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Julie graduated from Creighton University with a major in dance and Theology and taught for several years at an inner-city school in Milwaukee. With a desire to expand her knowledge of the arts and spirituality, she attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and completed a Masters in Theology and Liturgical Studies. Over the years, her quest to merge diverse religious beliefs and practices through the commonalities of love and peaceful living, led her to travel, live, and study with shaman practitioners, herbal healers, Native American medicine women, Buddhist priests and other earth-based spiritual teachers. Through these experiences and experiences with global metaphysical teachings, she learned to honor the eternal source of love in all people.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kin Domain Garden the lasagna method

Years ago I learned a technique for turning poor soil, usually hard packed clay covered with grass, into a soft, pliable, nutrient rich garden environment. The technique is as creative and as easy as making lasagna. Cooks differ in the method used to assemble the chosen ingredients as well as throwing in a secret ingredient here and there. The idea is to try and use what you have and only buy what is absolutely necessary. I usually have sand, dirt, decayed grass and leaves. I've obtained as barter, straw bales, cured manure (chicken and cow), and top soil.

Before you turn any area into a garden space you need to be familiar with the designated location for at least four seasons, eight is better. If factors such as sun direction, shade, drainage, prevailing winds, and animal movements are unknown and not considered, you could be in for some disappointing results. A Kin Domain is about co-creating so take the time to get to know the land and animals. That said, how to begin this technique?

I will take you through the process over the next few days. The first step is to collect all the ingredients you want to use to create your layers.

Here is a list.
Knock yourself out dreaming up the myriad of possibilities.

newspaper
sand
manure
bone meal
blood meal
fish fertilizer
peat moss
straw
compost (broken down)
decaying leave
decaying grass
straw
decaying hay
lime
gypsum
top soil



This is a picture of a starting project. The area being renovated for a garden held a large wooden outdoor play set. Once the play set, gravel and underlayment were removed the area sat through a season. Besides the above ingredients, you will need a dark cover. An old black or blue tarp or the plastic used to block out sun and items to use as weights. Rocks, bricks, cement blocks--sometimes building stores sell imperfects for a discount and sometimes they'll simply give them away. Don't forget that creek beds are a wonderful source for a few flat stones.

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