Dogpatch Urban Gardens is officially underway! We closed on the house, as well as the land, on October 27th, and have our work cut out for us.
I like to think we bought land that conveniently has a house on it as well, but my husband, Eric, may disagree. He is a Realtor and wanted to buy to property to restore and rent the house as well as start the urban garden. So while we are prepping the land for spring, Eric is also working his magic in restoring the beautiful home to be rental ready by 2016 (if you know of anyone who may be interested in renting this property please let me or Eric know!) As of now there is a lot of plumbing work happening in the home, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of the restoration.
Since closing on the property there has been a lot of work happening here. People in the area are very curious and it’s been fun to have people stop by and pick our brains about what we are doing to the land. There’s a great buzz and excitement about this upcoming urban garden.
Eric and my dad recently rented a Uhaul and went on a fun journey to Malvern, Iowa to pick up our walk-in cooler. We purchased the cooler off of Craigslist from the local town watering hole because they were upgrading and needed to sell their old one. The cooler is larger than we expected (which is not a bad thing) but it will take some time to reassemble. Luckily we won’t need to use it until produce is being harvested starting in the spring.
Our big undertaking as of now is preparing the land for spring planting. When we bought the property the ¼ acre plot was all sod. We rented (and by “we” I mean Eric) a sod cutter and Eric and some very helpful men in the neighborhood started pulling and rolling the sod (big thank you to Adam and Lucas for your help). In about four hours they were able to make a healthy dent on the sod removal but we also realized this was a MAJOR job. There were a lot of sore backs in that 4 hours of work, so I decided to hire the rest of the job out. I found two men on Craigslist and they were wonderful. They finished the job in a day and were great workers.
All in all it took about a week from start to finish to have all the sod cut and rolled. Throughout that week we had advertised “free sod” on Facebook, Craigslist, and put a sign in the yard. We were able to give away all that sod in the week time. It was great to give sod to people who needed it, but it also was so helpful for us for people to take it off our hands. Win-win situation! The free sod really brought our community together and it allowed us to meet many new people in our neighborhood!
There are varying philosophies on the best methods to remove sod (plowing, tilling, lasagna method are just a few) and they all have pros and cons. Using a sod cutter to remove all that sod is a double-edged sword because we need it gone in order to plant our crops, yet it also removes precious organic matter. In order to help rejuvenate the soil we also added 20 cubic yards (roughly 20 tons) of compost.
Stay tuned for the next post to hear all about the joys of spreading 20 tons of compost!
Your urban farmHer, Jenny