This week at OKY…

Heat, internet, and chickens all in one day!

We decided to take down the large fence that separates the house from OKY. Opening up the space brings the farm into view from the house. The old saying, out of sight out of mind, runs true for gardening. Bringing the garden into view allows easy access from the house and improves the flow of the Kibbutz.

This week we continued to mulch the forest garden section of the Gan. Benny came over and helped spread a layer of compost over the mule manure, it was a huge help! Once we ran out of cardboard from the last retreat group we had to look elsewhere for a cardboard carbon source. After being rejected from Home Depot, a nice guy named Joe, who works at the Lucky’s next door, helped load enough cardboard to fill up the trunk of the suburu. When that ran out Big Lots came to the rescue with huge sheets cardboard…and we still need more! One more trunk-load should finish up the job. After we finish the cardboard layer we need to add more straw mixed with manure and then the final layer of wood chip paths. It is a lot of work up front, but the results will be amazing! If we continue mulching like this for the next few years you will want to sleep in the garden beds they will be so fluffy.

                      

                                          

                              

We’ve also been doing a lot of clean up and tidying around outside. We’ve taken down unnecessary fencing and tarp, organized the scarp yard, cleared wood scraps, and moved the OKY sign (thank you Randy and Mike :D). 

                             

The Chickens had their first day being free range after one week of getting to know the coop:

Our good friend Angelo came over and helped us begin installing the rainwater catchment system. A small rain barrel will collect water from the roof of the house and feed it to a larger barrel via a hose and the help of gravity. The larger barrel also connects to a hose and can be used to water the south gan. Angelo began building a foundation for the barrel with gravel and large stones he found on site.

Finally, a cowboy named Adam who lives at the horse ranch down the road came by with a truckload of free horse manure! Yahoo! Horse manure has a near perfect Carbon to Nitrogen ration. The manure will be used to mulch the South Gan. Thank you Adam!

The greens in the greenhouse look great and we’ll put them in the ground this coming week:

In addition to preparing the soil in the food forest there is a lot of planning involved right now. We are still researching what plants will work best in the forest garden. We are also planning for goats and have made a connection with a great farm in the county. It is also getting closer to the growing season, which means lots of planning for planting. Soon we must order seeds and have a clear idea of how we want to rotate the fruits and veggies grown in the gan.

We visited the folks over at Urban Adamah for their Tu B’shvat sedar. They are running a beautiful urban jewish farm in berkeley. If you haven’t been there before go check it out, they are doing great stuff. L’chaim!

Blessings and thanks to everyone who helped out this week!

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