The Dome Education & Gathering Center

 

The Garden

WHY GARDEN?

"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 








 "Working in the garden gives me a profound feeling of inner peace." 

~Ruth Stout

 


"Nature abhors bare ground......"


Through education, observation and intuitive sense we at the Dome have successfully created and promoted 'No Work' gardening through classes and our large, on-site, organic, mulch garden.

We are committed to educating people to take responsibility for their own health as well as the health of their local and global community by growing their own organic produce. We wish to inspire movement away from the current system of monoculture and toxic chemical based crop production.

Through history, gardeners have been conquering nature. They prove their abilities to grow what they want where they want it. There is a different approach, working with nature. Gardening is a simplified form of how nature maintains itself. Through direct observation of the natural world we mimic nature and  attempt to create a balance in our gardens through biodiversity.   This is done by  planting companions and wildflowers that attract an array of life, including; beneficial insects like pollinators and predators that feed on pests.  Gardeners are now finding an appreciation for the ability to create, restore or preserve natural places.

RANDY'S TIPS FOR GARDENING WITH NATURE

1) Break up mono-crops

2) Plant flowers and herbs

3) Create shelter for beneficial insects (water, food, shelter, breeding places).

4) Swear off pesticides!

5) Leave some weeds (Queens Anne's Lace, Goldenrod).

Many gardeners have been convinced that the creative process whereby humans coax nature to produce food-producing and aesthetically useful plants requires hard labor, tilling, watering, weeding and constant attention to fine details to have success. Volumes of detailed books, written by 'experts' are devoured each year on subjects of dubious use to the average gardener. In fact, the weight of detail and information displayed by most gardening books and 'experts' has convinced a great deal of busy people that they don't have the time or energy to garden at all...... quite a loss.

 

But, there's a great deal of good news. . .




 

 










 

 



Frequently asked questions

Mulch Gardening ?

 

Basically our method of mulch gardening entails creating permanent pathways in the garden area that allow access around an area of permanent beds. After the pathways are laid out the area between the paths is 'raised' by successive 'sheet mulching' using various organic, bio-degradable materials.

What background or history does it have?

Nature has, of course, created soils and lush plant growth through mulch decomposition for centuries. Ruth Stout, one of the people to first write about this method referred to it as the "No Work Garden." She considers digging soil or turning compost heaps a waste of energy and pointed out that the composting process occurs naturally throughout her garden as the thick mulch decomposes.

 

What materials does it take and how do I do it at home on a budget ?

 

Some various items we've used or heard work well are animal manures, compost, corn cobs (chopped), grass clippings, hay, leaves (preferably chopped), peat moss, salt hay, sawdust (rotted for the beds), seaweed/kelp, stalks (chopped), straw and wood ashes. Once you get into the mulch mentality and you will start finding mulch materials in the most unlikely places (hops from a brewery has been reported and on and on....).

While you can go out an purchase materials part of the fun is in the creativity of the process. Such item's as natural fiber clothing and newspapers find a very important use in such a system ! We typically have found use for such non-organic materials such as plastic bag's, old carpeting, and/or roofing felt for under the walkway mulch.

 

Come on, it can't be no-work?

Actually a better term would be low maintenance. "No-Work" refers more to the elimination of many back breaking processes (financially and literally) that are commonly associated with gardening/agricultural growing. The long-term benefit of building up permanent and successive no-till beds and returning all organic matter back to the beds ensures less work each year.

 



 

Companion Planting

Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves etc. that can alternately repel and/or attract insects depending on your needs. In some situations they can also help enhance the growth rate and flavor of other varieties. Our experience shows us that using companion planting through out our garden is an important part of integrated pest management. In essence companion planting helps bring a balanced ecosystem to our garden, allowing nature to do its' job.

By using companion planting, we find that they can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many varieties of herbs, flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. You must be open to experimenting and find what works for you. We have had success using wildflowers as a garden border and inter-planting in our vegetable beds. We try to use plants native to our area so that the insects we want to attract already know what to look for. Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most popular with beneficial insects.

Companion planting can combine beauty and purpose to give you an enjoyable, healthy environment. Have fun, let your imagination soar. There are many ways you can find to incorporate these useful plants in your garden, orchard, flower beds etc.

Utilizing the gifts and talents of every individual involved, we promote low maintenance and low cost solutions to producing healthy food and generating beauty. Working toward a more balanced approach to nature has convinced us that a joyful, simple garden experience is not only possible, but is our birthright!

 

 

 I am currently teaching  various organic gardening classes at Angelic Organics Learning Center this spring of 2012... spaces are limited, sign up now!

Planning Your Organic Garden - 3/3/12


Starting Your Organic Garden - 4/28/12

The "Ins" and "Outs" of Composting - 4/29/12


Preschoolers! Garden Adventures - 5/11/12





A Garden to me is not just a place to grow food. Taking care of a garden is one of the most important ways people become part  of the great circles of life. Nature itself is a wild garden.



 



 



 



 

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