“Sustainable”, “Organic”, “Regenerative”, “Chemical Free”; all have become buzzwords in the last years, but what do they mean exactly? There’s a lot of information out there, and many of it is questionable, much of it is counterproductive, and yet there’s almost always something to be …
If you’ve been by the farm recently, it’s hard to miss the big black wire mesh barrel over by the compost pile. Everyone who sees it seems to stop, scrunch up their face, and wonders out loud what’s going on! The contraption is a Johnson-Su …
Welcome to the Airdrie Urban Farm Collective! We started in the spring of 2021 on about one acre of land in Airdrie that Daybreak Church graciously “donated” long term. The land was previously a soccer field, and hasn’t been used for quite some time, so it’s in pretty rough shape.
The land is seriously compacted with gravel and clay just underneath what little grass will grow on it’s own. Gopher’s have moved in the last few years and, as they do, multiplied quickly!
The farm started with creating rows of “lasagna beds”, where we layered new topsoil, unused grass sod, and manure compost from Highline Mushrooms. The idea has multiple purposes.
First, the raised bed heats up sooner in the springtime which allows a longer growing season which, in Airdrie where we sometimes only have 80 days of growing, is a big deal!
Second, it layers organic material into the garden beds to create an in-situ compost, feeding the plants as the material breaks down.
Third, the mushroom/manure compost is FULL of various kinds of fungi and bacteria, which is essential for proper plant growth. More on that in a future blog post!
If you want more detailed info on this type of gardening bed, check out the step by step at Instructables.com (image on the blog courtesy of Instructables!)
The hope is that the beds allow us to get a small first year yield, and begin to setup the land to grow more going forward!