Sunday, September 7, 2008

Make Us Instruments

A Prayer attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where they is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
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  1. So how much land do u own? and the straw around your veggies, does that control weeds? maintain moisture in the soil?, and do u plow it under in the fall? Does it help the soil in any way, like add nutrients back into the soil?..where do u live? I live in Filer, Idaho, an our soil and water are at least an 8 in alkaline. plus we have clay soil. our garden this yr is the biggest we have ever had it. plus I have a commercial flower spot; 1st time this yr. hoping to have something to sell at the Farmer's Market. A friend of mine said to plow in organic hay to add nutrients to my soil; do u do that?

    1. Hi, Elaine. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond. We have 1.5 acres and live in Virginia. VERY thick straw is effective in weed control but if you skimp on the straw, the weeds come right up through. Over time, the straw breaks down adding organic matter to your soil- it has improved our soil (which tends on the clay-ish side in some areas) greatly over the years. Keeping the straw thick enough is work- both in finding the straw and keeping it thick. Currently, we are not using this method and are just hoeing our weeds. There are pros and cons to both. I, personally, love the straw- it keeps a mud-free garden:-).

    2. Jane, we use T-tapes for watering..not as much mud between the rows.. but i suppose where u live u get lots of Rain. we have to irrigate. On 1 site i saw a woman that grew rye between her rows. she would walk on that. she had fencing in different areas or her huge garden so when she was done with the harvest she turned her chickens out on it. they would eat the grain and left-overs.

      we may try planting alfalfa this fall after the harvesting and plow under in the spring before planting to amend the soil. we also need topsoil, and 33 yards of compost. plus play sand. that all needs to go in the soil this fall.

      as for the weeds we also hoe, but we will be investing in a thick weed fabric. It does 3 things, holds the water in, holds the heat in(keeping the soil warm for growth), and keeps weeds out.. Here in May it still gets down in the 30's.

      thank u for responding.. and happy harvesting!!


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