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Fall Garden with the Monaciello (EP-15)

Who is this monaciello fellow?
The monaciello is an Italian legend sort of like the hobbit or leprechaun. Except instead hiding the silverware or a pot of gold the monaciello is known for the great wines and gardens of the Italian monks. Since our homestead is all about organic and sustainable practices we thought it was about time to invite the monaciello for advice on fall gardening... the old-fashioned way.

What's with the pigs in the garden?
No-till gardens are gaining popularity. Using natural and organic compost as fertilizer is a key component of sustainability. Instead of hours of labor cutting down old crops, spreading manure, and cultivating the top couple inches of soil, we put our pigs to good use by keeping them in the garden. We legitimately grow bacon in the garden as we fatten them up in October and at the same time they do all the work digging out roots, stems and left-behind vegetables as well as some rocks too. Of course you would never do this mid-season, but the manure the pigs leave behind in October will be broken down by our hens. That's right, we move our chicken trailer (You can learn more about our chicken mobile home design in Episode 13 (https://youtu.be/dZWaO-8ezYU). We moved a group of chickens and their mobile home into the garden about two weeks behind the pigs. We will leave the chickens in the garden well into November to break down pig manure, pick bugs, and add their own fertilizer to our beds before pulling the tarp of the beds for winter.

What do you grow in your fall garden?
We live in USDA Zone 6 and we do not grow an extensive fall garden at this time. Our outdoor crops include just kale and garlic. These are staples of our Italian Greens and Beans. Watch for the next episode of Cooking of Kids with Bunkie to see her make the micro-greens version of this classic. As we clean out the last of our greenhouse tomatoes, however, we also use our tomato bed to plant broccoli rabe, extra kale plants, onions, leeks and beets.

What else do you keep going in the fall green house?
We take advantage of the fall seeding time to reset our hydroponic lettuce and start some new trays of micro-greens also. We have our own style for starting seeds which is suited to our hydroponic system and micro-green growing styles. We grow romain lettuce in hydroponic systems and we take several crops from each. Likewise we continue to water our micro-green trays for 3-4 harvests. The level of dirt in our trays works well for harvesting every two weeks. And we measure our micro-greens according volume on our little Monaciello Cellars tasting glass. If you would like one of these nifty little glasses visit www.monaciellocellars.com . Comments & Questions: Please click on the YouTube video at the top of this page to leave questions and comments about this article and video. Be sure to subscribe to the Vineyard Chicks YouTube channel for more articles and videos like this!

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Date: 11/02/2019