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August 10, 2014
Preparing our new site in Margate (Cokesbury United Methodist)
Breaking Ground at Cokesbury!
(post by Eric Gibian- Site Coordinator at The Fruitful Field at Cokesbury)
Saturday August 10th was the big day for breaking ground on the new TFF garden site at Cokesbury UMC. The plan was to spread a generous amount of composted chicken manure to add fertility, then rototill in the grass. The goal is to get the tough Florida grass chopped up, roots and all so that it decomposes into the soil adding organic matter and nutrients back to the soils much like farmers do with a cover crop. The tough little red machine in the pictures got a full workout to say the least. I’ve done this job on a larger scale before with a 30 horsepower tractor powering a 1000 lb tiller on a much less resilient northern grass. Basically this walk behind tiller yanked me around like a wild bronco as it struggled with shallow soil depth and ridiculously tough sod-grass. That being said, we got the job done. We’ll have to rent the tiller again for at least one more pass in a couple weeks after things have decomposed some, but the hardest part is done.
It was great to have some eager volunteers already at this early stage. Last week Cubmaster Steve came out and helped us break up and remove the old garden boxes. This week Phil who serves as a church trustee was on hand helping out. My boy Gabriel and wonderful wife Bridgett of course have been sweating right along with me here. Overall I’d say we are off to a decent start. We have already overcome some obstacles and I can foresee more ahead. But that’s just life I suppose, definitely life in the garden.