Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blog visits, sustainable gardening

It's fun to track the number and geographical distribution of blog visits. In a way I feel 'naked' here, since I don't know who is looking in on the blog. However, I like that people are interested.

Total visits since 7/30/07, pictured here: 3,333
Total visits since start of the blog 7/29/06: 9,980

During this time of year, there isnt much going on in the garden. It's cold and dreary outdoors, and there isn't much time to work on indoor projects. I like having the blog , so that I can look back at things that occurred over the past 2 years, and help with planning for this year.

I like to think that we have moved further along the progression to a sustainable 'semi-permaculture' type of yard. Maybe not as "Mother Earth News" as it would be in a rural area, but more "earth friendly" than the stereotypical suburban yard. In other words, no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, no hauling off yard and kitchen trimmings and 'waste'. Kitchen waste goes into compost or to the chickens, yard and garden waste also to compost and chickens, and the chicken poop goes back into the compost which ultimately goes to the garden and yard again. Eggshell is a 'special category' which is ground and added as a source of calcium for the figs and tomatoes (this might not seem like much but is probably 10 pounds annually). Prunings are composted or chopped to use as mulch.

Outside 'input', other than sunshine and rain, of course, includes leaf compost, bark mulch, and coffee grounds when I can get them (probably about 50 pounds annually), and water which I usually focus on specific areas. The chicken feed and bedding can also be considered 'input' since it comes from elsewhere as well.

"Output" includes the dog poop (I just can't bring myself to use it in kitched garden areas, and we ran out of places to bury it), and of course whatever we eat.

We're not doing much to improve carbon sequestration, except for the small ginkgo trees that will eventually soak up CO2 as a precursor for tree structures in the form of trunk, roots, and branches. The fruit trees will take up a smaller amount of CO2, but nothing near what shade trees do. On the other hand, trees and vines are probably kinder to the soil than annual food crops, since the soil does not need to be dug annually, and they pull water from deeper in the ground so need less watering.

Overall, it's very satisfying, enjoyable, and good for us and the environment.

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