As most of you know the Start Up Gardens of The Delsa were built and first sowed last July. The raised bed was created from recycled concrete blocks provided by neighbors who allowed us to collect and reuse them from their torn down buildings.
This allowed us to build in a way that was in keeping with our desire to maintain harmony with the environment. The soils were donated by generous businessmen, and we amended the soil with organic matter, fish emulsion, azomite, and a thick layer of leaves we had saved up for the occasion and burned them into a fertile ash.
We installed netting to keep wildlife out and also covered the garden frame with greenhouse plastic during the winter to extend the growing season.
We were able to share out of the abundance, can some, freeze more, and most importantly harvest seed for the future gardens. Certainly a project of love!
All of this was to experiment and determine what could be grown successfully in an area with clay soil, towering trees, and an abundance of hungry wildlife! With great joy we are happy to report the following:
Herbs grown included genovese basil, italian basil, thai basil, spearmint, oregano, dill, parsley, cilantro, garlic, ginger, sage, chamomile, and savory.
Vegetables grown included corn, carrots, potatoes, green onion, red onion, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, celery, beets, lettuce, and spinach.
Legumes grown included pole beans and edamame.
Fruits grown included tomatoes, bell peppers, summer squash, eggplant, watermelon, and the saplings of avocados, lemons, and oranges. Don't know that the fruit trees will survive without a true green house, but they have survived a year! Hopefully, they will stay with us until The Delsa is built.
Other things we learned were that the acorns and hickory nuts falling in abundance from the trees above us could be gathered and used for food. A truly fun, educational, and tasty experience.
Acorn biscuits anyone?
All in all we harvested over 100 pounds of food in 10 months from a 300sf raised bed. Anticipating year round gardening with two large green houses and an acre of land, the Start Up Gardens confirmed that we can easily produce a minimum of 12,000 pounds of food per year and our goal of 30,000 pounds of food per year is realistic and obtainable. We CAN feed everyone on site at any given time and we will have the ability to help feed the community around us.
Bottom line - it's been a huge success!
For those that have been with us from the beginning and those that have come alongside since as "Foundation Builders" we want to say again how much we appreciate your contribution and belief in what we're doing - and are still yet to do! Your financial support, encouragement, and belief in the vision of The Delsa give meaning and purpose to every day. For those that have yet to Join Hands with us, I encourage you to do so. Our Foundation Builders are those that contribute just $25 per month. Because they are "paving the way" for The Delsa to be built, every Foundation Builders name will be placed on a tile and those tiles will "pave the way" to the entrance of The Gathering Place (our community center) as a memorial of gratitude for their willingness to make a way for The Delsa to become a reality.
...from my heart to yours...Thank you!