This is a great course and I recommend it.
Local Harvest farm and market are located at 7697 Lickman Road, Chilliwack
Here are some of the notes from this course.
Good gardening is basically all about the soil
There are four gardening principles
1. Minimal disturbance of the soil
Use only a rake , no shovels and don’t dig below one inch except to harvest potatoes.
2. Use great compost
You are trying to infuse fungi and bacteria life into the compost. Healthy soil is one part fungi to one part bacteria. Cheap compost has more bacteria, more weeds. Add a supplement Sea 90 to your garden because it is an easy way to add micronutrients to your garden. Available in garden stores or online.
3. Cover with mulch
Add to your soil all throughout the growing season and the winter months. Rain washes away a lot of the soil’s nutrients if it is left without a cover of mulch.
4. Cover with plants
Winter cover crops with rye are difficult to get rid of in the springtime in community gardens so it is recommended that you use peas, oats and brassica plants,
Soil Food Web
Plants are building sugar (carbon) to build leaves, roots etc. As well, plants are excreting sugars into the soil through their roots. This is absorbed by the bacteria and fungi. Fungi consumes the wood chips to get carbon and to build biomass in the soil.
Healthy soil has Nematodes- protozoa, fungi and bacteria.
Your aim should be to be a micro farmer and to stop disturbing the soil – except for digging up potatoes.
What is the difference between mulch and compost?
Mulch – coarse, under-decomposed cover, ready now, cheap, wood chips use only minimally, hazel nut shells, less life.This is used to cover the garden in winter, or in the growing time to cut down on weeds and to prevent water loss in the summer and heat and nutrient loss in the winter
Compost – fine, decomposed amendment. The time the best compost needs to sit and decompose is one year. It’s even better after 2 to 3 years. The best and easiest compost is simply to pile up leaves and let it sit for a year.
To the leaves/straw, add chicken manure, horse/cow manure so it becomes humus quickly. Add seaweed if you have it, but get rid of the salt first.
Making great compost needs time, heat, air etc. Look into a well-composted pile and you should see worms, and other tiny insects that show you that it is living. Good compost is abundant in life and will help your garden to grow great vegetables and flowers.