Community Garden/Auxiliary

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Born On:
16:04, 03 March 2010 (CDT)
Last Updated:
20:43, 31 July 2010 (CDT)


Projects in support of the Community Garden.


Future Actions/To Dos

  • Make and test a seed bomb.
  • Planting & Building of a Beneficial Organisms Habitat (Spacefelix) - IN PROGRESS:
    • Look Into:
      • Have plants that attract bugs that prey on pest bugs, but what about pollinators? And bees and butterflies?
      • What beneficial birds and other animals do we want to attract to our garden? And how do we do it (birdhouse, plants, etc.)? And what of those we want to keep away?
    • Build:
      • Beneficial Bughouse <- Something to attract beneficial bugs; pest predators and pollinators. Butterfly house, etc.
      • Birdhouse & Birdfeeder (for the fall). Hummingbird feeder, seed bell, etc.
  • Experiment with Compost Tea. - POSTPONED TO NEXT PLANTING SEASON (Spring 2011).
  • Build a Rain Barrel feeding off the shop's roof.
    • Will need board approval since the shop does not appear to have any rain gutters or chutes. They will need to be installed. Also, barrel will need to be protected from animals falling in and mosquitoes breeding.


  • 7/31/10 - Started Beneficial Organisms Habitat with a variety of wildflowers (North American, SouthEastern & Butterfly and Caterpillar varieties) to attract beneficial bugs to counter pest bugs.
  • 6/5/10 - Built two compost bins for trash composting. Please use the in the future for composting rather than the lasagna garden since it is done composting.
  • 5/22/10 - From turning the pile, it seems the compost pile can handle our paper product and cardboard waste just fine when running hot. It will be a matter of keeping the C:N ratio to 30:1 for this since paper waste is carbon rich.
  • 5/17/10 - Discussed a little about bioremediation. Decided that an experiment in such to break down poisonous waste would be risky and would need to be well-contained.
  • 5/15/10 - Hanyan and Spacefelix did an experiment with composting trash in the lasagna garden's compost pile. Currently composting paper product waste, biodegradable chip bags and cardboard. Will see if this is an effective means to handle the non-recyclable paper waste we throw away.
  • 5/7/10 - Board approved mobile experimental compost pile for garden. It will consist of three mobile trashcan-sized containers at the South side of the garden along the treeline. Per the board vote, this will be run on a trial basis. It must be removed if it gets out of control or if the smell starts to invade the shop. If the experiment is successful, a proposal will be put in for a composting pile bank. This will be semi-permanent and will have three above-ground pens that hold 100 lbs of compost each.
  • 5/2/10 - Compost bin sourced.
  • 4/1/10
    • Spacefelix got some advice from Benalene about the habitat; beware companion planting! Not all plants are compatible. There will have to be some thought and research put behind making a viable habitat in the garden. Also, since this is a crop garden, we will want every plant to have a use when harvested.
  • 3/30/10
    • Spacefelix checked on beneficial bugs that prey on pests and plants that attract them that are common in Alabama (permaculture-related method). Found the following:
      • Amaranth
      • Angelica
      • Bindweed
      • Common Mullein
      • Fernleaf Yarrow
      • Firethorn
      • Forsythia
      • Foxglove
      • Garden Cosmos
      • Lupin
      • Oxeye Daisy
      • Queen Anne's Lace - Invasive Weed! Beware!
      • Statice/Sea Lavender
      • Sunflowers
      • Tansey

Available Materials

  • For compost:
    • Mog and cherryblossom can provide kitchen waste (~One 20 gallon trash can full a week)
    • Dickie can provide grass and lawn clippings (~four trash bags a week)
    • Grass clippings and leaves can also be had from the shop's lawn and treeline.
    • Horse Manure available for pickup from a local farmer.
      • Steel Prize Stables at 125 Christopher Drive, Madison, AL. Off the North side of Highway 72, between Jeffe Road and Nance Road. Drive up Chris drive, bear right at the traffic circle and follow the road to top of a hill. You will see the gate to the ranch. If the gate is closed, press button to activate. Hours for pickup are 8am to 4pm, weekdays and Saturdays. However, some staff are around the barn after hours to 7pm. You'd be able to come in after hours for pickup. Just be quick about it and don't keep them waiting. Call ahead before you come by for pickup. Owner is Bill ((256)837-5474).
      • What about the horse farms on the East side of Slaughter Road?

Potential Materials

  • For compost:
    • Ratmandu mentioned that you can find bags of leaves around neighborhoods. Just look for the piles of black lawn bags. Also, there is a huge leaf dump behind the botanical gardens.
    • Preauxphoto also stated that cotton mills have tons of leftover leaves from processing cotton. Can run by and see what's up. (korc alternate)
    • Containers
      • Steel drums and other containers being thrown out. Ask around and you might be able to get one. Just make sure they are food-grade and did not contain chemicals. Otherwise, find a way to wash them out.
      • Dickie - Ad Tran throws out old steel drums. May be usable for composting. Issue is if they are food-grade or have been used for chemicals. Will need to clean/bioremediate them.
      • Ratmandu - Car wash on University throw out plastic barrels that contain their soap.
      • Preauxphoto - Guy south of the river sells steel drums.


  • Compost piles need a 30:1 Carbon-to-Nitrogen by weight ratio to compost quickly without smelling bad (a good pile has an earthy smell to it). It also provides a good nutrient balance to the soil. Too much carbon and the pile decomposes slowly, too much Nitrogen and it smells. Information on the carbon-to-nitrogen ratios of compostables can be found here.
  • Compost piles also need to be turned when the center reaches 155°F. This will aerate the pile and accelerate decomposition. You do not want it to go anaerobic; it slows decomposition.
  • Compost Tea can help detoxify your garden's soil and plants. It fertilizes and prevents disease.