Monday, 14 January 2008

Breaking Ground

So January is here and I can feel Spring just around the corner. The sleepy state of Winter is slowly changing into the rush of new growth!
I've been reading a lot about underground greenhouses, how they keep a lot more of their heat- up to 75%, how they are cheaper, use less resources and have a smaller impact on the landscape.
Here's an interesting article about a bolivian version called a walipini

So while i'm not going to jump straight into building one of those i am digging down my big tunnel to test out some of these ideas.
I had some help with this from my friend carlos, here he is in action:

Thanks Carlos!!

So working away today I had a visit from a not so welcome visitor, some little mice who like the taste of my parsley for some reason!:

I know they look very cute, but i'm still going to seal up the tunnel as best i can..

Another idea is to make as much use of space as possible, this means trying to grow double the crops i normally would by intelligent use of light.
Helping me in this is a series called the "victorian kitchen garden" it's a show from the 70's where they recreated a walled garden (6 acres of it!) and grew everything as the victorians would have.

It's a great insight into this hey day of horticulture, and gives me some valuable methods of growing without any electrical heat.

One clever thing is to grow melons tied vertically up the roof. I'm going to attempt this on the north side of the tunnel, on tables over the salads which like some shade, thus growing two crops where one would normally be.

Putting in shelves will give me lots of potting space, freeing up time for the small tunnel, which is standing impatiently in the wings, waiting for it's turn in the sunlight!

And then there is the pond to dig.. carlos come back ;-)

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