The Mexican Sage is spectacular right now. You can see the Dahlias to the right, and rows of Zinnias to the left. Hummingbirds zipping around. A covey of Quail running here and there. The garden is a riot of color, diversity and health.
The garden beds were originally worm beds. The former owner, Earl Schmidt, had started 90 foot windrows of cow manure. He inoculated the windrows with worms, and they went to work. Over the years they turned the manure into worm castings.
About 1975 a friend of Earl’s returned from Europe with some Yukon Gold potatoes in his pocket. Earl put the potatoes in some of the beds, and they flourished. There are rows and rows of potatoes, which reside in the beds year round. Their flavor is incredible.
Perhaps the most amazing part of this story, is the fact that these potatoes have stayed in these beds consistently for 30 years with no disease pressure. A friend who grows potatoes in Washington has all kinds of disease pressure if he plants potatoes successively in the same field.
We have seen the same results on other garden plants. The peppers, squash, tomatoes, flowers are all disease free. We spray no chemicals. There is just a natural balance and health in the soil.
We now have our worms growing inside in our continuous flow reactors. We have developed a system for making high quality worm castings (vermicompost really). The outside worm beds have all been converted to garden beds.
We shall get our first frost in the next couple of weeks. The garden will retreat into winter. Thoughts of next year’s garden will then start to germinate…