April 22 is Earth Day, so I thought I would share something I learned in the May/June 2010 issue of Fine Gardening, which you can find in the current periodicals sections of the Parham and Western Campus libraries. Straw gardening!
My garden attempts in the past, few as they are, have failed due to lack of attention and weeds. But I was inspired by reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for the April “Around the World through Books” program, so I wanted to try growing something. This straw garden requires no tilling or hoeing, hopefully minimal weeding, and it is raised. While it isn’t exactly sustainable–you have to start over every year or so–it is pretty earth-friendly. As the straw decomposes you get a very nice compost.
The idea is simple. You get some bales of straw, spread compost and fertilizer on the top, and water for ten days before planting. Here is a video featuring the author of the article. I’m at day three of watering, so I don’t have any green to show yet–just soil and straw.
–Lisa Bishop, checker-in of periodicals at the PRC Library