The KICC gitigaan (garden) has begun to sprout! 6 of our planned 12 totes were planted the weekend of May 21st/22nd (2022). The next 6 totes will be added soon.
Currently sprouted: green beans, carrots, 2 types of lettuce
Still waiting: spinach and watermelon
Still planned: peas, beets, peppers, tomatoes, gourds
This season began with the need for raised beds to help the team here at The KICC with our wide variety of disabilities. Starting with no funding and unable to wait, the search began for items to repurpose to create a functional garden for the 2022 season.
First up were the totes from a tested/failed aquaponics effort a few years ago. The holes were covered with fabric screening leftover from a window screen repair last year along with some clear silicone caulk from a crafting bin, to secure it. These modifications were made on the inside of each tote.
The PVC pipe from the same aquaponics project was redesigned to form a watering system. Holes were drilled a few inches apart along each pipe. Then we added a few valves and spigots allowing us to water the entire set of totes at once or each one individually, as we choose. There is also the ability to use a small hose hooked up to the system instead of the pipes. Small misters were inserted into each hole in the pipes allowing a gentle spray that won't damage the young fragile plants or waste water with excessive over spray.
The totes are set on concrete & paver blocks salvaged from the old garden where they were used to hold down tarps, garden fabric, etc. Scrap wood from old projects was inserted where needed for leveling due to difficult terrain & limited space.
Inside each tote we started with a 4 inch layer of medium to large gravel. Then sand was added to help fill in the space/gaps between the rocks. This serves as great drainage from the screen patched holes in the lower sides and from the bottom center of each tote.
As we sorted through our available supplies and leftovers from years past we came up with potting soil, top soil, certified organic soil, and a large trash bag of mulch from Dawn's prayer tree. (maple, wood chips/shavings, 2 yrs aged in a black trash bag, stored outdoors)
These different soil types were layered and mixed together with local dirt from the yard, which is very sandy and heavy in clay content. Each tote received a thin layer of mulch mixed into the soils and then a thin layer on top. The totes were then watered and soaked thoroughly before planting.
Stay tuned for garden updates!