Monday, April 03, 2006
This is the view of the contoured field strips as seen looking eastward from our front door. The geodesic dome structure in the corner of the field at the end of the driveway is a high school industrial arts project of my son Hans. It serves as a field decoration and landmark for visitors coming to the farm for the first time. I try to maintain a perennial flower garden around the dome with some type of runner beans climbing the dome. I have tried several times to grow lettuce in the then shaded interior during the hottest summer months with mixed success. Alternating with the crop strips are strips of sod and legumes which serve as habitat for beneficial insects, access lanes for getting to the crops without compacting the soil in the crop strips, and as part of my crop rotation and soil enrichment scheme. Every two years or so I plow up the sod strips and plant cover crops on the old crop strips, thus switching them to become the new sod strips. In the foreground you see one of several mixed flower and herb patches located near the house and spotted around various locations in the 2 1/2 acre market garden. These also serve as beneficial insectaries for attracting predatory insects which help to keep our pestilence under enough control to minimize our dependence on the use of toxic insecticides.