After finishing his garden around noon Saturday, we started work on the FP garden.

The FP garden original design was 3 parallel 8' X 16' beds running north to south and two 8' X 14' beds at the head of the garden running east to west.

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The real measurements might be around three 8' X 16' beds with two 6' X ~14'.  Now the three 8' X 16' beds are actually six 8' X 8' keyhole gardens. The keyholes were not made ... yet. We just placed paper, cow manure, wood mulch and aged compost (in that order) for the beds.

The paper was construction paper bought off Amazon; they were two rolls of 36" x 140' for about ~$12.

Cow manure was sourced from Lowes and Orschlens. The first 10 or so bags were Black Kow. The rest of the manure were bought from Orschlen, and they were Timberline Manure and Compost. The decision with changing from Black Kow to Timberline was purely financial. A bag of Black Kow was $5+ while Timberline's product was $2+.

The mulch and aged compost were acquired from Moberly's yard waste site.

FP members donated money towards the garden. We were able to raise around $250 and all of this money was used to buy seeds from Burpee, MIGardener, Strictly Medicinal, Gurney, and Harris Seeds. These seeds are largely annuals. The rest was spent on Black Kow manure.

I also used online software from the Farmer's Almanac to design the layout of the garden. I listed the dimensions of the garden above. Another design decision was to establish 10 polyculture guilds. There is an apple tree in the backyard but I realize I didn't do a good enough job with knowing the location of the tree. This mistake impacted my design because I thought the apple tree was farther back. I planned to have a tomato guild on the east side of the tree. But now, I realize the tree is closer to the middle of the backyard.

Future plans:

Sow seeds in the coming months.

Acquire earth worms, not compost worms i.e. red wigglers, and set them loose in the garden.

Spread Mychorrhizae

Re-design the garden in the fall with the intention of becoming more of a perrennial garden than annuals. Perhaps, even plant multiple trees and berry bushes!

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