Part 3: The Straw-Mulched Sections

It helps to remember when one is trying to understand what's going on at Perelandra that this is a research garden, not a home-kitchen garden. Although we get a lot of produce out of the garden, produce is not the main focus. It centers around the research, the essences production, and the publications that are a result of what goes on in this garden.

The garden is set up to conserve natural moisture and is sparingly watered by us. Nature tells us what to water and when — and how much. During the 1999 serious drought, we only watered all the plants one time and about 25 percent of the plants one additional time.

The straw mulch is for moisture conservation, weed control and soil conditioning. It is tilled under in the fall and a couple of inches of new straw is put on the garden for the winter. The rows will then be reopened for the spring planting and in May, 10-12 inches of additional straw will be spread.

The placement, pattern, variety, numbers of plants, colors, planting rhythm and fertilizer needs are given to Machaelle in the fall from the devic level and are all part of this garden's precision. (How this is done is described in detail in Perelandra Garden Workbook.) Machaelle makes charts from the nature information. The spring planting is simply a translation of these charts into the garden.

By the way, we use only organic fertilizers and do not use any repellents, organic or non. And nothing is done here for the purpose of repelling wild animals. The fence, of course, happens to keep out the deer and the occasional bear.

The garden includes Japanese beetles, grasshoppers, cabbage moths, bean beetles, and squash bugs, plus a billion other insects. You will also see that we encourage birds into the garden with their own feeding area and housing. Snakes, turtles, lizards and frogs live amongst the rows. And in the evenings, woods animals move through the garden while bats cruise the airspace above. Interestingly, the wild animals move through the garden using the paths and walkways, and stop only for an occasional nibble or drink of water.

• Part 1: Introduction
• Part 2: The Center of the Garden
• Part 3: The Straw-Mulched Sections
• Part 4: The Rose Ring
• Part 5: The Tomato Patch
• Part 6: The Insect Sanctuary
• Part 7: The Fish Pond and the "Tadpool"
• Part 8: The Woods-Edge, Meadow & Wildflower Triangle
• Part 9: The Cabin
• Part 10: The Elemental Annex
• Part 11: How To Get Started
• Part 12: Outtakes