Tag Archives: building deep beds

farm work party: the deep beds


We had our first farm work party of the year this past weekend! Despite the on-and-off-again rain, a solid crew of old and new friends came out to help us get some important work done. A lot of tasks were accomplished and a lot of photographs were taken, so instead of plugging everything into one blog post, I’ll break the activites down into smaller, bite-sized chunks.

I’ll highlight the work we did on and around the deep beds first. This was the first ‘job’ of the day and involved turning over the earth in our last unprepared deep bed, adding composted manure to the bed, digging a path along the ditch side of the beds, laying bark mulch along the pathways between and around the beds, and planting wildflower seeds along the ridge of earth between the north pathway and the ditch.

TIP: when laying bark mulch down for paths, make sure you lay down layers of newspaper first, then add the bark mulch. This will help keep weeds from growing up through the bark mulch. We learned this the hard way and had to redo some of the paths that we had started a few days before the work party. Special thanks to Chris’ Gaia College instructor for the helpful tip!

Thanks to everyone who pitched in on this job. Helpers included old high school friends and their children, neighbours, community members we’ve connected with through the CEED Centre, fellow students of Chris’ from his Master Organic Gardening course, our local Green Party candidate and family members. The deep bed area is looking so much better now – we can’t wait to get our seedlings planted and watch that part of the garden develop into an abundant food provider!

building deep beds


Although the rainy, cold, west-coast season has arrived, there’s still a lot to do on the farm.  The chill in the air has made it harder to get motivated to go outside, but the heavy rain held off long enough on saturday for Chris and I to get a second deep bed built (he did the building – I just helped hold things in place :).  Two down, two to go!

We got a great deal on some beautiful yellow cedar which is what we’re using to build the deep beds out of.  Our initial plan is to have four deep beds.  We’re building them north of the barn and chicken coop.  The soil in that area is already rich and healthy and it’s the highest point of land on our 2.5 acres which means better drainage than anywhere else.

We have a really great visual in our heads of what this section of the farm is going to look like when it’s complete.  In addition to the deep beds, there will be a large trellis arch holding up our kiwi vines.  Built in below the trellis will be benches and a large feasting table so that come next summer, we’ll be able to feast in the garden, from the garden.  We’re also planting our red japanese maple tree in this area, building a better composting system, rabbit hutch and greenhouse.  It’s going to be quite the transformation!  Still lots of work to do :)

For now, it’s a dark, rainy monday morning.  Here’s to being productive on a farm when the weather gets yucky!