Food Gardening

The Challenge

Food gardening, although not a money saving venture can be very rewarding and satisfying on many levels. The garden featured has a large walnut tree, which being allopathic, tends to emit a toxin from its roots and leave that deters many plants from growing well. It also is very large and creates a lot of shade. It is valued as a shade tree to moderate the temperature of the home in summer, serves as a social area for people and birds and provides a visual screen from an unsightly view.

The Design

The property extends into an area that was formerly an alley, but because it is included in the deeded property the owner was able to use their area. It was formally used as a multi-bin compost area, but had become dilapidated and unsightly, and with weekly green waste pick-up, the owner opted for a smaller worm composting system near the home for kitchen waste. The planks for the raised beds were already being stored on site, and after a machine was brought in to remove some of the bamboo the boxes were constructed. Soil was moved from two other vegetable garden areas the owner had created on other properties, and in consolidating efforts on one property hoped to spend less time gardening elsewhere.  We did not want to add any soil from outside sources to minimize the chance of contamination from chemical pesticides or invasive weeds. The soil level was a bit low the first year, but with yearly additions of leaves, manure and compost, was soon at the ideal height. The full sun on the site made the situation ideal for growing food.