It all starts with the soil

It really all starts with the soil. Some will disagree with me and tell you that a great garden starts with a great design, but whilst we’re pondering on the design we might as well start composting in the meanwhile.

Three years ago we moved into our current home. It was late spring and we were faced with an overgrown backyard that had never seen much love. Quiet the challenge. We started composting our kitchen scraps in old tires and made a raised garden bed with pallets because that’s what we had at hand.

Making raised garden beds with old pallets

Next, we had to fill those beds and what better than manure? So, we went in the search of manure. In our region of Spain, you can always find a pile of cow manure somewhere, and if you can get your hands on old manure with loads of straw, you’re a happy man.

Old cow manure with lots of straw makes a happy man

We topped it off with some store-bought bags of soil and were ready to go. Mission accomplished & season saved.

Ready to kick off the season

That first year I was so surprised with the success of the tomatoes that I saved the seeds and each year they grow bigger. They’re now officially called ‘Cherry tomato XXL’. There’s no better summer evening than one with a cold glass of wine, some cheese and freshly picked tomatoes. Or, no better winter night than one with homemade pizzas topped with sundried tomatoes as there’s enough for the whole year.

Holding a big bowl of ripe cherry tomatoes makes a happy woman

Oh, and yes, that’s a cannabis plant in the back, well spotted. Nothing relieves the tension of muscles as a massage with cannabis oil. To make it you have to decarboxylate the dried buds, grind them and use them to infuse a carrier oil (like coconut oil for example). There’s truly no reason not to grow some medicinal herbs and plants in your garden and take health into your own hands.

Over the past three years, this forgotten backyard turned into a lush little oasis, buzzing with life during the summer and standing strong in the winter. With the next move insight, I wish I could bring the soil with me, the soil we rebuild, but I can’t. Not to worry though as I’m sure it will be used and taken care of. From the five backyards, three have now been turned into gardens as well. Here’s to giving examples and sharing skills!

I’m so excited about the new garden, make an even bigger compost pile, try to rejuvenate some old fruit trees, plant more shrubs and trees, create garden beds and try to start growing shiitake on local oak logs. Can’t wait to get my hands dirty and show it all. Are you going to follow us?

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