Burying the very available crab shell and coffee grounds to spice up the soil is the first thing. Warre hive is on the left and Bee Beard carved log hive on the right. I’m in good company.
Potatoes…should we harvest now or leave them in to grow more? If I leave them in, the voles might eat them…I better take them out. Then I can plant buckwheat in both beds.
Red Pontiacs – Three at once
A mole tunnel…the moles dig the tunnels, the voles follow the tunnels to the potatoes. More than a few potatoes had been chewed on, so it was good idea to get them out of the ground.
We’ve been fairly successful in the “no tilling” method for a few years. We think it’s important to use less manufactured energy and more physical energy. Is spading ‘as good as’ using a tiller? Probably not, but it’s important to be able to grow food without using fossil fuel for the possible time when we don’t have any.
We have dug in crab shell, kitchen scraps (no meat), comfrey leaves, and coffee grounds to enhance the soil. Now we’re planting the buckwheat seed.
The drip irrigation grid and the deer netting are in place.
Why do we need deer netting? Because of her…and all her offspring!
According to this article by the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute “…buckwheat crop seems to improve soil tilth, and is reported to make phosphorous more available as a soil nutrient, possible through root-associated mycorrhizae. Buckwheat flowers profusely, making it popular with bee keepers and an attractive crop in the landscape.”
Sept. 9, 2012…about 5 weeks after planting, buckwheat is looking good. Bees have been working the blossoms for a couple of weeks already.
Sept. 9, 2012…Honeybees attending to the buckwheat blossoms under the deer netting.
A fly mimicking a bee on the buckwheat blossom.
My wife saved me the ultimate embarrassment of thinking I found some kind of new bee. “Honey, that’s a FLY!” “Ulp.”
Another fly, this time with a red abdomen.
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