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Stacie Cleveland

Courtenay, British Columbia

We bought the property in June of 2021 and that fall I started with one no dig 8x4ft bed, which I planted winter crops in. Since then I have expanded to 3 main veggie beds, 16ft by 4ft long. The no dig approach made the set up very easy. I recycled old fencing to use as temporary sides so that I could fill them approx 10cm deep with compost. The initial bed ended up being a mix of compost and soil as that was all that was available at the time. The remaining beds were filled with aged cow manure and green waste compost. I found the green waste compost lacking and added mushroom compost mid season in 2022. I plan to remove the sides this year. The paths are mulched with wood chips obtained from local arborist. Now I add a layer annually of compost, my own or mushroom compost purchased. I have also been creating flower and perennial beds with the no dig approach, using black tarp to suppress the weeds and grasses initially. I have also created a poly tunnel greenhouse with no dig beds the size is 10 x8 ft.

The production has been amazing, for such a small space I produce a lot of food. I don't weigh my harvests but I am able to feed my household all year from the beds, in the summer I barely buy any groceries and in the winter I supplement from the local market or store. Last year we had record drought and I found my beds held up beautifully with some irrigation.

The entire property is 1/4 acre. I have plans to add more growing space eventually but for now my small space does very well. I also find Charles continual planting approach to be very helpful in making the space very productive.

Courtenay BC is also a temperate oceanic climate but recently we have experienced more extreme weather events in summer and winter. The planting zone is zone 7b.

The photo was taken in June 2023.

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