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  • Writer's picturePaula Robertson

Building a Lasagna Garden

More gorgeous weather this November in our gardens. We soak up the sun and keep busy with winter preparations. One of our yearly activities is to create a lasagna bed. Hmmmm lasagna you say. Are you planting a bed full of wheat, tomatoes, spinach and eggplants? No, we're creating a no-dig bed with layers like a lasagna.

A no-dig raised-bed garden protects the soil and uses many different materials. It sits above the ground and we stack compostable materials. Over the winter, worms and microorganisms decompose the layers and create a thriving ecosystem, which is nutrient-dense soil for our seedlings to be placed in spring planting.

We begin by learning all about what makes compost stew, greens and browns. Green means nitrogen and brown means carbon. Soil is created by combining carbon-rich material with high-in-nitrogen waste. Here's a trick to know the difference. Think about what would happen if you left one out for a week on your table. If it starts to dry up it's probably brown, if it rots or molds on the table it's green. Remember to double the amount of browns when layering.

We collect our materials and each week place another layer on the Lasagna Garden until we get to the depth we want. The students are always keen to collect leaves, paper clippings, seaweed, dryer lint, dog hair, egg shells, coffee grounds, straw and kitchen scraps. Not as thrilled to empty our composter or spread chicken, goat or bunny poop. But they like saying the P word. And gets lots of giggles out of that part.

Can you imagine how much browns and greens we need to collect? Yes, wheel barrels and buckets are full. That's why it can take us a month to do so. We had so much fun harvesting and building our fourth Lasagna bed, each one proving to be our best growing areas.

Come take a walk in the Food Forest this coming month and see the work of our children and seniors creating soil! See you in the garden!

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