It took two days but the fields are all laid out and we're going to start planting tomorrow!
We made 30 inch rows (so we can work in them and step over them easily) and 16 inch walkways (16" because that was the size of our biggest rake). The rows curve with the topography of the land because there's a pretty significant slope and we want to catch as much water as possible as it flows downhill. If the rows were straight, a lot of water would just collect in the paths and flow down into the wet area in the middle of the field, but this way the water will collect against the beds and filter slowly through.
We used a couple different methods for raking the dirt, everyone had their favorite ways to do it, but basically we laid out the 30 inch beds using a homemade "scribing tool" (basically a couple of stakes drilled onto a piece of wood 30" apart)
and then we proceeded to alternate between raking up the dirt on either side and raking it down the middle to create pathways. It was pretty exhausting dirty work, but also very satisfying, the garden is finally coming together and it's so nice to be outside in the sun! We all got sunburnt.
In a couple of the walkways we put down cardboard and straw to keep down the weeds and create a path. The cardboard we've been getting from supermarket produce boxes and from a bike shop in Concord (bikes come in big cardboard boxes). It's going to be pretty hard to collect enough cardboard to put down on these rows, however, so we're going to plant some in clover instead.
|Our Aerial Shot: from on top of the lumber racks on the back of Dave's pickup|
The bottom corner is going to become one big triangular bed, probably for cucumbers.
It's been a long couple of days but we can finally start planting!